How to Do a Dive

Two Methods:Casual DiveProfessional Racing Dive

Follow these simple steps to learn how to do a proper front dive, off a three-meter springboard.

Method 1
Casual Dive

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    Start about four feet back from the end of the board if you're a teen or adult, or further if you take large steps. Stand in an upright position, back and legs straight.
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    When you're ready to do your approach, take three long steps, swinging your arms, together, in the same direction, as you walk.
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    When you've taken your three steps, bring one leg up and hop to the end of the board.
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    As you are doing this, keep your head and neck straight and looking forward.
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    When you've jumped to the end of the board, do a large arm circle counter-clockwise and push off the board with both feet as hard as you can.
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    Go all the way up and then bend at the waist.
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    Bring your arms up and squeeze your ears with your arms
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    Clasp your hands together and look at your hands.
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    Keep your legs straight and toes pointed.

Method 2
Professional Racing Dive

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    Banish fear from your mind. The fear of diving is all in your head. Diving may seem intimidating, especially if you're afraid of heights. But the fear is often only in your head.
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    Stand on the edge of the board that's slanting down, curling your toes over the edge.
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    Crouch down into position, with your chin tucked into your chest. Keep your arms straight down your sides.
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    When you hear the buzzer go off, explode forward with your knees. Try not to move your head. Bring your arms up in streamline position, stretching them in a straight line past your head.
    • Try not to bend your legs. Straighten them out behind you, thinking "higher" as you do.
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    After you hit the water, streamline underwater for as long as possible. The rule of thumb is to streamline for at least five seconds, but that depends on your momentum. Try to streamline as long as possible.
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    Begin the first stroke of your relay and go all out (your fastest speed) until you hit the wall.


  • If at first you don't succeed, try diving from a kneeling position at first. It's the same idea, but you're not as far from the water.
  • Make sure that the water isn't too shallow before you dive, so you don't get injured.
  • Don't be scared. It is all very safe, as long as you push your feet and arch as you dive. Don't forget to point your feet and legs straight for a perfect Splash!
  • To land a dive, try practicing first. it will take some time to perfect. So you must aim to go in as streamlined a way as possible.
  • If you are aiming to jump off a diving board, then you should aim to follow the same steps - bend your knees, straight arms, head straight, but just before you "slide" into the water, extend your legs and arch your back and tuck your head in slightly.
  • With kneeling dives, try not do a "somersault" when you dive in.
  • Sometimes it might be easier to "fall" into the water. Remember, diving is all about having fun, so don't get miffed if you can't do it the first time!
  • Once you can dive this way, try pushing off earlier and bending as you're in the air. This will let you get farther in the air and make your dives more graceful.
  • Tuck your head in to avoid hurting your face, as not doing so can lead to you landing on your face and sustaining injury.
  • Trying to dive can end up to doing a belly flop, so get a friend to put her arms around the area you'll jump, so you'll have to arch your back.


  • Have proper instruction and supervision if you're trying new dives.
  • If you don't know how to dive, don't try flips. They take a lot of practice and you can sprain or break your neck unless you know how to do them.
  • Be sure to only dive in waters where you are comfortable swimming.
  • Be careful when diving from smooth surfaces, as your feet could slip.
  • Try to avoid belly flops. If you do belly flop, just smile and try again! They do hurt, but as long as you keep your body under control going in, you should be fine.
  • Don't depend on goggles when diving. They WILL slip off.
  • If the no diving sign or warning is showing on the side or on the guidebook, don't try to dive.
  • Make sure your swim shorts are tied up (for guys), they might fall off!
  • Never dive off a board into water that is less than 12 feet (3.7 m) deep. Historical standards for installing diving boards have not been sufficient, and people have broken their necks.[1]

Things You'll Need

  • Swimsuit
  • A pool filled with water
  • A diving board (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Swimming and Diving