Learning to Dive like Tom Daley

Tom Daley is one of the Olympic and Commonwealth legends. Thousands of people around the world watched him win Olympic Bronze in the Aquatic centre two years ago. Since then, with the ‘Splash’ TV shows, diving has become a really popular sport to watch and take part in, with numerous classes going on around the country for both kids and adults.

Charlie and I were invited by Spogo and the Tom Daley Diving Academy to take part in a beginner diving lesson. Spogo are trying to get the nation moving, they provide information and links to a range of sports clubs and facilities around the UK, and have developed buddy systems to connect users in their local area. How much more fun is it doing something with a friend?!

Our lesson started in the dry gym, where the divers spend more time than they do in the pool. There’s a large soft foam pit, two amazingly springy trampolines, a padded bouncy floor and a harness for practising flips. This is the top diving centre in the UK, with many of the top British athletes training here for 4 plus hours a day (look out for Tom Daley and crew if you ever visit!)

We began by simply jumping off the boards into the foam pits, which made us feel like kids again.

Getting out of the pit was the hardest bit. You literally get swallowed up by the foam.

After we’d launched ourselves into the pit a few times, Jodie, our instructor, gave us some pointers for what we should be thinking about when jumping off the boards. For a straight jump your arms should be in the air, hands clasped together, looking forward, chip up, and jump. Your aiming to jump straight up rather than out.

The trampolines are used to practise flips, somersaults and twists. We just bounced up and down. They were incredibly bouncy- wish I had one of these at home. 

Then it was out to the pool… in our matching swimming costumes obviously. Thank you Sweaty Betty.

We started at the edge of the diving pool, and began with some straight jumps and tuck jumps before progressing to a few easy dives. We clasped our hands together, tipped forward with straight legs, stood on tip toes and literally tipped forward into the pool.

Before taking what we’d practised to the 1m platform…

The three metre platform looks fairly pathetic compared with the other platform heights when you’re on the ground, but once you get up there it feels a lot higher. We were both really proud of our jumping efforts, although I’m pretty sure we have a lot to work on when it comes to technique!

We did make it up to the 10m board, but didn’t exactly jump! I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of heights, and knowing that I wasn’t going to be jumping I had no problem standing on the platform, however I think my legs would have turned to jelly if I was lining up to dive off the edge.

We’d accidentally on purpose worn our matching swimming costumes, so it would be rude not to perform some synchronised dives (jumps). We’re thinking this could be Sweaty Betty’s new ad campaign!

We were lucky enough to have a private session, but we’re both keen to come back for another group adult lesson in the future, also Tom, if you read this, we are more than happy for you to give us a session if you fancy it? You can find out more about the Tom Daley Diving Academy here. 

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5 Comments

  1. August 14, 2014 / 3:12 pm

    Oh my gosh I would LOVE to do this when I come to visit! How much does the private or group session cost?

  2. August 14, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    This looks SO much fun! I get terrified jumping in from about 1 metre, so not sure I’d be the best diver, but that foam looks very fun 🙂

  3. August 15, 2014 / 3:47 pm

    That looks so much fun! I’m terrified of diving, that photo from the high board makes me feel really nervous! Love the backs of the swimming costumes 🙂

  4. August 18, 2014 / 10:56 am

    Oh wow this looks like so much fun! Definitely being added to my list.

  5. August 18, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    Amazing! I like the idea of a workout that’s called diving but mostly involves jumping on a trampoline and playing in a foam pit.

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