Sheffield Diving club is a dynamic and inclusive club with a wide programme for social, recreation and competitive diving. The purpose of the consultancy programme with the University is to optimise the physical development of the elite pathway divers to help them perform and win at the highest level possible. This boils down to a fairly simple recipe physically. The need to run fast, jump high, twist and turn gracefully in the air and enter the water cleanly and safely.
The challenge of working with divers is that it is a sport that requires great ‘feels’. A diver’s awareness of their body and movement in time and space is really important in their practice. Therefore they can only feel fatigued occasionally which impacts on how we train them. If they aren’t fresh while practicing the session might not be worthwhile or at worst it could be dangerous.
With this in mind the approach we take is a slow, steady and progressive one. Build key technical abilities in the gym, increase strength, power and robustness over time and allow these physical qualities to transfer into their diving. Key exercises include squats, Olympic lifts, deadlifts and pulls, lots of jump variations and a range of core and upper body exercises. Training sessions are supported by staff and student interns. Each diver has a key list of exercises they focus on and targets to achieve within each training block.
The impact of this approach is that it builds strong, confident and capable athletes who know their body, are committed to their training and experience gradual sustained progress over a long period of time. This results in happy, healthy, fit and strong athletes who perform well and are able to compete at international and Olympic levels.