Divers and Peak Performance





Do reverse dives move you to terror? Have you been stuck too long on a particular dive? Do you fall apart in competition when it counts the most? Do you have trouble leaving your mistakes and crashes in the past? Have you suddenly lost one or more dives on your list? If your answer to any of these questions is "yes", then I can help!

As an expert in the field of peak performance and mental toughness, I have worked with hundreds of divers at every level to help them use their heads to perform better. If you're presently stuck on a dive that you're capable of doing physically, then chances are good that you're unknowingly setting yourself up to fail. If you focus on and think about the wrong things as you attempt that problematic dive, you'll continue to stay stuck.

Most fears and blocks in this sport are a result of accumulated scary experiences. That is, if you look carefuly at the athlete's history, you'll see any number of experiences that were physically or emotionally upsetting to them. These could be related to diving or totally unrelated. For example, an injury, a scary smack, a time when you got lost in the air and it freaked you out or a painful run-in with the board.

Because we automatically memorize these upsetting events, the diver will hold them in their mind and body long after the incident has been forgotten. The next time that diver is in any way reminded of that original upsetting experience or is under pressure, then components of this scary event (images, emotions, anxiety, self-doubts, physical tightness, similar movements) get activated and break through into consciousness. The end result is the diver suddenly starts to feel unsafe inside.

When this happens, biology takes over. As mammals, the most important thing to us is survival. Whenever any mammal is threatened, their nervous system automatically goes into the "red zone," triggering a self-protective response. While most of us understand these self protective responses as fight or flight, when you're on the board ready to do a reverse, you can't fight or flee! When we're in danger and can't protect ourselves, there's a third, default survival response that then automatically clicks in: The FREEZE response.

Suddenly, the diver can't get his/her body to do what it knows how to do! To the diver it feels as if they've forgotten the dive! What's really happened here is the diver's survival reflex of freeze has pushed their trained performance skills offline. This is the reason why divers inexplicably lose their dives. They do not feel safe inside. This problem is further exacerbated by coaches who respond to the stuck diver with anger, frustration and impatience. When this happens, the diver feels even less safe inside, making them more likely to freeze. It can also be further complicated by the perfectionism of the diver. Athletes who get really angry and quickly frustrated with themsleves because they're balking on a dive they feel they should be throwing, feel even less safe inside. 

In my experience, getting divers fully unstuck requires working with the biological roots of the problem and helping them calm their nervous systems down so that they don't automatically click into the self-protective response of freeze.         

My SKYPE consultation service can help you figure out how you're getting in your own way and what you can do right now to develop more confidence, beat that fear, and rip that dive. So if you want to move up to the next level, overcome balking and start ripping your dives, then call me today at (413) 549-1085 or email Goldberg@competitivedge.com for further information.

You can also explore The Best Mental Toughness Training Package for Divers to get started.

 As a Sports Performance and Mental Toughness Training Consultant, Dr. Alan Goldberg works with divers at every level, from world class to junior competitors. Dr. G. specializes in helping divers overcome fears and blocks and return to their potential. He is the author of Diving With The Competitive Advantage, a mental toughness audio training program, and his revolutionary new book, "This Is Your Brain On Sports."