23rd November 2012
Since I haven't got much going on at the moment diving wise I thought I would do a slightly different kind of blog for you. There are many questions I get asked fairly often about diving, so here are my top 10 most frequently asked questions, along with answers!
1. How did you get into diving?
This one is definitely the one I have answered the most! My local pool where I grew up (in Chelmsford, Essex) had diving boards, and it's pretty much as simple as that! I used to love going to the pool with my dad in public sessions, and back then before health and safety had become as strict as it is today we were allowed to use the diving boards in the public sessions. So that was how I was first introduced to diving, which turned into diving lessons, and when my older sister Katherine joined the diving club, I of course was desperate to copy her and so did the same!
2. Do you know Tom Daley?
Yes, of course I do! Diving is a fairly small sport, and as we go away on many competitions together it's usually a small team so we all get to know each other really well. And yes, he genuinely is a nice guy!
3. How long have you been diving?
I was seven years old when I started, so that's about 21 years now, yikes!
4. Do you have to eat a special diet?
No, not really. I do make sure that my recovery nutrition is good – so immediately after every session I have a piece of fruit (usually a banana after the morning session and an apple in the afternoon), and sometimes a yogurt or chocolate milk if it has been a particularly heavy session. I also make sure I get lots of vegetables in my diet – which is fairly easy now that I live with my boyfriend, Guy, who is vegetarian. For me it's more about making sure I eat good food – then I can allow myself to have plenty of treats to go along with the healthy stuff!
5. How do you learn new dives?
It's usually a fairly long process, and we use the lower boards to build up the rotations and twists before we go up to do the dive on the higher boards. We also use the rig in the dryland (trampoline and dry board) and in the pool – this is a belt attached to a harness of ropes, where the coach pulls the ropes to help you to do a dive. Finally, we have bubbles to use when learning a new dive which break the surface of the water so technically it shouldn't hurt if it all goes wrong....sometimes it can still be quite painful though, especially from that 10 metre board! I learned most of my dives many years ago so I've not been through this process in a while, however there may be one or two new ones going in my programme for this season..... so watch this space!
6. Do you get nervous when you compete?
Yes, every time, even if it's only a small, local competition. The important thing is learning to use my nerves in a positive way, as when I do this they actually help me to compete well. I've had some of my best competitions when I have felt really nervous.
7. Do you enjoy travelling the world?
It's absolutely great to be able to travel a lot with my sport, and it can be amazing getting to see some of the places that we go to for competitions. I loved Australia when I went there in 2006 for the Commonwealth Games, and I've seen some amazing sights in China (where diving is a massive sport so I have been there a lot). I also managed to stay in India for a few days after the 2010 Commonwealth Games for a bit of sightseeing with my family. Quite often though, all I get to see is a hotel and a diving pool!
8. What do you want to do after diving?
My plan is to go into prosthetics and orthotics after diving. I was actually all prepared to go back to university this year to study, but I decided that I wasn't ready to finish diving yet so I have had to put that plan on hold for a while! I also would love to stay involved in the sport, hopefully through coaching (which I am doing a bit of now). I think it's really important after all diving has done for me to give something back.
9. Does it hurt when you go wrong?
Yes! Especially from 10m! In fact, sometimes even if I get it right from 10m it can still hurt! You hit the water at about 35 miles per hour, so you can imagine how painful it can be. 3m is much less painful, but can still hurt a little if it does go wrong.
10. Do you have a job?
Yes......diving is my job! I'm funded by the National Lottery, which has completely revolutionised elite sport in this country. It has allowed people like me to be able to train full time without having to fit training in around another job. I used to work as a waitress before I was funded and life was so much harder then! But now I can put all my time and energy into diving so the quality of my training has vastly improved. The extra support that I receive from Rosemont is also a great help! And as I mentioned earlier, I also work part time as a diving coach, this is only a few hours a week but I love it.
So there are some of my FAQs for you!
Bye for now!
Rebecca performing one of her dives
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