Originally Posted by s.sciame
Thanks for the sharing coach Bob. Since I'm trying to learn the start, I was curious about the new blocks: do you mean the ones which aid the track start (ie one foot behind)? Are these blocks so different from the old ones to the point of affecting your dive?
My problems probably stemmed from the fact that I hadn't been using a track start. When I was taught to do starts, I wasn't taught the track start, and had never bothered learning it because conventional wisdom held that neither type of start had an advantage over the other. But most experts seem agreed that, with the elevated platforms, there is now a clear advantage to using the track start. When I saw the elevated platforms, it seemed clear to me that the track start would be better, but when I tried it on my first event, it didn't work well for me because I wasn't used to it. I had another meet in November where they had the elevated platforms, and the track start seemed to work better for me there because I had studied it between the meets.
Another question: have you ever dealt with goggles problems after the start? My main concern is leakage: in a short event no problem, but on a 400m and up I wouldn't like to have to stop, clear the goggles and start again.
Currently I'm practicing some dives from the side and goggles usually stay in place (sometimes they leak when I don't tuck the chin enough). I'm not that confident though, I'm still quite scared of diving from the blocks. I tried once and the goggles leaked badly.
I've never had a problem with my goggles on a block start, but I did have a problem with them once while doing a backstroke start. I was doing 100 backstroke in a short course pool and was wearing a pair of goggles with a double strap. During my second 25, I became aware of something rubbing against the front of my neck, and realized that one of the two straps had gone over the top of my head and that my goggles were being held on by only one strap. By the end of the event, one of my goggles had filled with water, but I was still able to see through the other goggle.
Since then, I've done the following, and haven't had any more problems:
1) Make sure your straps are tight enough.
Loose straps may be more comfortable, but they need to be tight enough to keep your goggles on.
2) Before you put the second strap over your head, check to see if the goggles are held on by suction alone.
There will be less of a tendency for a strap to come off if the goggles are also being held on by suction.
3) Don't position either strap too high on the back of your head.
I actually like to tuck my straps under some of my hair to hold them on better.
I should add that I normally have a pair of goggles that I use just for competitions. Since I don't have all that many competitions in a year, the competition goggles don't get all that much use, so it isn't likely that anything will break. Also, the goggles I use in practice inevitably pick up crud over time that cloud the lens and that won't completely come off, so I can see better through my competition goggles. When something breaks on my practice goggles, I turn my competition goggles into practice goggles and buy new goggles for competition.