As I train for the upcoming Deja Blue competition here in Grand Cayman I’m constantly reminded of all the helpful advice it took me to get here. I know you guys have been reading advice from me for a few months now, but a lot of what I know is a collaboration of great freediving tips from people who’ve been there before. So, with that in mind I asked some of the top freedivers in the US to give us all some of their best tips for reaching freediving greatness. Enjoy!
“You can train as hard as you want but remember, freediving is 85% mental. You’ve got to get your head straight before the body will trust you.” -Ashley Chapman, three-time US CNF National Record Holder.
Ashley recommends yoga to help with focus, but the take-away message here is to do whatever you need to build confidence in your dives. Training only does so much if you can’t go into a diving day with a sense of relaxation and focus.
“I’ve watched freedivers for over sixty years. The very best have one thing in common: They all look smooth and deliberate…beginners look like they’re in a hurry.” – Bill Graham, US Static National Record Holder
Freediving isn’t about rushing. It’s about allowing your body to reach your personal goals. That means there’s no point to hurrying, be it in a given dive or in your training. Relax, have fun and remember to enjoy the dive.
“Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and always carry a protein bar and fruit with you so that right after training, you can refuel…if you don’t keep rested, hydrated, and fed you’ll quickly be exhausted.“- Annabel Edwards, three-time World Record Holder and eight-time US National Record Holder in various disciplines
Rest is one of the hardest parts of training, but it’s also one of the most important. The benefits of training only become evident after full recovery. That means that you’ll have to sleep well and yes, even take days off, to really succeed.
Try not to take too much advice at one time. Isolate the problems you run into and deal with each individually. Don’t assume that equalizing will be an issue for you if that hasn’t been the case as of yet. Be careful not to adopt other divers’ problems as your own if you haven’t had that particular issue so far.
Now, while I agree with this advice I don’t think Bob followed it back in the day! An amazing freediver in his time, Bob broke records before we had any of the knowledge we do today. But yes, what you put into your body does have an effect on your dives so make sure to take care of yourself and to stay as healthy as possible.
Stay tuned for more great freediving tips from top freedivers at Deja Blue!