Go to any sports website or YouTube channel. If it has any content on diving, you will see it: “Diving is a sport that...” Well, okay. That is fair. Diving certainly is a way to do physical activity. But does it truly deserve the title of a sport? Bodybuilding is also considered a sport, but many people scoff at that claim.
So what makes diving deserve that title? Let us take a look...
What is diving, anyway?
Officially, diving is a water sport with a long history. The basic premise of the sport is for an athlete to jump into a deep body of water from a board or other high surface. Under official competition rules, judges observe each dive, rate it based on its performance and beauty, and the best-scoring divers win the medals.
It has become quite popular, and many athletes choose to practice it. Diving is also a sport in the Summer Olympics, having been first introduced way back in 1904. The US leads in the number of medals won with 49 gold, 44 silver, and 45 bronze.
But what are Sports any why is diving considered one?
To get down to the core of today’s question, we feel it is essential first to understand what a sport is. After that, we can conclude whether or not we consider diving to deserve the title. The dictionary defines sport as follows:
An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
So far, so good. Unless competitors have to do something once they land in water, diving should maybe not really be considered a sport. But here is another thing worth nothing from the dictionary: Entertainment; fun.
Ah, we almost had ruled it out, didn’t we? Though some may not want to admit it, diving is a sport because it covers some of the official criteria outlined above. Specifically, people or teams compete against one another for the entertainment of others.
Of course, nothing stops you from referring to diving as a sport (by modern definitions), but know that some people might take issue with that.
How can diving become more sporty?
The act of diving itself is not that intense or energetically costly, why most probably would have assumed diving is no sport. Even professional divers burn a handful of calories in official competitions.
With that said, becoming a good diver is not just about the act of jumping into a body of water. You also need to take care of your overall athleticism and capabilities. You need to train well, warm-up before workouts and competitions, and cool down effectively. All of these contribute to the overall dynamic of diving and push it closer to sport status.
For instance, a full-body dynamic warm-up routine is vital for diving training because the activity involves a range of muscle groups. Fantastic movements include jumping jacks, jump squats, leg swings, arm circles, torso twists, and more.
Traditional strength training can also benefit divers because it strengthens the entire body and teaches different muscle groups how to work together. Strength training is particularly beneficial for the core - the muscle group that plays a considerable role in whole-body balance, coordination, and strength.