Freediving With Your Head
What are the psychological strategies for freediving? Recently, I (Clinton Laurence) was interviewed by the Gold Coast Bulletin (Saturday June 23, 2018) about how psychology might help to run the Gold Coast Marathon in an article titled “Running with your head”. I think many of the points discussed in this article apply to freedivers. In many ways freediving is more of a head or mental sport than marathon running. I think the following psychological strategies can be useful in freediving:
- The use of dissociation(or distraction) and association (focused on actual performance) strategies in all breath holding and freediving activities.
- Segmenting performance in freediving to divide performance into critical parts – the start, kicking to freefall, freefalling, the turn, the ascent, and the surface protocol.
- Developing your dive plan based on segmenting.
- Visualisation of your dive, especially the night before a competition.
- The use of key words to tune into emotional states (e.g., “let go of tension”, “relax”, “steady pace”).
I have also attached the Gold Coast Bulletin article “Running with your head” for interested readers (simply click on the title):