Coach Cassie,  Top Tips

Any tips on jumping in at an event?

Our resident Olympian answers your swimming questions

I’m able to dive no bother but was asked to jump in feet first at an event and I froze. I just couldn’t do it even though I’m a good swimmer. Any tips as I really felt stupid?
Sarah Galbraith

That is a hard one! Normally it is the other way around: people can’t dive into water, as it is a psychological thing. I think it might be the fear of the unknown, the fact that you were jumping into water of unknown depth and temperature.

To start getting over it you should start jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool (obviously in a safe environment where you are not going to land on anyone). That way your body and brain will start associating jumping in with safety and not panic. Do this a few times and then move outdoors and jump into the open water in a place you feel safe.

One thing I would stress is don’t jump or dive into water you do not know the depth of. I know this sounds common sense but I once jumped off a pontoon into water that was less that 1.5 metres deep and I strained the ligaments in my knee and was in pain for months!

“Swimming was my whole life for over 20 years. I poured every ounce of enthusiasm into it. I am so fortunate to have found these new outlets for that enthusiasm.”

Cassie Patten won bronze in the first ever Olympic 10km marathon swim, in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Cassie now coaches and is a frequent commentator at open water events.

Email your questions to: with the subject ‘Coach Cassie’

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