This competition in the Bahamas has produced incredible results across the board and I think there are very important lessons to be learned here. Quite apart from the physical conditions of comparatively warm, deep and current-less water, without much surface disturbance, there are other very important factors at work here.

The main one I believe is the length of the competition –10 days. This gives the divers some very substantial advantages. They can approach their maximum depth gradually, this allows some acclimatisation to pressure. In the past, last year in Greece for example, divers who had been training in the pool and achieving great results, thought that they could, with very few days training, aspire even to 3 figures in depth. Wrong!! the results were a series of dramatic blackouts, and one near fatality.

Another advantage of a long competition is psychological, you can make a mistake and have a less than perfect dive, there is time to correct it.

The next big factor is what I call “cross pollination”. The comradeship is great, without that the stress would be intolerable, and divers help each other.

Someone wrestling with for instance an equalisation problem gets help from someone that has passed that point, and suddenly his performance leaps forward. According to his own admission this is what happened to Yaron, and he has several new national records to prove it, and I believe he was not alone.

Housing all the athletes in close proximity also helps as there is the maximum interaction and exchange of information.

Another advantage is the flexibility of – “choose your dive”, allowed a greater degree of specialisation.

Accross the board far less blackouts and superb results by all. Someone bringing home a national record is not just benefitting him or herself but raising the bar in his country and presenting a challenge to all the divers in that country and demonstrating that the impossible is achievable.

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