Britain's REID goes to video in search for perfect dive
EDINBURGH - In a sport where competitors have less than two seconds to complete complex movements, Grace REID (GBR) knows methodology will be more important than emotion when she returns to her childhood diving pool at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
In the final fortnight of training before the diving competition starts on Monday 6 August, the former sports science student has spent her days executing as many dives as possible and using video technology to analyse every somersault, movement and entry into the water.
"The preparation has been quite tough. We have been doing a lot of volume of dives in training," the 22-year-old Briton said. "We are all trying to get the perfect dive and it is about muscle memory.
"I watch everything back on the video replay. When you have 1.8 seconds to do three-and-a-half somersaults, there are things you don’t always pick up from how the dive felt. I have a very analytical mind and can see things visually, so the technology helps me.
"But I know some divers don’t think about it that much and have still been very successful."
REID, who won the 1m springboard title at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and was a gold medallist with world champion Tom DALEY (GBR) in the mixed 3m synchro event at the London 2016 European Championships, learned to dive at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool where the competition is taking place.
After diving off a board for the first time aged four at a small pool at Wester Hailes on the outskirts of the city, REID soon found herself training regularly at the 'Commie Pool' and studied at nearby Edinburgh University.
Now based in London, she is preparing for Glasgow 2018 at the Aquatics Centre built for the 2012 Olympic Games. The diving events have the potential to be an emotional homecoming but she is trying to keep a clear head.
"I have strong ties to Edinburgh and it's going to be fun," she said. "But this is a European championships and in that way, it doesn't matter if it is in Edinburgh or Ukraine. It's about diving well."
In the synchro event, REID has recently teamed up with 20-year-old Ross HASLAM (GBR) after Daley took a break from the sport while he and husband Dustin Lance Black prepared to have a baby. REID and HASLAM collected a world cup bronze in their first competition together in China in June.
"It is a new partnership and he is really talented," she said. "It makes it easier if you get on with your partner because of all the long hours of training."
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