Snorkeling - Pool games to play with basic kit
Once the skills of using mask, fins and snorkel have been mastered there is a need to offer activities, which are fun but also, continue the development of basic waterman ship competence. It is also a great way in keeping a good level of fitness.
“Octopush” is underwater hockey and is a supreme aerobic game. It was invented in the early 1950s by sub-aqua divers in Southsea, in the UK, who got bored just swimming up and down pool lanes to get fit. The game is now played worldwide. Underwater hockey is fast, furious, and fun ... and you can join in.
Players wear the basic equipment of a mask, snorkel, fins, and water polo hat. They hold a small stick, about the size of a spatula, in a gloved hand. The idea of the game is to use the stick to push the 1.2 kilogram puck into the opposing team's goal, which consists of a three-meter tray at the opposing end of a 25-metre pool.
Today Octopush is a global non-contact sports. For more information about how to play Octopush and the rules please go to this link
Fin swimming - single or mono fin offers competitive racing either on the surface or underwater over distances of 100 - 1500 meters.
This skill can start from solo sharing by passing the snorkel behind your back with face immersed in water, refit, clear, take a breath and repeat. A game may develop of sharing between two or more snorkelers, static initially and then on the move. Try out different patterns of passing the snorkel around. The maximum achieved in this skill is two passes around six people in a circle in the shallows. Can you do better?
This may be a single or two-team game. Place two suitable lightweights on the bottom of the pool about one meter apart. Performing surface dives, each member of the team dives and moves the rear weight in front of the leading weight thus leapfrogging it.
In this fashion the two objects move from one end of the pool to the other and back either, as a race or simply as an exercise. This is a very effective skill for improving surface-dive technique, working up to deeper dives or just improving pre dive-season fitness.
Weight belt removal
This exercise is performed by barrel rolling out of a fitted weight belt and then diving to perform the same maneuver but refitting the belt. Take care to remain horizontal underwater, facing down and with the weights on your back. This makes refastening the quick release buckle much easier. Ensure that the weights are placed onto the pool bottom and not dropped, and that they are of an appropriate weight for the student.
Multiple Mask Clearing
This is a great confidence booster. In shallow water wearing mask only start by breathing out through the nose underwater and show how bubbles dispel from the nose socket. This is best achieved by applying pressure to the top of the mask and tilting the head back.
Then try allowing a little water into the mask, without the head strap in place, and expel by exhaling via the nose. Next, try rocking the mask away from the forehead to fill it then replace, apply pressure and clear. With practice as many as 15 or 16 clears may be achieved with one breath.
This skill not only develops confidence, but also teaches the student to be economical with air during mask clearing.
Inverted mask clearing
An interesting variation on multiple mask clearing. This technique requires a complete reversal of the conventional skill when pressure is applied to the lower part of the mask and the chin is pushed towards the chest.
Various objects may be suspended in the pool, such as weighted hoops and bars to form an obstacle course. This is best run as a two-team game and is an excellent way of finishing a training session.