Freediving and the Subtle Art of ‘Mind F#cking’

Freediving and the Subtle Art of ‘Mind F#cking’

Untitled-1Nothing  terrifies a freediver more than round numbers. A 59 metre dive? Not a problem! 60 metres? Oh, that’s deep…

Freediving is so often referred to as a sport that is more mental than physical and many athletes develop tricks to manipulate their own minds when they are uneasy about a dive. Freediving instructors have a very similar repertoire of tricks that they use to manipulate, put to ease or in short ‘mind fuck’ their students.

A friend of mine was struggling to reach 40 metres depth, consistently turning around at 38 metres and telling me he was having trouble equalising his ears (the classic excuse in freediving.)  I knew him well and knew that he was just afraid to do the dive. So the next time we went diving I told him, “I’ll set the line to 38 metres. Forget about 40 metres today, just enjoy the dives.” Little did he know that I had actually set the line to…40 metres.

Surprise surprise, he easily reached the bottom and returned with ease to the surface. The bewildered look on his face was priceless when he looked at his descent websitedive computer and saw that magic number: 40. At first he didn’t notice the twinkle in my eye that said, ‘that’s right…mind fuck.’

I have been known to mind fuck myself as well. When training ‘no fin’ dives (breast stroke down and up) the swim up can be daunting, nothing to assist you in your ascent and a whole lot of water between you and the surface. So often what I do is tell myself over and over that the dive actually finishes at the bottom, that there is no swim up. Of course when I do reach the bottom and have to swim back up I yell abuse at myself. I don’t like being lied to, you see.

It’s much the same when I mentally shave metres off the training dives.’ No, no, no,’ I tell myself. ‘I’m not diving to 90 metres today. This is just an easy 75 metre dive’

You cannot mind fuck people that you’re training too often otherwise they’ll stop trusting you. Sometimes I worry that I’ll stop trusting myself. That the diving part of my brain will one day tell me, ‘no! I know exactly how deep that line is and I don’t trust you anymore’ But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Related Tag: Freediving Sydney

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Alon
6 years ago

In my training dive i tell myself “the dive start at the bottom plate”

Alon
6 years ago

In my deep training dives i tell myself that “the dive start at the bottom plate”.
Maybee its less tricky for the mind…

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Britt Grimm (underwaterwednesday)
Britt Grimm (underwaterwednesday)
6 years ago

I was a gymnast for many years as a child on into adulthood, and the first time I ever did a back tuck (standard back flip, no hands), my coach kept saying he thought I was ready, but I insisted on being spotted. So he stood there and acted like he was going to help me over and at the last second, when it was too late, I did it by myself and might not have ever had the courage to try it TRULY “on my own.” Amazing what a mind fuck can accomplish! I don’t think I could lie… Read more »

Serena
Serena
6 years ago

I really like the fact how freediving teaches us that if our mental is stronger we can control the physical parts of our bodies. But fear is also good in a way we keep pushing ourselves slowly.