A Unique Sport
Freediving is a unique sport. To dive deeper, you will need to achieve a symbiotic connection between your body and mind. You can train your technique until you achieve a flawless duck dive and perfect finning. You can spend countless hours taming your urge to breathe and your hypoxic response. You will still be limited if you do not approach your dives with the right mindset.
A lot of coaches around talk about relaxation. This Mysterious concept has become a universal excuse for inexperienced instructors to explain why you turn early. There is way more to decipher, and accepting this too simplistic explanation will result in a significant progress slowdown.
Yes, relaxation is essential. Body and mind should be free of any tension. But that does not explain how to achieve it. A deep feeling of relaxation will come with self-confidence. Just when you won’t doubt achieving your goal, you will reach this ecstatic state where everything seems possible. Before even thinking about it, there is a lot of hard work to behold. So never forget that there is no courage without fear, and without sacrifice, there is no reward.
Training, repeating the depth to master it is, of course, crucial. But to avoid making the same mistake again and again, to break through every plateau fast, one thing has to be crystal clear in your “low oxygen freediver mind”: Be Honest. Honest with yourself, honest with your coach if you have one.
I am not talking about a low-level honesty that will push you to give the same average answer. “I turned early because I could not equalize” or “ I swallow my mouthfill” or “I was not damned relaxed.” This will solve nothing but will keep you in an illusion where the simple answer you always give will not fix a problem you never really understood.
Time to dig
It is time to dig, and here is the shovel: Three little letters which will change your game: W.H.Y?
Why could you not equalize? Why did you swallow your mouthfill? Why were you not relax? Why did you turn back?
Maybe you could not equalize because you were tense. Why were you tense? Perhaps you were scared. Why? Perhaps you are afraid of darkness or cold. Keep exploring with an open mind. Keep facing your truth. It is the only one that really counts.
A way to remove this obstacle could be to attach a torch on your hoodie or train your cold adaptation with ice baths and cold showers. You will find if you honestly look into it, resulting in constant progress.
Go deeper inside yourself
The solutions which end fixing problems are different for everybody. But be sure that looking inside yourself without ego will help you resolve any issues in your freediving game. Whether it is your technique that needs to be perfected, your equalization, your ability to hold your breath longer, or simply the fear of going deeper, you will find the answer because now you ask yourself the right question.