Hi everyone, today I would like to tell you about one of the most interesting stages in which I have taken part: Psychological preparation for Freediving and competitions held by Marina Kazankova from 25-29 July 2016 at Katabasis Freediving Center.
The stage began with a small presentation from Marina and the participants about the stage program in order to give a clear idea of what would be encountered during the following days. The activity schedule was composed as follows: breakfast, theory session, sea session, lunch, afternoon theory session and de-briefing.
After the presentations we were then guided during a relaxation session in order to help prepare the body and mind for the first dive sessions at sea which were a series of 5 dives in FIM with a stop at the bottom, all based entirely on listening to sensations during the dive.
It was very interesting to learn the approach of this ‘Mermaid’, who always being present during dives was immediately able to create a feeling between all of the participants. Each dive was followed by feedback, and it was great to see how she helped participants to analyse only the positive aspects of their performance, overloooking any traces of negativity.
During the first afternoon session Marina introduced the concept of deconcentration and listed the various ways in which it would be used during the stage: visual deconcentration, audio deconcentration and somatic deconcentration. I won’t hide the fact that at the beginning we were slightly sceptical insofar as deconcentration seemed rather theoretical. Obviously we were wrong!
The following morning we started the theory session after breakfast with a really nice visual deconcentration exercise that basically allows you to spread your attention throughout your entire visual field. It was amazing to notice that by following her instructions our minds were able to calm down and prepare a state of listening.
The same effect was also spotted with the other deconcentration methods, but the most interesting thing was noticing the progression during exercises, i.e. entering this deconcentrative state became much easier and more satisfying!
The results of this new psychological state did not during the corse of the day delay any dives at sea, which became increasingly longer, more fun and obviously much deeper! Most of the group were saying that it was incredibly easy to stay under water maintaining a state of totally letting go!
There were also educational moments relating to technique. Stretching and breathing sessions during which we had learnt the daily routine to allow our bodies to become flexible and help maintain a good level of fitness even when not having the possibility to go that often to the sea.
In conclusion, I must say that this stage has been really useful and interesting and I can highly recommend it to freedivers of any level who feel the need to experiment with a new approach to the sea.
Thanks Marina, we’ll see you again next summer for a new adventure…