Ellie Good Shares How She Handles Worry as a Cliff Diver


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Although she could also be an expert cliff diver, Ellie Good swears she’s not an adrenaline junkie. “It makes me terrified,” she admits. “If you happen to put me up on a 20-meter platform proper now on this second, I would not do it.”

For her, attending to a spot the place she will confidently try a harmful dive takes meticulous psychological prep. “We have now a saying in cliff diving: If you happen to’re not afraid, you should not do it,” Good says. She factors out that concern is a pure physiological response to hazard that protects us by heightening our consciousness and growing our adrenaline. “There is a stage of concern that is actually essential to have,” says Good, 26, who fell in love with sports activities psychology as a collegiate diver at UC Berkeley, then went on to get her grasp’s diploma in sports activities and train science with an emphasis on human efficiency.

She says that the trick to harnessing concern in order that it is useful is just not letting it get to the purpose the place you spiral right into a rabbit gap of “what ifs,” which can enhance your probabilities of making a mistake. “Having concern, however controlling that concern is essential in our sport,” she says.

Good’s already began the method of getting her nerves in test for her subsequent massive dive, developing on June 4. So long as the situations cooperate, she’ll seemingly be trying essentially the most troublesome dive ever completed by a feminine competitor, whereas leaping off of Boston’s Institute of Modern Artwork into the Boston Harbor. It is the primary cease of the 2022 Crimson Bull Cliff Diving World Collection, and Good is the one American lady on the everlasting roster.

So how does she get her thoughts in the proper place to tackle what some take into account the “unique excessive sport?”

Her primary technique for managing concern

Good trains commonly at an Olympic diving pool with a 10-meter excessive platform, however lots of her dives are from 20 meters or greater. A lot of her coaching takes place inside her head. “Visualization is large,” she says.

Beginning a minimum of a few weeks earlier than a significant competitors, she’ll begin setting apart time to shut her eyes and envision herself stepping out onto the platform. She’ll image precisely what a bounce will seem like, and take into consideration the way it will really feel in her physique. That means, when it is time to do the precise dive throughout a contest, it’ll virtually really feel like she already did it. “It isn’t so international,” she says.

Analysis has proven that visualizing your self succeeding can have a optimistic influence on efficiency, and it is a technique that may work for anybody earlier than a giant occasion—whether or not that is racing a marathon or giving a significant work presentation. “Visualization is likely one of the strongest strategies for reaching optimum efficiency as a result of it instantly impacts our neurology that’s important for speedy, fluid execution of motor abilities, managing feelings, and coping with stress,” Eric Bean, PhD, CMPC, govt board member of Affiliation for Utilized Sports activities Psychology, beforehand informed Effectively+Good.

Primarily, imagining a situation vividly sufficient prompts the identical neural patterns as doing the exercise. The extra senses you possibly can contain (enthusiastic about what it seems to be like, what it seems like, what it smells like, and many others), the extra powerfully this system will work.

What it takes to quiet the thoughts

Everyone knows how briskly our minds can race within the hours earlier than doing one thing anxious. Good stays centered by avoiding Instagram or the rest that reminds her of “real-life stuff.” She places on her headphones to chop out the remainder of the world by listening to the identical tune on repeat. (Throughout her final competitors, it was Justin Beiber’s “Ghost.”)

Though she used to keep away from breathwork (“I do not know why, however I hate when individuals inform me to breathe,” she says, with amusing), Good now recommends it as a means to assist calm the nervous system. Her go-to approach is one her coach taught her referred to as field respiration: She breathes in for the rely of two, then out for the rely of two, which she repeats whereas envisioning a field with a special facet lighting up on every in or out breath.

The ability of taking a second for your self

Lastly, Good facilities herself with a pre-competition ritual that will get her in a wholesome headspace. “I all the time go and simply sit on the fringe of platform, look down and take a second of appreciation for the place I’m and what I’m doing,” she says. “For me, that second is sort of like simply accepting the concern and the hazard that comes with the game I do. But in addition reminding myself that this isn’t one thing new—I’ve been diving since I used to be 5 years outdated. I’ve put the hours in on the pool and the fitness center, and I do know what I’m doing.”

It isn’t solely a reminder of how ready she is, but additionally a second of gratitude for the chance to do one thing she loves.

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