Slot switchers! How fun! But now you have to learn another slot; how often should you be training in your b slot?
For those unfamiliar, several blocks in the open (AAA) dive pool switch your position relative to your teammates when done efficiently. After switching, you will proceed in this secondary slot until you do the block again and switch back. Your main slot is your A slot – and the one you do most of the time. Your B slot is your alternate slot.
How Much Time
First, your B slot will probably not be as strong as your A slot. Of course, you might be lucky and experienced in your b slot, but even with familiarity, the alternate combination will not be as confident as your A slot.
Spend about as much time training your B slot as you expect to experience at a competition. You can adjust the amount a little upwards for confidence, but generally, invest as much as you would experience in a random draw. After all, you wouldn’t typically train one block way out of proportion to the others.
So how often do slot switchers come up? I’m making rough assumptions, and I used the brute force method by generating 50 random 4-way draws. (If one of you fantastical Fury fans wants to work the real math, I’m happy to update the article. Also, if someone wants to do it for 8way, I’ll include that too!)
For the back piece, switchers are 5 and 17. About 17% of rounds in a 10 round draw will have one or the other, but not both.
For the front piece, switchers are 3, 5, 10, 12, 16, 17. I’m not counting optional switching or un-switching from 4, 19, or 22. That gives you roughly 37% switching through 10 rounds.
BUT, that doesn’t mean you are actually in your B slot all that time. Depending on your average, you’ll be in B slot every other page – so between 33%-50% of the time physically doing the other slot.
So the back piece can expect about 8.5% in time Bs, the front piece about 18.5%.
To deal with the unfamiliarity, fake it till’ you make it. Give yourself pretend confidence when doing the other slot, and that assertiveness will produce your best results. Acting the part will have a positive effect and keep you from feeling tentative.
Focus on the build and close for blocks
In competition, focus on keeping the amount of mental detail low on the B slot. It is easy to get over technical, which will lead to too much analysis. Instead, focus on broad strokes – a great build and making the close. Trust your inner rockstar to handle the details.
A Slot Inspires B Speed
When you train to switch, let the speed of the A page’ bleed” into the B pages. Let the confidence in your primary slot define the pace on the secondary page. The B Page may get dominantly tentative if you don’t, negatively affecting the A page pace.
Don’t Sweat – Everybody Switches
Finally, all the teams have the same dives. But, of course, they are dealing with switching too, so take heart in that you are on equal footing!
Train your switchers proportionately to what you will experience in a draw. Then, to do your best switching work, fake confidence, focus on the big picture stuff, and bring the A page speed to your B page. Switchers are a great and exciting challenge; embrace them!