1. Don’t begin by launching yourself off a towering lakeside cliff. Start very low, like off the side of a pool, then work up. (You should really try this with a spotter, and obviously, never dive into shallow water—nine feet deep or less is considered shallow.)
2. Stand with your heels hanging off the edge, weight on the balls of your feet, arms extended above your head.
3. Slowly arch your back. Only when you actually start to fall should you throw yourself backwards, keeping your arms straight and your toes pointed.
4. Try to keep your eyes open so you can watch the water approaching. This will help keep your head pointing down with your body following straight.
5. Do this a little faster each time, until you’ve omitted the falling part and you’re just jumping backwards into the dive