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This has been a question for me since I found out that a lot of freedivers just close their eyes when freediving. My normal way of conduct is different per discipline:
- Static – I start out with my eyes closed, but when the contractions or the boredom starts I usually open my eyes for distraction or no real reason and I’ll be looking around the pool floor.
- Dynamic with or without fins – I always have my eyes open, if I close them I’ll end up in lane 8 instead of lane 1 where I started. I did try a few times to close them, but it’s a must to re-open them every few meters to stay on track, which in my perception is not bringing extra relaxation to my game.
- Depth disciplines – I generally do not close my eyes when I freedive into the deep, but as I explained in an earlier post, this had to do with not being able to fully control or anticipate the environment variables.
Why close your eyes?
I’m aware of the fact that whenever you open your eyes, the brain gets extra stimulus on all the images it receives, so closing the eyes sounds like a good idea to have your mind relax and get along with images you control for yourself. Having said that, for me it’s feels like a mandatory thing to really know the variables from the environment I’m freediving in.
Change is good!
So, I’m willing to change my way of the game just to see how much this can help me relax and being able to get my mind at ease with this way of freediving. Over the last two weeks I started closing my eyes in the depth disciplines. As I know now how the bottom setup looks like at the 23 meter deep buoy in Panheel, it’s much easier to freedive descending with my eyes closed. I still need to get used to it and I still haven’t made a depth without ever opening my eyes.
So the next time I’ll visit the outdoors for some depth freedive training I’ll have to make a depth without opening my eyes until I resurface and see how that feels.
Your thoughts, tips or useful info?
What is your way of freediving and dealing with eyes open vs. eyes closed? Please leave your thoughts, tips or useful information in the comments below.