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Springboard and Platform Diving/professional and college diving


what does it take to be a college diver and a professional diver?

Kate -

I'll answer this in two parts and start with the college diver part first:

The first thing it takes to be a college diver is to have the grades, core classes and good SAT score to be eligible by the standards set by the NCAA. All high school students who want to dive in college must obtain an eligibility number. Go to and click on
'Register to become a student athlete'.

The second thing a prospective college diver needs is a good list of optional dives. In college diving events, divers only do the harder dives consisting of multiple somersaulting and twisting dives with high degree of difficulty. College coaches, especially Division I coaches, recruit high school age divers based on how well they do in club meets. These meets are primarily run by USA Diving at the junior Olympic and senior level. Some events are under the direction of the A.A.U. Divers need a proven track record in these types of meets from the time they are age 15 to 18. Go to or for more info.

Professional diving in the US is very small and consists of only the most elite level divers who have completed their college diving career. These divers receive stipend money from the national governing body to supplement their income.Some of these divers compete on an international level for prize money awarded by FINA the international governing body for aquatic sports. Other professional divers include divers who join water shows which are mainly in  the summer. Cirque Du Soleil is another company that hires former divers for their water show called 'O'. They recruit only the most elite Olympic level divers in the world Then there is the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series consisting of former 10 meter platform divers who try out every year to see if they are good enough to dive from 26 meters. They win prize money based on how they finish at different meets held all over the world.

Try this website for more info on college diving:  - enter college diving in the search box and read articles about college diving.

Hope all this helps.

Springboard and Platform Diving

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Tom Trapp


I can answer any questions pertaining to all levels of springboard and platform diving including : beginner lessons, intermediate, advanced, high school, Junior Olympic, AAU, Masters (Adult), Collegiate and Senior diving. Questions about training, technique, competitions, dryland training including trampoline and dry board.I can answer questions about how to judge/referee diving events.Also questions about how run, direct and administrate all different types of diving meets from novice events through Olympic Trials.I am also available as a consultant and expert witness for legal cases involving diving. I cannot answer questions about swimming (how to dive off a starting block) or SCUBA diving.


3 time U.S. Diving National Team Coach. Coached World, International and National Junior Olympic individual and team champions. Collegiate level experience (Junior College and Division I).Chairman, U. S. Diving Region 10 and Northern California Diving Associations. Professional diving referee, judge and meet director including U.S. Diving Junior and Senior Nationals, National Qualifying events and Division I collegiate events including the 2010 Men's NCAA Division I Diving Championships. Head Referee for the Big 12 and ACC Conference Diving Championships.Competition Director for past NCAA Men's Division I Nationals and numerous Pac 10 Conference Championships.In 2010, attended the FINA Junior Olympic World Diving Championships to take the International Judging Certification Class which was successfull completed.

U.S. Diving. AAU Diving. Professional Diving Coaches Association. FINA.

B.S. in Recreation and California Teaching Credential in Physical Education/Aquatics. U.S. Diving Safety Certified Coach.

Awards and Honors
U.S. Diving National Award of Excellence. Northern California Diving Association Coach of the Year. U.S. Diving Region 10 Coach of the Year

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