Springboard and Platform Diving/College Diving

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Question
I'm a senior and I'll be attending Dartmouth College in the fall. I dove my freshman year for high school and club, but minor injuries (strained muscles, rotator cuff tendinitis, nothing too major), pushed me to switch to swimming for my sophomore and junior season. As a senior, I started diving again and felt that my body could handle club diving again. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle (possible hairline fracture) and that kept me out of training for a month, in addition to strep/sickness that kept me out for another month. I've been working with my coach to get my list back, but I've really just been working the basics to prevent further injury. I was wondering (given that Dartmouth, despite being Division 1, does not have the most intense program), if it would be possible for me to walk on to the team. Would a coach be willing to take on a diver with strong fundamentals/conditioning who is lacking somewhat in degree of difficulty? I've only resumed a full training schedule this week, but I was wanted to know what kind of list I should get by summer at minimum given my situation.

Answer
Anya -

The first thing you need to do if you have not done so already is to obtain an NCAA Eligibility Number. Any student who wants to be on an NCAA Division team must have gone through a clearinghouse to determine if you are academically eligible to dive. Since the school has accepted you, I am sure that you have the qualifying GPA and SAT score but you still have to go through the procedure of proving your eligibility or else a coach cannot consider you for team membership. Just Google: 'NCAA Eligibility Center' and follow the steps necessary to get a number.

Once you have this number, contact the diving coach at Dartmouth and ask if he or she is accepting walk-ons. The reason you should do this is because unlike high school where there can be an unlimited number of teams members, in college, they are limited as to the number of divers they can have on a team. This number varies from school to school and is dependent on the head swim coach and how many swimmers they have. If they are not accepting walk-ons, ask if you can 'red shirt' your freshman year. This is an old school term where an athlete only practices with the team and does not compete in any meets. This is a common practice and may be the best thing for you if you are unsure about being ready your first year.

If it all works out and you know you can be a member of the team, ask me a follow up question and I'll answer the part about what kind of list you should attain.

Good luck. Hope all this helps.

P.S. - When you contact the coach I would not mention any of the physical problems you have experienced. If the coach thinks you are banged up diver prone to illness they may not be interested. Just focus on the positive aspects you can bring to the team.

Springboard and Platform Diving

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Tom Trapp

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Education/Credentials
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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