Springboard and Platform Diving/fron take offs


I coach a high school girl's team.  None of my divers do any outside diving besides summer competitions.  This entire group is having trouble standing up on their hurdles.  Every dive goes out!  I have tried standing front jump tucks, standing front dive tucks,one step hurdle jumps and front dives tuck but when we add the additional steps their reach is gone and thus the dive falls off the board.  Unfortunately, their back takeoffs are not much better:(  In over 30 years of high school coaching this is the first group that has stumped me!  Any ideas for quick results as our season has five weeks left?

Shell -

While I do not know any quick results in diving, I do have a few suggestions:

1. In the front and back group, remind your divers that their center of gravity will always follow where the top of the head is pointing. So on a front dive, if the top of their head is pointing at a severe angle, they will definitely go too far out. Have them think about where their head is at take off time.

2. Tell them that the first two or three steps are just used to get to the one step hurdle they are good at. When they get near the end of the board, have them slow down and focus on the last step. It could also be that their last step before the hurdle is too short. That will make them go out for sure. A longer last step could help.

One thing that I used to do to help solve this problem was to make a game out of who could be the closest to where you want them to land. Take an object found at the pool (I used to use an orange cone)and place it 3 or 4 feet from the tip on the deck. This is their target landing area. Then take a common garden hose with a nozzle that shoots out a straight and narrow spray. Place it on the deck about 8 feet from the tip and shoot the spray out. Secure it with a weight. Now have each diver pick their own marker (like their synthetic chamois) and give them to you. The object of the game is to see who can land closest to the cone or even closer to the tip but still a safe distance. You place their marker where they land. If they hit the hose spray, they know they have gone too far out. I use this game at the end of practice and the person closest to the cone after each round gets to be done with workout. If you make it fun, they will like it.

In the back group I use another game. It is called 'Touch the Tip'. Divers do a back jump straight, and when their shoulder is at the same height as the tip, they reach out and try to touch the tip with either hand. The winner is the one who touches it. This is a safe skill because they just touch the tip - not hit it.

Good luck. 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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