Springboard and Platform Diving/Diving - Reverse Block


My 14 year old daughter just picked up diving (freshman in high school). She was a level 9 gymnast who quit end of June - issues with injury, time commitment given high school, wanting to do school sport to meet people & coach leaving lead to this decision.  She has quickly taken to diving - literally only been diving for about 7-8 weeks.  With that said, early on she was completely her reverse.  However at a meet about 4 weeks ago she scared everyone (including me) with how close she was to the board..clearly scared herself). Since that time she cannot do the reverse - dive or flip (no idea if I'm saying that properly as diving is new to us).  She goes off the board intending to do it (she knows she CAN do it) and mentally she just doesn't.  I've never seen her suffer with such a mental block although I've witnessed it with others in gymnastics.  Her coach has been taking her through a series of lead ups physical and mental to break through but hasn't has success.  As he said he's out of "coaching tricks" to break the block. Any ideas or suggestions is most welcome as she would like to continue with the sport but the reverse is required at some meets and at districts which she already qualified for.  She needs to figure it out and she wants to..but hasn't been able to.

Janet - Before I fully answer this question, I need a little bit more information on how she learned the reverse group. So please ask a follow up question with the answers to what I need to know:

1. In what position did she first learn a back dive and back somersault? When she competes, what positions does she use for these dives? Is she having any difficulty with these two dives that are related to the reverse group.

2. In what position did she first learn a reverse dive and a reverse somersault? What was the exact dive and position she used when she got too close to the board?

It could be that she learned the above dives in the wrong position for a new diver and that could be the cause of her difficulties.

I see you live in Missouri. There is an excellent coach at the University of Missouri who could help her with these problems but only if you live within 50 miles of the school (NCAA rule). If you live close to Columbia, let me know and I'll will include his contact info in my final answer.

In the meantime, I found an article on the internet that addresses mental blocks and it comes ironically from the gymnastics world. When she reads it, just substitute reverse dive for tumbling. She should also go over the article with her coach:


I look forward to helping her solve a difficulty every diver goes through.

Springboard and Platform Diving

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]