Springboard and Platform Diving/gymnastics to diving
QUESTION: My girl (14 yrs old) was level 10 gymnast. Last August, she had a terrible accident on bars and broke both her right tibia and fibula. She did not give up and continue to train her strength during recovery. After all, she finally agreed to retire after her second surgery. She took my advise to try diving and she has been doing it for 3 months. She practices 3 times a week and she is moving along really well with her skills. Her coach is outstanding (SAD). She competed her first 14-15 yrs old group and attended a diving camp up at UMASS last weekend and she loves it. She would like to do diving in college but her high school does not have a pool and no diving team. I am trying to look for more training for her (I have signed her up 2 weeks at IU summer camp). Please advise how to make her dream comes true to advance her skills and possibly college diving. Thank you.
ANSWER: Siu - I think I can help you with your concerns about your daughters diving but I need a little more information first. I need to know the city/state or zip code that you live in so I can advise you about what is available where you live. I do not understand the phrase " Her coach is outstanding (SAD)" What does SAD mean? What year in school is she? You state that she competed in her first 14-15 meet but I do not know at what level (novice, intermediate or junior olympic) and what events she dived in. Does she just dive on the one meter (low board) or does she also dive 3 meter? Is she diving in USA Diving events or AAU? The more information you can give me the more I can help. I look forward to you asking a follow up question with these answers. Thank you.
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QUESTION: Thank you for your super fast response. We live in Suffield, CT. Springfield Area Diving (SAD) is where she is practicing. She is 14 and in 9th grade because she started school a year early. She competed twice, Novice (1meter) and JO (both 1meter and 3 meter). Her club is AAU and coach Pete is awesome. Comparing to gymnastics (4 hours each practice), Pete really makes this sport no pressure at all - 3 times a week and 1.5 hours per practice. With her gymnastics background, she is progressing really fast. However, with no opportunity to practice more like some other clubs, plus she has no high school diving team, I'm afraid that she may not be able to make it (on time) to try college diving. Last weekend at UMASS camp, my daughter first met coach Mandy. She said my daughter is very talented and is very workable (takes directions well and corrects mistakes fast - same comments as her gymnastics coach). I know that Pete and Mandy have no intention to run any camp this summer. Pete will only offer regular practice. Where should she go? I am also not sure would it be confusing to train with different coaches if she trains at different places. Thank you.
Now that I have some additional information, I'll give you some advice about her diving future.
1. Do not concern yourself with her not having a swimming/diving to join in high school. College coaches don't really look at what a diver does in high school because it is one meter only. College coaches look at how well you compete in club meets. AAU Diving is good but she'll need to start competing in USA Diving events at the Junior Olympic level.These meets include Regional, Zone and National events. They look for divers that are good at both the one meter and three meter events and in some cases, platform. They look to see how well a diver does the harder optional dives in difficult meets. While she will miss out on the fun experience of high school diving, it will not affect her recruitment by college coaches.
2. Mandy Hixon at UMASS is an excellent coach. Her son Michael is one of the best male divers in the US and has a very good chance at making this years Olympic Team. Anytime you can spend with her training will be to her advantage. If you want to find out about other programs in your area, there are some websites you can go to to look up contact info. I list those sites at the end of my answer.
3. The most important thing I can tell you about getting her ready for college is academic. If she is as successful at diving as she was at gymnastics, it will only mean something if she has taken the right high school classes, has a good grade point average and does well at college entrance exams. Go to www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future. Download the Guide For The College Bound Athlete. Also look under Eligibility Standards, Student Athlete Pages, Grade Point Average, Test Scores and Core Courses. If she is not taking the right courses for her next 3 years of high school, she will not be eligible to be on a college team. I can't stress this enough as she has to have an eligibility number for a college coach to contact her.
I am sure you are familiar with the divemeets.com website. College coaches will look up her competitive history at this site. They will look to see her results of major diving events over the next 3 years. At this site, your daughter should look up the results of past events in her area to see the type of dives girls in her age group are doing and the scores they are getting. She can also see the results of collegiate events to get an idea of what you have to do in Division I, II or III level events. You can also find other programs at this site by clicking on Find and then Teams or Pools. The teams page is very, very long but you can navigate your way to finding teams in your state. When you look under Pools, a list of aquatic centers that host major meets will come up. If a pool hosts a major event you can bet they have a diving team there. You can also go to www.usadiving.com, click on Membership and then Find A Club. Just enter MA and a list of teams will come up. An old friend of mine, Tracey Bird, is an excellent and very successful coach. She might be someone you want to contact if her program is close to you.
One more website to go to is thedivingnetwork.com. Have your daughter check out some instructional videos done by college coaches as well as other educational resources.
Good luck. Hope all this helps.