Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Jar of Coins - A Slush Fund For Diving Coaches!

Seems like nearly every day you come home with some coins in your pocket and I have a simple idea for diving coaches to create a little slush fund for your diving team (or yourself).

Get a one gallon jar with a lid (a large pickle jar is what I use). I cut a slit in the metal lid large enough for coins to fit. At the end of each day, I put whatever coins I have in my pocket into the jar. Every once in a while I clean out the "coin tray" in my car and add those to the jar of coins. I added a sticker to the side of the jar in order to mark the start date and the end date and the amount received when I cash them in. (The end date is the day I take the coins to the bank to dump them into the counting machine). It usually takes me 17-20 months to fill the jar to the top.

I have filled my jar FOUR times over the past 6-8 years and never has there been less than $325.00 in the jar. The most recent time, there was just under $400.00 in the jar! To save money on counting of the coins, avoid the counting machines found at local grocery stores -- they charge a whopping 9% of your total to count your coins! Check with your local bank to see if they have a counting machine at your branch or perhaps a nearby location. If you have an account at that bank, there is usually NO fee to use the machine and count your coins. The machine can count the coins almost as fast as you can dump them into the opening.

This is a quick and easy way to build up a little money for your team (or yourself) one day at a time!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Love of Lessons!

I have been teaching diving lessons for 30 years now and I still very much enjoy it! The reasons are many -- here are a few:

  • BIG FUN!
  • Low pressure.
  • Allows you to focus on the fundamentals.
  • Keeps you "grounded" (Yes, I know you can teach a back armstand twister from the 10M Platform -- but when was the last time you taught "Terrified Timmy" a front flip off the 1M Springboard!)
  • Keeps your creative juices flowing (refer to bullet point above -- sometimes you REALLY need to think outside of the box!)
  • Equally satisfying when "Little Non-athlete Johnny" learns a (simple) dive he never dreamed possible as when "Superstar Athlete" learns a "big trick" off 3M or 10M.
  • The smiles on the faces of the divers!
  • The smiles on the faces of the appreciative parents!
  • Helping to build self-confidence in young children.
  • Self-esteem boosting!
  • Teaching life lessons is never a bad thing!
  • Letting kids know that failure is okay and the greatest success comes in simply trying again!
Wishing you a SAFE and SUCCESSFUL Diving Season!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

World's Newest Diving Board!

If you were lucky enough to attend the 2013 USA Diving Winter Nationals at the University of Texas -- you might have been one of the few to get a glimpse of the world's newest diving board. It was made in Venezuela but can now be found in Miami, Florida and is available in two models -- English and Spanish. What is the name of the world's newest diving board?

Scroll Down!

It is called The "DARIOflex"!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Interesting question -- who DOES win a diving meet?

Is it the diver who does the hardest dives?
Is it the diver with the best toe point?
Is it the diver who spins the fastest when somersaulting?
Is it the diver who is the best "twister"?
Is it the diver who is most consistent?
Is it the diver who get the highest judges' scores?
Is it the diver with the coolest suit?
Is it the most popular diver in the contest?
Is it the diver who jumps the highest off the diving board?
Is it the diver with the best RIP entry?
Is it a combination of these and other attributes?

Well, the answer is rather simple -- the winner of the diving meet is the person who scores the most points!! Your job as a diving coach is to formulate a plan to help your diver put together the best list of dives in the best order that will give them the best chance to score the most points when the competition is over. If you can do this -- your diver will be the winner.

Now the hard part -- how do you do that? It certainly takes Determination, time and hard work. You certainly need an athlete who ready willing and able to commit the time and work necessary. You need supportive parents of the diver  to get them to and from practices and competitions. You also need a quality facility with good equipment  and you definitely need access to some dry land training as well as a video playback system.

Finally, you certainly need some luck on your side!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Doing Our Part

At Springboards and More, "Every Day is a GREAT DAY for Diving"! Our mission is to provide you and your diving team with the finest springboard and platform diving equipment available. At the same time, we strive to be friendly to the environment and we work hard to minimize the waste that we produce.  We feel that protecting the environment is the responsibility of every person and we try to do our part -- no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Here are just a few of the things we do at Springboards and More:

* We do NOT print a paper catalog nor do any type of mass mailing of coupons, etc.  -- everything is on-line and available to you 24 / 7 / 365 from any computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone in the world!
* We do not print and pack written instructions for the items you purchase -- rather we make them available on our website or send them as an email attachments with your Sales Receipt.
* Unless you require otherwise, we always email invoices, statements and quotes to save paper, envelopes and postage.
* We reuse boxes and packing materials for parts and supplies that are shipped to us. (We figure you do not care if the order you receive from us is in a new box or a used box -- so why throw away a perfectly good box when it can be used again)!
* We re-use the daily newspaper and other similar items to pack and ship your orders. 
* After completing any diving board installation or repair job, we separate and recycle all the old bolts, nuts, washers and packaging materials.
* We take cracked or worn out diving boards to the local fire department and let the new firefighters gain experience cutting metal (to simulate opening a metal roof) with their high powered saws -- then we recycle all the cut pieces at the local scrap yard.
* All of these things help us to not only reduce the waste we produce but also reduce our costs which allows us to keep our prices low.

Just like every extra half point you get from a diving judge makes a difference in the end -- if everybody did just a little -- it would add up to a lot at the end of the day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

So, Your New "Cheeseboard" Does NOT Fit Your Stand!?!?

You are all excited because your High School or Summer Swim Club ordered a new "Cheeseboard" and it just arrived from the factory. You are an experienced and savvy diving board customer so of course you know to INSPECT the diving board upon arrival by opening the box to look for any shipping damage in the presence of the driver. As is usually the case, no shipping damage has occurred so now you enthusiastically install the new "Cheeseboard" and much to your shock and dismay -- IT DOES NOT FIT! The fulcrum will only roll back to about the "7" on the number strip and even worse -- if you roll the fulcrum all the forward, it rolls OFF the rubber channels and onto the unprotected metal of the diving board in front of the "1" on the number strip. HOW COULD THIS BE?

There is a simple explanation for what has occurred. The diving stand that you have installed now was originally installed to accept the non-competition model diving board (aka the 16' Duraflex Board). The board you just purchased is the competition model diving board (aka the 16' Modified Maxiflex Model B "Cheeseboard"). If you were to lay a 16' Duraflex Diving Board next to a 16' Maxiflex Model B "Cheeseboard" (upside down) the first thing you would notice is the rubber channels on the underside of the "Cheeseboard" are 5.5 inches farther back than those of the 16' Duraflex Board. This is because the competition model board bends at a point that is farther back than that of the non-competition model board and therefore the installation footprint of the diving stand with Cheeseboard is 5.5 inches different from the installation footprint for a diving stand with a 16' Duraflex (non-competition board). The quickest way to ruin a diving board is to allow a metal on metal contact situation where the unprotected metal ribs of the diving board are allowed to bounce directly on the metal of the fulcrum roller. (Your $3500.00 "rocket ship" can become a $60.00 piece of scrap aluminum very quickly!)

The simple "fix" for this problem is to order a set of eight six-inch rubber channels with glue kit and attach them to the underside of the board directly in front of the existing rubber channels. While this will NOT allow you to get the full range of motion for the fulcrum back past the number "7," it will protect your diving board by making sure the fulcrum does not "roll off" the existing rubber channels as is the case now.

The correct "fix" is to un-install the main support (legs and fulcrum box) and re-install them 5.5" farther back OR remove the ladder assembly and re-install it 5.5" farther forward (assuming your pool depth and slope would allow for this moving the board forward). Most schools or clubs in your situation choose the first option until they have the time and money to do the 2nd option. Choosing the correct "fix" method not only protects your diving board from the "metal on metal" situation but it also allows the diver to get the full range of intended fulcrum settings.

Whichever method you choose -- it should be done before anybody is allowed to dive off the board. You never want the unprotected metal diving board bouncing directly on the metal fulcrum -- properly positioned rubber channels are a must!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Band-Aid for a Slippery Diving Board

If you have a Duraflex Diving Board and the non-slip surface is starting to show signs of wear, the ONLY acceptable "fix" is to send your diving board back to the Duraflex Factory for inspection and refinish.

Despite what you may hear from friendly sales people at Swimming Pool Supply Stores, there are NO acceptable products sold that you can use on your slippery (Duraflex) diving board that are approved by the Duraflex Factory. The question becomes, what can you use on your diving board to get you through the end of the season at which time you can then send your diving board back to Duraflex for a factory refinish. The factory approved answer is "3M Safety Walk Strips" that are sold at most big box or hardware stores around the country.

As you can see in the picture above, the adhesive backed stair tread strips are placed ACROSS the diving board with a half inch space between them. This spacing allows water to run-off the side of the board. Normally, you need cover only the last 24" - 30" of the diving board (out over the water). Be sure to periodically check these to make sure they are all in place and securely attached. You may need to replace one or two as the season progresses -- it just depends. As soon as the season ends, contact Springboards and More to arrange pick-up and shipping of your diving board back to the Duraflex Factory. While at the factory, your diving board will undergo three different inspections and in most cases be approved for refinish. A factory refinished diving board looks brand new and includes new rubber channels, a new number strip and new attachment bolts. The approximate cost with shipping in both directions is about 1/3 the cost of a new diving board so it is an economical way to extend the life of your diving board.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The "Perfect" Installation (Part 3 of 3)

The final piece of the puzzle to create a "perfect" installation of a Duraflex Diving Board onto a Durafirm Diving Stand is to make sure the Roller Clamps ("C" shaped metal bands that hold the fulcrum roller to the fulcrum assembly) move between the 1st and 2nd "rib" of the diving board (on the foot wheel side) and between the 7th and 8th "rib" of the diving board on the non foot wheel side of the board.

If you get the 2nd element of a "perfect" installation correct AND you get one of your Roller Clamps to line up as shown in the photo above (between ribs 1 and 2) -- then the roller clamp on the other side of the fulcrum assembly will line up exactly the same on the other side of the board (between ribs 7 and 8). Since the rubber channels of the board and the slide tracks of the fulcrum are parallel (see part 2 of 3) -- the roller clamps will stay positioned between the ribs as the fulcrum is rolled back and forth.

The situation you want to avoid is where the rib of the diving board is directly on top of the roller clamp. When the diving board is bounced, it puts undue stress on all the working components of the fulcrum assembly and usually means your board is out of alignment and therefore not bending "squarely" over the fulcrum.

The "Perfect" Installation (Part 2 of 3)

The second element of a "perfect" installation of a Duraflex Diving Board to a Durafirm Diving Stand is to make sure the Rubber Channels on the underside of the diving board are PARALLEL to the Slide Tracks of the Fulcrum Box.

Look at the picture above and notice how the Rubber Channel on the outside edge of the diving board is parallel to the Slide Track of the Fulcrum Box. This is important because it insures that the diving board and the fulcrum roller are PERPENDICULAR to each other and as a result, the diving boards bends in a straight line over the fulcrum.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The "Perfect" Installation (Part 1 of 3)

In order to achieve a "perfect" installation of a Duraflex Diving Board to a Durafirm Diving Stand, look for three things.

#1) The Diving Board is LEVEL.

In theory, the diving board should be level no matter where the fulcrum is set or or no matter where you "check" the board for being level. If we were to suggest a "standard" check -- it would be to set the fulcrum at the number "5" (on the calibrated number strip of the diving board) and then place a six foot long level on the installed diving board with the mid-point of the level over the fulcrum. In most cases, the TIP END of the diving board will be level if the standard check discussed above is level. (It is just difficult to get a level this far out on the diving board and be able to see it without falling into the pool. The photo above was taken of a dryland diving board.

There are several ways to level a diving board, but the most common way is to use Duraflex shims to first level the diving stand -- left to right and front to back. Then (in theory) the installed diving board will be level as well.