Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"IRON MIKE" Fund Update

It is hard to believe that Mike Lyden has been gone for nearly eight months. The highly regarded and very accomplished former diving coach at the University of Kentucky succumbed to Cancer in early April after a hard fought two-year battle. He was a HUGE LOSS not only to his family and friends -- but to the entire diving community as well.

A fund was established to collect donations in Mike's name for the benefit of his wife and three children. The response from the diving community has been nothing short of incredible. To date, more than $30,000.00 has been donated to the "Iron Mike" Fund.

His wife Emily and his three children Jessica, Jack and Brittany are so grateful for the outpouring of support and they want to say thanks to all who contributed or helped in some way during these difficult times. The Lyden Family will always be a part of the "diving family" and we continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers over the holiday season.

It is not too late to contribute -- you can still send your tax deductible donation (check made payable to "Wildcat Aquatics, Inc. / Iron Mike Fund") to:

c/o Springboards and More
P.O. Box 268
Milford, OH 45150


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The ART of the High School Diving Sheet (Part 2 of 2)

See the blog posting below this one for my Rule #1 - #5.

RULE #6: It might seem obvious to many, but you would be surprised at the number of divers who do not follow the correct format as dictated by the rules. (EXAMPLE: Six dive format or 11-dive format) Follow the rules!!
RULE #7: Choose and use Voluntary (“Required”) Dives that consistently score the most POINTS – not necessarily the Voluntary Dives with the highest degree of difficulty.
RULE #8: Always end your dive list with your “money dive.” This is the dive that you can always count on to score well and one that you can perform well even under pressure. (Usually, the final round of diving gets scored a little bit higher so use this to your advantage – do a GOOD dive and get VERY GOOD scores).
RULE #8A: Never finish the meet with a “chuck” dive – that is, one that you just “chuck” off the board and hope it gets scored well. “Hide” this dive somewhere else in your list. (Often this is a reverse or twisting optional dive)
RULE #9: Both the diver and the coach should double check the diving sheet and be sure that both diver and coach sign the sheet where indicated. Never rely on an official or other person to check your sheet.
Rule #10: Make sure that your properly completed and double-checked diving sheet is turned in to the correct person or place ON TIME!

EXCEPTION TO RULE #8: If you are “on the bubble” to make it through all the cuts, you may need to re-structure your list slightly – perhaps moving your “money dive” to the 8th round in order to help you make the final cut and then be able to do your last three dives.

Prior to filling out your diving sheet, write down on a sheet of paper all of your dives grouped by category and listed by dive number. EXAMPLE: Forward Group – 101B, 105C; Back Group – 201A, 203B; etc. Making sure that you follow the correct format as required by the rulebook for the order of your dives, begin filling out your dive sheet. As you add a dive to your dive sheet, cross it off the written list you created. Once your sheet is completely filled out, go back and write an “R” for required (or “V” for Voluntary) next to each Required or Voluntary Dive. Then write an “O” next to each Optional Dive. This is especially important if you use non-standard dives for your voluntary dives. (5231D instead of 5111A or 103B instead of 101B for example)
After you (the diver) check your sheet for errors (correct dive number; correct position letter, correct written description and correct degree of difficulty), have your coach double check your sheet for errors. As a coach, I always found it helpful to READ the dive list back to the diver as a means of checking it. Occasionally, I would even “change” a dive number or position letter to see if my diver was truly paying attention while we checked the sheet together.

Finally, both diver and coach should sign the sheet and turn it in to the correct person or place ON TIME. The bottom line is to take your time, follow the rules and verify your dive order and dive sheet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The ART of the High School Diving Sheet (Part 1 of 2)

Setting up your list for an 11-dive championship format diving meet is both an art and a science. Having coached high school divers for more than 20 years, it has been my experience that the way you set up your dive list is directly related to how well you finish in the final standings. I have TEN GOLDEN RULES -- Here are the first five:

RULE #1: Diving is a headfirst sport and therefore, headfirst dives almost always score better than feet-first dives. (203 instead of 204 or 301 instead of 302)
RULE #2: Never start the meet with a “blind entry” dive. (EXAMPLE: 301 or 203)
RULE #3: Never follow a multiple-spinning somersault dive with a less multiple spinning dive in the same direction and in the same position. (EXAMPLE: Never do a 105C followed by a 403C unless they are different positions – 105C followed by a 403B would be okay)
RULE #4: Never follow a multiple twisting dive with a less multiple twisting dive in the same direction. (EXAMPLE: Never follow a 5225D with a 5223D or 5233D)
RULE #5: Group similar dives or takeoff directions together. (EXAMPLE: 201 followed by 203 – or 201 followed by 203 followed by 5221 – all “back” takeoff dives in a row allows you to get into a rhythm).

Check back in a few days for RULES #6 - #10 as well as some other pertinent information that you might find interesting!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The "Perfect" Diver!

It has been said that the "perfect" diver is an orphan with a trust fund. This tongue in cheek joke makes reference to a diver who does not have meddling parents and one who would have no problem paying team and coaching fees in a timely manner.

Of course, all coaches know that there is no such thing as the "perfect" diver but a "near perfect" diver would definitely have:
  1. DESIRE -- You cannot force a kid to want to be a good diver.
  2. ATHLETIC ABILITY -- In order to compete at a high level -- the diver must be physically able to successfully complete the big dives required.
  3. MENTAL TOUGHNESS -- The diver must be able to block out any and all distractions while they are on the board.
  4. COMPETITOR -- The diver must not crumble under the pressure of a big meet and they must be able to "answer" when necessary during a meet.
  5. WORK ETHIC -- The diver MUST and MUST WANT TO put in the time necessary to be a good diver. (See #1 above)
  6. FOLLOWS DIRECTIONS -- The diver must LISTEN to the coach and try their very best to make the correction each and every time.
  7. SUPPORTIVE PARENTS -- The kind of parent that brings their kid to practice on time, every time; pays their fees on time, every time; never engages in negative talk about another diver, parent or coach; lets the coach do the coaching; is a team cheerleader and helps the team whenever and however asked.

If you can find a kid that has most of these qualities, chances are good that they will be successful in this sport. If the diver is missing some or all of these characteristics, you will be fighting an uphill battle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

High Cost Advertising -- FOR FREE!

Let's face it -- there are not too many (if any) diving programs in this great land of ours that can afford television or radio advertising. However, here is a simple way to get your Diving Program name on T.V. and Radio -- all at no cost!!

Now that Fall and Winter are upon us, there is a good chance that snow and ice will be prevalent in many areas of the country. When this happens, schools, churches and businesses are closed or delayed. Radio and TV stations announce this information all day long.

WHAT TO DO: Contact your local TV and Radio Stations NOW and ask them what their procedure is for submitting and announcing a closing or delay for a business or after school activity. Create a handy reference on your computer that gives you the contact number, e-mail or website of each station to do this.

When inclement weather strikes your area that causes many schools and businesses to close, the first thing you should do is send your diving program "closing information" to all the TV and radio stations in our area. Then sit back with a big smile on your face as you see your diving program name scrolling across the TV screen all day long and hear your diving program name read over and over again on the radio.

Warm Winter Greetings To All!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Immerse Yourself!

When it comes time to teach a "big" dive or learn HOW to teach a "big" dive -- both the coach and the diver need to IMMERSE themselves in the dive.

Both diver and coach should watch video of the new dive; the coach should talk to other coaches who have divers doing the dive or have had a diver do the dive. The diver should talk to other divers who are doing the dive. Ask them what steps they did to prepare for the first attempt. What type of dryland skill work was done? Ask them to describe any pitfalls or problems they encountered when teaching or learning the new dive. Ask if there are any drills or skills that should be practiced over and over to help the diver prepare for the dive. Does this new dive require the coach to make a "call" that they have never made? Should you wait until you are able to do the dive in an over-the-water spotting harness or have access to a "Bubbler Machine"? The list goes on and on. Immersing yourself in a dive is not easy -- but it is well worth your time.

Coaches should be willing to help out other coaches; divers should be willing to help out other divers. Besides just being good sportsmanship -- it can only help to improve the sport.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diving Program Tool Box and Accessories

This past weekend, I attended a college diving meet -- simply to watch a former diver compete and somehow got roped into announcing the meet so I missed most of the watching!!

Anyway, when it came time to start the meet, the home team could not find their diving judge scorecards, DD Calculators, etc. which made me stop and think about my next blog entry.

Every coach (or at least every diving program) should keep some basic (and pertinent) diving supplies together (and nearby) so that when needed, they can be easily accessed. My suggestion is to buy a small plastic tool box with removable top shelf. The box should have the ability to be "locked" so it cannot open as you run down the pool deck trying to start the first event on time! In this "diving supplies box" should be:
  1. Diving Judge Scorecards (At least three -- maybe five or seven depending on what kind of meets you host)
  2. Degree of Difficulty Slide Calculator (At least one -- two to be safe)
  3. Numerous pencils and pens, pencil sharpener, colored markers, stapler, (solar) calculator, paper clips, etc.
  4. 1/2", 9/16" and 15/16" combination wrenches. These three wrenches will tighten (or loosen) every nut and bolt on a Durafirm Diving Stand.
  5. Grease gun with tube of grease (for your fulcrum)
  6. Small can of 3 in 1 Oil (for your hinges)
  7. Small tube of powdered graphite (for your twisting belt)
  8. A couple repair parts for your fulcrum or hinge -- just in case something breaks during your next meet.

Best Wishes for a Safe and Successful Diving Season!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Can't Get A Great Score Without......

I cannot stress this enough to divers and coaches. You CANNOT get a great score on a dive without a great entry!

I know what the rule book says. I know what they tell you in judging clinics -- BUT it is nearly impossible to get a great score on a dive that does not have a great entry. Cheating? No! Biased? Maybe. Incorrect? Perhaps. But if you watch enough diving at meets or on television you come to understand that a dive with a great entry is looked upon very favorably by the judges. A great entry actually seems to camouflage some deficiencies in the dive. Right or wrong it is reality so you as coaches must learn how to "play the game."

What Does This Mean?

It means that you as coaches should take the time necessary to teach your divers how to get into the water with little or no splash. Make sure they know how to grab a flathand, line up and lock out on every dive. It makes no sense to teach your diver more difficult dives if they cannot do their current dives vertically, with good form and a AT LEAST a good entry. A good dive with a good entry will get a good score but in most cases you will find that you cannot get a GREAT score without a GREAT ENTRY!

Now get back to the pool and have your divers do some more lineups (both forward and backward) to perfect this most important of skills!

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Coaching Diving and Making Homemade Bread are Related

In my opinion, one of life's simple pleasures is the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven! This weekend, my kids and I made homemade bread. They love mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, eating the dough and finally enjoying the warm bread after it comes out of the oven. What they do not like is the time it takes to make homemade bread and the clean-up that must be done when finished.

It got me thinking about how making bread and the sport of diving are similar. First from a spectator point of view. There is something rather enjoyable about watching an elite level diver perform a difficult dive with grace and ease. The best divers in the world can make it look so easy that it is sometimes difficult to really comprehend how much time and preparation went into perfecting that dive. The same could be said for the enjoyment you might get after eating a slice of homemade bread -- it seems so simple and basic you sometimes forget the time and skill that went into making it.

From a coaching point of view -- think of yourself as the "baker" and think of your diver at the Nationals as the freshly baked bread that just came out of the oven. You (the baker) have your own special recipe that you use to create this freshly baked loaf of bread (your diver). As with most recipes -- especially bread recipes -- it is very important to follow the steps in a certain order for the recipe to turn out the way you want or expect. This is certainly true when training a diver. You must do certain prep work, and mixing, and kneading, and waiting, and finally baking -- a long and sometimes boring journey. There are no shortcuts to making homemade bread and there are no shortcuts to making an elite level diver. There is only hard work, discipline and patience combined with a little luck that will hopefully produce an unforgettable result.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Would You Want YOUR Kids To Dive With You?

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." That age old adage is so true in so many aspects of life -- including your diving program.

I am the proud father of seven year old boy and girl twins and my kids are involved in numerous activities -- seems like I have become a taxi service!! With any new activity in which they become involved, I am always "checking the scene with my keen eye" when I take them for their first lesson or practice.

The first thing I do is check out the facility. Is it clean and well lit? Does the equipment look like it is maintained and in generally good condition? Is the practice location in a safe area? Are there many people there? Are there people there who look like they do not belong there? Do the other kids there look happy to be there? etc. etc.

Usually then I meet the coach or coaches. I definitely form an impression about them within the first couple of minutes. Are they polite and well-mannered? Are they enthusiastic? Do they seem excited to be there coaching or are they just doing it for the paycheck? Are they well-groomed and nicely dressed? Do they offer you a firm handshake and look you in the eye when they first meet or speak with you? Do they reek of cigarette smoke or smokeless tobacco products? Do they have numerous tattoos and body piercings on display? etc. etc. Call me old fashioned, but these things are important to me and, I would venture to say, important to most people -- especially those with young kids. Having a tattoo or a body piercing or smelling like a burnt cigarette does not make you a bad person -- BUT it does make a statement about you that many people do not want made around their kids. I know that I do not want my kids exposed to that "stuff" right now -- they will get plenty of that as they get older.

We are in that time of the diving season when many programs are just starting. Many new divers are coming in for their first practices and many proud parents (and grandparents) are coming to watch as well. Take a few moments to look over your facility to make sure it is presentable. While you are at it, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself -- "Would I want MY kids to dive with me?"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You Must Be Better Than "BAD" Judging!

I hear it all the time from coaches and especially from divers -- "The judging today was terrible!"

In most cases, I disagree, because as I hope you are aware, judging diving is subjective; it is purely the personal opinion of the person sitting in the judging chair. What they like or dislike might be radically different than what you like or dislike. What they think is a good dive or a bad dive might be radically different that what you think is a good dive or a bad dive.

Something to consider: if all (or most) of the judges score your dive(s) low -- chances are your dive was not quite as good as you thought it was. If most of the judges gave your dive a good score and one judge did not (because of cheating or just inexperience) -- that does NOT affect your score one bit as their low score gets dropped when the calculations are made.

The point I am trying to make is this: You cannot do something (or NOT do something) on your dive that would cause the judge (or judges) to give your dive a "BAD" score. You need to coach your divers in such a way (or if you are the diver) you need to make sure your dives are better than "bad" judging. You have nobody to blame but yourself if your dives go into the water with bent legs, flat feet, feet apart or a big splash. Don't forget about entering the water vertically either! Even the worst diving judge in the world knows that each or any of these things makes your dive look bad and thus scream out for "BAD" scores! Any coach worth their salt knows that the key to diving success (especially at the younger age groups) is fundamentals -- namely good form (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed) and vertical entry with little or no splash!

So the next time you compete (or your diver competes) in a meet and you are angry at the "BAD" judging -- take an (unbiased) look back on your dives to see if there were not some numerous and / or fundamental errors that might have caused all the judges to simultaneously score you low.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How To Grease A Duraflex Fulcrum Assembly

A simple yet often overlooked or incorrectly performed diving equipment maintenance task is that of greasing your Duraflex Fulcrum Assembly and Slide Tracks. If done properly and routinely, you will notice that more dives get done during practice and your diving meets will run quicker – all because the fulcrum can be easily moved by all divers. As most coaches know, there is nothing that slows down a practice or a meet more than a fulcrum that does not move easily. Every diving coach should know and understand simple equipment maintenance tasks and none is easier than this one. Here is what you need and how to do it.


Grease Gun (Duraflex Item PM110)
3 ounce tube of Duraflex Mystik JT-6 Grease (Duraflex Item PM111)
Bag of rags or old towels
Paint thinner, WD-40 or other “spray-on” grease solvent

BI-WEEKLY MAINTENANCE (Time required -- 2 minutes per fulcrum)

Using a can of grease solvent or lubricant, spray the Durafirm Slide Tracks (Duraflex Item C208A). Then, take a rag or old towel and wipe off the Fulcrum Slide Tracks. Be sure to thoroughly clean all FOUR exposed sides of the Fulcrum Slide Tracks – the top, the outside, the inside AND the inside bottom. The grease solvent should clean the Fulcrum Slide Tracks to look virtually brand new. NOTE: The Fulcrum Slide Tracks should be all black -- if you can see any shiny metal or scratches on the Slide Tracks, they should be replaced.

After thoroughly cleaning the Fulcrum Slide Tracks, grease the Fulcrum Assembly and the Slide Tracks. To do this, put two “pumps” of grease into each Roller Block (Duraflex Item #517) by attaching the Duraflex Grease Gun (Duraflex Item PM110) to the “zerk fitting” (grease nipple) that is located near the bottom corner of each Roller Block. Then, put a SMALL amount of grease on each slide track and using your fingers, spread it over all FOUR exposed sides of the Slide Tracks. THREE COMMON MISTAKES: 1) Not cleaning the slide tracks before greasing them. 2) Putting the grease on too thick – in this instance, LESS is better than more 3) Not spreading the grease over all four sides of the Fulcrum Slide Track including the inside bottom.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It Never Ceases To Amaze Me!

Now that the Summer Swim Club season is over, it is time to remind everybody to TAKE PROPER CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT FOR THE WINTER!

It never ceases to amaze me the number of summer swim clubs and country clubs that leave their THREE THOUSAND DOLLAR Diving Boards sitting unprotected in the weather all Fall, Winter and Spring. It never ceases to amaze me that those who DO take down their diving board for the off season simply leave them lay out on the pool deck or against a fence UNPROTECTED from the elements all year long. I would say that diving coaches -- it is partly YOUR responsibility to prod your pool manager to take a few steps to protect your valuable equipment by doing the following:
  1. Take down your diving boards from the stands and store them INSIDE (Filter room, bathhouse, concession stand, etc.) Be sure to store them OUT OF THE WAY so people do not step on them or drop things on them or drive the club tractor over them. I suggest leaning them against a wall (top surface towards the wall) set upon three 2x4's (cut short) to keep them off the ground. Put one in the middle and the other two about three feet from each end of the board. If you have more than one diving board, drape a couple of folded towels over the second board and then rest it against the first board. These act like bumpers to keep your boards from possibly scraping each other.
  2. Remove the carriage bolts from the diving board and spray them with some WD-40 or similar lubricant. After they dry, wrap them in newspaper and place between the ribs on the underside of the board (so you know exactly where they are next summer).
  3. Use a rag and some WD-40 and completely clean your fulcrum slide tracks. Also, use some 3 in 1 Oil to lubricate your hinges.
  4. Finally, take some large garbage bags and completely cover your fulcrum assembly and hinge assembly. Secure these with Duct tape or bungee cords. You may even want to take a large tarp and completely cover your entire diving stand as well.

Duraflex Equipment is known round the world for high quality that provides years and years of service -- but you must do your part and take care of your equipment -- even when not in use.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How To Tell The Age Of Your Diving Board

Every Duraflex Diving Board has a serial tag that tells the year in which the board was made. The serial number can be found on a small metal tag that is attached to the diving board at the very back -- on top -- between the two bolts that attach the diving board to the hinges.

The serial number (for all boards made 1988 - Present) starts with a letter followed by six numbers. The letter tells you the model of the diving board. In Duraflex lingo, "B" means Model B Cheeseboard. "A" refers to a 16' Duraflex Board; "M" refers to a 16' Maxiflex Board and "C" refers to 14' Duraflex Board.

The first two digits following the letter tell the year the diving board was made and the last four numbers refer to the production number of that diving board.

So to summarize: If your diving board has the serial number B030548 -- that means that you have the 548th Model "B" Cheeseboard made in 2003.

If your serial number does not follow this "formula" then your diving board was made before 1988 and you would need to call the Duraflex Factory to research the serial number and tell you the age of your board. (PS: When you call, ask for Penny!!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Would YOU Want to Dive with YOU?

Ask yourself this question. If you were a diver, would you want to dive with YOU as the coach? Why or why not? If your list of "why nots" is bigger than your list of "whys" perhaps you should think about making some changes to the way you coach or run your Program.

Do you yell and scream all the time? Are you a tyrant and a slave driver? Do your divers come to the pool with a smile on their face and perhaps more importantly, do they leave practice with a smile on their face? Do you motivate and inspire or belittle and criticize? Do you pay attention to your divers and as a result, do they pay attention to you? Are your practices stimulating and exciting or are they repetitive and boring? Are you enthusiastic while coaching which usually means your divers are enthusiastic while diving? Do you praise often and give positive reinforcement or is it never good enough? The list goes on and on. Coaches should take a look in the mirror and see if they like what they see. Chances are, if you do not like what you see, then your divers will not either.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Torque The Bolts!

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at http://www.springboardsandmore.com/ is "how tight should the diving board carriage bolts be when installing a diving board?"

The correct answer is 110 foot pounds of torque using an 18 inch handle torque wrench. You can purchase one of these at a local hardware store -- although they are a bit pricey ($50.00 - $75.00). You simply set the "torque" on the wrench to 110 foot pounds and tighten the board bolts until the wrench "clicks" or "slips" which tells you that the bolts are torqued to the correct setting.

It is important to "torque" the bolts to the correct setting so as not to over-tighten them as well as to insure that they are tight enough!

You should also try to torque the bolts that go into the deck (stand installation bolts) to 110 foot pounds as well -- although it is sometimes difficult to get the torque wrench onto some of these bolts.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Most Important Thing To Teach A Young Tower Diver

"The Tower" -- 33 feet up and a mile down!! I was never a tower diver -- never really much of a diver to be honest -- but I certainly enjoy watching it, judging it and coaching it. Diving tower or coaching tower divers is a completely different animal -- not only is it higher than both springboards, but there is the "concrete factor" -- which is much less forgiving than a springboard if the diver comes into contact with it.

In my opinion, a diver should NEVER be allowed to dive tower until they can do the following:

  • They must be able to "line up" an entry correctly. If your divers do not know how to grab a flat hand, line-up and "lock out" when hitting the water, they run the risk of tearing their shoulder muscles, wrenching their back or neck.
  • They must understand the concept of "vertical entry." Diving straight into the water not only earns higher scores from the judges -- it is also less taxing on the body -- if you know what I mean.
  • They must call out to you before they go (after their tower has been called) to make sure you are watching and to confirm all is clear below them.
  • They must have a healthy respect for the tower. Your divers must know and understand that diving tower can be dangerous and that they can get hurt if they are not focused on what they are doing. NO HORSEPLAY UP THERE!

However, the single most important thing that you can teach your young tower divers is to PAY ATTENTION! They must be taught to NEVER dive off the tower until THEIR tower is "called" by you (the coach) or the "tower caller" at a meet. They must be taught to IMMEDIATELY swim back out of the way of the tower after entering the water AND THEN look to you the coach for corrections or instruction. Your divers should NEVER float out under the tower waiting for you to coach their dive -- it is way too dangerous. Divers who do not or cannot pay attention have NO BUSINESS being on a tower.

One final note: It is the very important responsibility of you THE COACH to monitor your divers while diving tower -- especially during warm-ups for a meet. At big meets especially, there are many divers diving off many levels of the tower and it is your DUTY as a coach to keep a keen eye on YOUR divers to make sure they are paying attention and not putting themselves or another diver in a situation where they could get hurt -- or worse.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

6 1/2 'em To Death!

A good lesson for young coaches or high school coaches to learn is that consistency is the key to success in diving. Coaches need to preach to their athletes the "Holy Trinity" of diving skills: 1) Vertical Entry, 2) "RIP" Entry (grab flat hand, line-up and lock-out); 3) Good Form (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed).

Granted, some divers jump higher than others. Some divers spin faster than others. Some divers are more flexible than others. Some divers are more graceful than other. However, if your divers can consistently go straight in the water with good form and a good entry, they are very likely to get scores of 6 - 6 1/2. Maintain this throughout the competition and you will be happy with the end result.

Your competition gets an 8 on their first dive and you get a 6.5 on yours. Then the diver gets 7 on their next dive and you get a 6.5 on yours. In the next round, the other diver get a 4 and you get a 6.5. Then they get a 5.5 and you get a 6.5. etc. etc. In many cases, your consistency will be rewarded with the higher final score when the meet is over. You "6 1/2'd" your competition to death!

Of course, divers and coaches should continue to work hard and improve their dives so that the next time you compete, you "7 Them to Death" and the next time you "7.5 Them to Death" etc. etc. GOOD LUCK!

Friday, September 12, 2008


One of the biggest errors made by diving coaches -- usually young and inexperienced coaches --is having their divers attempt higher Degree of Difficulty (D.D.) dives in meets that that they cannot do consistently well versus doing an easier dive that they can usually nail all or most of the time.

The classic example is the the front double somersault in the tuck position (104C / 2.2 D.D) versus a front 1 1/2 somersaults in the pike position (103B / 1.7 D.D.). If your divers can consistently earn scores of 6's on their 103B (30.60 Total Points), they would need to earn AT LEAST 4.5's and 5's on the their 104 C (30.80 Total Points) just to be even!! It has been my experience, that this does not usually happen. I get a big smile on my face when I walk in to a meet and see other divers crashing "hard" dives in warm-ups because I know that there is good chance that they will crash them in the meet.

All coaches should "Do The Math" before completing a dive sheet especially when deciding whether or not to try out a new "harder" dive. Remember these words of wisdom: "Higher scores from the judges will almost always beats higher degree of difficulty."

Check out the "WHAT IF" Chart that we created for just this purpose.

Monday, September 8, 2008

How To Care For Your Sammy or Aqua Towel

  • Wash or rinse out thoroughly in warm water before initial use. The product is packed with an anti-mildew and anti-mold solution that should be rinsed out.
  • If stuck together, do not peel apart! Soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Better yet, wash with normal laundry – it will come out perfect!
  • Store the clean, wet towel in its container. Sammy becomes hard when dry. Simply re-wet and it comes back to life!


  • Machine wash with liquid detergent – do not use bleach!
  • Do not dry in dryer!
  • If towel has mold or mildew (brown or black spots), soak in a 5:1 solution (5 parts water for 1 liquid bleach) for about 5 minutes. NOTE: DO NOT BLEACH TYE DYE AQUA TOWELS.


  • Wring towel out after wetting with water.
  • Apply to neck or skin as needed.
  • If towel becomes warm, remove and wave or shake for 15 seconds – towel will cool off.
  • Re-wet towel to increase cooling effect.

The "Sammy" Sport Towel was introduced by and named for Dr. Sammy Lee M.D. -- the 1948 and 1952 Olympic Gold Medallist in Platform Diving. Sammy is 88 years old and lives in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife Roz. He still makes frequent appearances and speeches all across the United States and beyond and is without question "The Diving Ambassador Of The World."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How To Measure For A New Trampoline Bed

At some point in your coaching career, you will probably need to replace your current trampoline bed with a new one. If you are going to purchase a "String" Bed you have only two choices -- 6' x 12' and 7' x 14'. These dimensions refer to the size of the bed -- not the size of the trampoline frame. However, if you are going to purchase a Single Poly Black Bed (regular backyard style bed) or the new High Performance Black Poly Bed (HP Poly Bed) then you should do the following measurements to insure a correct fit.

1) Measure the INSIDE FRAME Dimensions (in inches) from spring hook attachment point to spring hook attachment point for the length and the width. (An example might be 101.5 inches wide by 176 inches long).
2) Remove one of your springs and measure the entire length from end to end including the hook. If you plan to purchase new springs, simply note the length of the new spring. (Examples would be 9 inch, 10 inch or 10.25 inch).
3) Count the number of spring hook attachment points that are welded on your trampoline frame. (An example might be 18 on the short ends and 37 on the long ends). In some cases, you will have a "zig-zag" wire that runs the length of your frame.

With this information, we can manufacture for you the correct size trampoline bed to EXACTLY fit your trampoline frame using the springs you have chosen. Often times, you will need a "Custom size" bed. For example, you might need a trampoline bed that is 6' 11" x 14' 2". Yes, a standard 7' x 14' would "fit" but having the exact size bed will make a big difference both in performance and longevity. The cost for "custom" is not much more than for standard and the lead time is just a few days longer.

It is a detail that you will be glad you took the time to do correctly.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If You're Happy And THEY Know It.........

Tonight was my first night of diving practice for the 2008-2009 season. This begins my 23rd year of coaching age group diving -- more than half my life! My mentors include Charlie Casuto, Stan Randall, Greg Gunn and Hobie Billingsley.

I used to coach diving full-time -- it was my livelihood. I coached both diving team (Cincinnati Stingrays) and diving lessons (DIVE Cincinnati) 6-7 days per week / 50 weeks a year. I worked hard for nearly 15 years but I was starting to get burned out and my divers could tell. I needed a break but I needed a way to supplement my income as I had just been married and a few years later had twin babies. This is how I came to start "Springboards and More." Now nearly 10 years later, and with the continued growth of my diving equipment business, I do not need to coach diving anymore -- but I continue to do so because I ENJOY it! I really do love to see the expression on a kid's face when they learn a new dive. I get as much satisfaction out of teaching a Front 3 1/2 Somersaults to a great athlete as I do teaching a Front Flip to a non-athletic kid who never thought they would learn one.

Since I no longer rely solely on coaching diving for income AND I can quit when ever I want, I have a whole new outlook. I come to practice refreshed and enthusiastic. I enjoy myself and my divers enjoy themselves. In most cases, they leave practice with a smile on their face as do I. They are happy and so am I. They feel good about what they accomplished at practice and I feel good about what I helped them accomplish at practice. It makes me excited to come to practice the next time.

This "concept" is very important for coaches -- especially NEW coaches -- to remember. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, your divers will not enjoy what they are doing. If you are not in the mood to coach, your divers will not be in the mood to dive. If you are not enthusiastic about your coaching, your divers will not be enthusiastic about learning from you. YOU SET THE STANDARD!! You are the leader and your divers will follow suit. So put a smile on your face, and bring a positive attitude with you to the pool and INSPIRE your divers to be as good as they can be! IT IS NOT EASY, BUT THE REWARD IS WORTH THE EFFORT!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Number ONE Job of Any Youth Sports Coach

Today I attended my 2nd grade son's youth football game. He plays for his school team and it is the first year he has ever played. I watched in disbelief today as one of the coaches from the opposing team screamed and yelled and berated his players (2nd GRADERS!!) for missing a tackle, or not lining up in the correct spot or not putting in enough "effort." He would send them out of the game immediately and bring in somebody else. This guy would give Bob Knight a run for his money and frankly I was stunned that the parents of these kids put up with this type of "coaching."

Having coached diving for more than 24 years, I have seen my share of yellers and screamers and while I do believe there is a time and a place for such "motivation" it certainly is not with 2nd graders who are just learning the sport!! This is the age where you teach kids the fundamentals of the sport. You get them excited to come out and play football or to dive or dance or do whatever. The NUMBER ONE JOB of any youth sports coach (in my humble opinion) is to make whatever sport it is you are coaching FUN so the kids want to come back again tomorrow, next week, next month or next season. You make them feel good about themselves and be proud of their accomplishments. Not only do the parents appreciate this, but the kids do too.

After the game was over, I went up and thanked all six of my son's coaches -- they really do a great job and he is lucky to have coaches who know the sport; teach the sport AND most importantly, make the game FUN AND ENJOYABLE. All the while, they are learning new skills and some valuable lessons about team work, hard work and life in general. I hope that all you diving coaches out there keep this in mind when you start your programs this Fall!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Happened to TEAM USA in Beijing?

I must confess that I had high hopes for TEAM USA in Beijing but I watched the 2008 Olympic Games with a heavy heart and a somewhat perplexed eye. After judging the Olympic Trials and witnessing some spectacular diving up close and personal throughout that entire event, I felt very confidant that the 2008 U.S. Olympic Diving Team would come away from Beijing with at least one medal if not a few. I looked very favorably upon the team that was selected to represent the United States at these Olympic Games. The divers looked to be in great shape; appeared to be injury-free and were diving very well both nationally and internationally. In addition, the coaches had worked so hard over these past four years getting their divers ready for "The Big Dance" and the administrative support that many felt was lacking in the past seemed to be in place. Based on all this and more, I really felt that USA Diving had turned a huge corner in their comeback from a very drastic free-fall in the world standing of the diving community.

Then Beijing -- no medals once again! Granted, our overall placing was much-improved from Athens but in the past THREE Olympic Games, the United States has won only ONE medal. To put that in perspective: Out of a possible 72 Olympic Diving Medals given during the last three Olympic Games (eight events x three medals per event x three Olympic Games), the US has a record of 1-72. OUCH!

What is the answer? Is it coaching? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it training (too much or not enough)? Is it lack of competitive fire? Is it facilities or lack thereof? Is it "delusions of grandeur" on the part of the athletes and / or the coaches? Are we missing "swagger"? Do we need to recruit and / or find better athletes? Is it experience or inexperience? Is it the age of our divers? Did the Chinese get over-scored at their home pool? Do our divers wilt under pressure at big meets? Were our divers simply tired from the travel and drastic time change? Did our divers peak too soon (i.e. Olympic Trials)? I do not know the answer but I look forward to talking with our Olympic Coaches as well as the athletes to get their take on what needs to be done.

I certainly am not giving up and I hope the coaches, divers and administrators are not giving up either. I think USA Diving has made HUGE strides in the past four years and I think we will continue to improve and continue to chip away and slowly but surely make our way back to the top. GO USA!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What We Can Learn From Mathew Mitcham

The diving world was shocked to see a non-Chinese diver standing atop the medal podium at the completion of the Men's 10 Meter Platform Event at the 2008 Olympic Games. Australian diver Mathew Mitcham put together the meet of his life in Beijing and will forever be known as "Olympic Champion."

What can we learn from this most unexpected result? Many things including:

1) NO DIVING EVENT IS OVER UNTIL THE LAST DIVER ENTERS THE WATER. Even with what seemed like an insurmountable lead going into the last round and the fact that Chinese diver and current leader Zhou Luxin had his usually very good 307C remaining for his final dive -- strange things can occur -- especially in the finals of the Olympic Games in front of your home crowd. Zhou inexplicably broke position on his kick out AND left his dive short -- scoring a meager 76 points and opening the door for Mitcham who needed a near perfect dive with high degree of difficulty in order to complete the upset. As most coaches know, getting 9.5's and 10's on a 3.8 DD dive does wonders for a diver's final score and that fact held true for Mitcham who earned over 112 points on his final dive to leap past Zhou and win the Gold Medal by four points.
2) LEARNING TO SPOT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT. Mitcham, a former World Champion on Double Mini-Tramp, is an excellent "spotter" (He uses visual references to see and know exactly where he is in the air at all times).
3) GOOD KICK OUTS, COME OUTS AND LINEUPS ARE EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT. It does not matter if you know how to "spot" as well as Matthew Mitcham does if you do not know how to properly kick out, come out and line up a dive. I loved watching the slow motion replays of Mitcham's dives where you could see him "spot" the dive, kick flat and tight, line-up and disappear when he hit the water.
4) GOOD FORM NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE. Mitcham has a great toe and foot point, long legs and excellent body lines. He used all of these elements to wow the judges and put together a most memorable list of dives on the world's biggest stage. CONGRATULATIONS, MATHEW!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What We Can Learn From Michael Phelps

The world has watched with great interest and enthusiasm the exploits of Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In his quest to tie and break Mark Spitz' record of SEVEN Gold Medals in one Olympic Games, we have witnessed some incredible athletic achievement as well as a little bit of luck. The outcome of the 400 Medley Relay looked in question until Phelps' teammate Jason Lezak turned on the after-burners to narrowly beat the big-mouthed Frenchman. Then again in the 100 Meter Butterfly -- Phelps appeared to have lost the race but miraculously, he touched the wall ahead of the the 2nd place finisher by the slimmest of margins -- 1/100ths of a second.

How can one guy have so much luck? Well consider the old saying "The harder I work, the luckier I get." Nobody works harder than Phelps does inside or outside of the pool. His "will to win" is legendary and he is a vicious competitor. He makes his own breaks and he reaps the benefits. Along the way, he has had great coaching, great support from family and friends and has been pushed to the max by great teammates.

All divers and coaches should take a few notes from Michael Phelps. Work really, really hard and surround yourself with a great supporting cast and you too can enjoy some successes on the boards and eventually outside of the pool when your career is over.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Get Yourself a Crockpot!

I know all too well the time involved with being a Professional Diving Coach and especially the difficulty of eating well (read healthy). Diving coaches are always on the run -- going from dry land to water practice or to another pool for another practice. The temptation to stop and get a fast food meal 2-3 times per day is too great and it is not a good one. Too many diving coaches today are overweight and out of shape and in my mind, it is almost hypocritical for coaches to demand that their divers be "in shape" yet they themselves are far from it.

My suggestion is to get a Crockpot and a Crockpot recipe book. The meals are easy to prepare -- just cut up the ingredients; place them in the crock pot; put on the lid; turn it on and 4-10 hours later, PRESTO you have an incredibly good, healthy, home-cooked meal AND you will always have leftovers for another day. (Plus, think of all the money you will save) You could even get a Thermos and bring a hot home-cooked meal to the pool!

Don't forget -- skip the soda -- drink lots of water and do some exercise (perhaps workout with your divers) -- you will be glad you did.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Learn From The Judges?

One of the best young diving coaches in the United States is Loren "Buck" Smith -- the very accomplished coach at Eastern Michigan University. I had the honor and pleasure of judging the Olympic Diving Trials with Buck. Before and after each event at the Olympic Trials, the judges had a briefing and de-briefing -- where we discussed things we saw or wanted to review or discuss -- it was very informative for all and really seemed to help "fine tune" the judging.

During one of our de-briefings (which occurred after each event) Buck mentioned what I think is a GREAT IDEA -- that is, the JUDGES should write reports TO THE COACHES at the completion of certain big meets -- to tell them what they feel would improve their divers and ultimately improve their position in the standings. If the coaches could be handed a sheet at the end of the meet that told them WHY the judges scored certain dives in certain ways, as well as a list of things that the judges liked AND disliked about their divers and the dives they did -- Buck (and the rest of the Olympic Trials Judges -- including me) think this could be very beneficial to the continued improvement and progress of diving in the USA.

Only time will tell if the coaches will embrace such a cutting edge idea.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Living The Dream!

"The Position of 'Diving Coach' is an Honorable One." These are the words of Dr. Rick Schavone PhD -- the highly respected and very accomplished diving coach at Stanford University. His words should resonate to all diving coaches at all levels of our sport.

Diving coaches are TEACHERS to many kids. Diving Coaches are "Father-Figures" or "Mother-Figures" to many divers. Diving Coaches hold much influence over impressionable youths. Diving Coaches are MENTORS. Diving Coaches are HEROES. Diving Coaches instill HARD WORK and DISCIPLINE in their athletes. Diving Coaches form lasting bonds with their divers and their families. Diving Coaches are INSPIRATIONS to many kids as well as POSITIVE ROLE MODELS and LEADERS. These things should not be taken for granted.

Diving Coaches also have the opportunity to travel to all corners of our great country and sometimes the world. Diving Coaches have the opportunity to watch first-hand (and in some cases coach) divers who have reached the pinnacle of our sport -- that of Olympian.

The diving community around the world is small and close knit. Diving Coaches -- especially those who have reached the international scene have formed friendships with other coaches and divers from around the world. Many coaches have formed life-long friendships with their peers around the country. There are not many other career paths that can claim all these perks.

Of course, there are downsides to coaching diving. They include long hours, very hard work, the sometimes difficult family and limited social life -- but in the grand scheme of things, if you choose to make your vocation that of "Professional Diving Coach" -- know that you are embracing a lifestyle that is the envy of many. Know that to many people. you are "LIVING THE DREAM"!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Be Prepared" is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America but is should also be the motto of any diving meet director.

During the 2008 AAU National Diving Championships at The Coral Springs Aquatic Center in Florida, there were a number of things that occurred that COULD have severely interrupted the diving meet but because the meet directors were prepared, the meet continued to run on schedule (weather delays the exception). Here are a few examples:

1) Knowing that it usually storms nearly every afternoon in Florida, the event schedule was set-up so events took place in the morning and late afternoon. This was good planning because almost every day during the mid-afternoon, there was inclement weather that closed the pool for 1-2 hours but it rarely affected the meet because only warm-ups were scheduled for that time period.

2) Each score table had a supply of plastic tarps and plastic bags that could quickly be used to cover the score tables, computers, printers and speakers.

3) They had handheld diving score cards available in the event that one or more of the computers went down during an event (which did occur). They simply continued the meet using handheld scorecards and paper sheets while the computer personnel addressed the computer issues.

4) There were plenty of areas under cover if divers or parents wanted to get out of the sun or rain.

So the next time you host a diving meet, make sure that you spend a little time beforehand planning for things that could go wrong and BE PREPARED!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Your'e Going To Wear That?

Now this is not really relevant to diving, but I heard this idea from JEN REHBERGER (a former diver of mine) who has coached high school and summer league diving with me for many years in the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area. I liked it so much, I thought I would share it with you. At the end, I will tie it in to diving with another "Moose" Moss classic that IS very relevant to diving.

Recently, Jen and I were judging a local Summer League Champ Meet and between events we were talking about our children and some of the joys and concerns of raising them. Jen told me that her husband Jeff tells their two children the following:

"You can wear whatever you want outside of the house but whatever you do decide to wear, please know that I will show up at school to pick you up in front of all your friends DRESSED THE EXACT SAME WAY."

WOW!! That is good -- there is quite a bit of incentive for their children to dress in a manner deemed appropriate by their parents.

Getting kids to do the right thing is difficult. Among other things, it takes time; it takes patience and it takes discipline. The same could be said about coaching diving. One of the most difficult things to do while coaching diving is getting your divers to do what you want them to do, the way you want them to do it all the time. This also takes time, patience and discipline.

To end with the immortal wisdom of legendary diving coach Robert "Moose" Moss: "The secret to getting a kid to do something they don't want to do, is to give them the choice of doing something they'd rather do less."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Keeping The Hogs Cool!

For those coaches who are lucky enough to have diving programs with an outdoor tower facility and if you have Rough-tex installed as your non-skid surface -- specifically BLACK Rough-tex -- you are well aware just how hot the material can get on any summertime afternoon.

Try this remedy: run a garden hose (or 1/2" PVC pipe) up the back of the tower and then attach to another PVC pipe or hose that runs along one or both outside edges of each tower. The PVC pipe or hose should contain numerous pin size holes. When the water is turned on, the pipes or hoses that run along the side edges of the towers will spray a very fine mist of water onto the top surface of the tower. In most cases, this will make your BLACK Rough-tex surface quite comfortable -- definitely cool enough to stand, walk or dive on without burning your feet.

I first saw this set-up while attending the Moss Farms Diving Invitational in Moultrie, GA back in the mid 1990's. Those who have had the opportunity to attend a meet at this well known diving facility in southern Georgia know how hot it can get in the summer months. I asked "Moose" Moss -- the legendary (and now late) diving coach at Moss Farms -- where he got that idea and he said in that oh so memorable slow southern drawl of his -- "Uh, that's how we keep the HOGS cool in the summertime."

So there it is.

In honor of "Moose" Moss, go ahead and add some hog coolers to your diving platforms -- your divers will very much appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Last Thing the Judges See!

The outcome of a diving meet is determined by the diving judges. The scores they give for each dive directly affects the final scores and places.

The goal of the diver should be to perform each of their dives in such a way that the judges will reward them with high scores. This is NOT POSSIBLE if a diver gets sloppy or lazy at the end of the dive. I firmly believe that the last thing a diving judge sees on each dive he or she judges leaves an overall impression (good or bad) about that dive. Let's say a diver jumps high, spins fast, is good distance from the board and enters the water vertically but loses their feet on the entry (feet come apart) -- it is my opinion and experience that the judges will not reward that dive as well as they should because they formed an overall negative opinion of the dive simply because the diver's feet came apart on the entry. The judge starts thinking that there must have been other things wrong with the dive as well. The same could be said for similar dives as mentioned above that go in the water with flat feet, or a slight twist or a bad entry. Everything about the dive is good EXCEPT for the last thing the judges see.

Coaches need to constantly reinforce (and divers need to be constantly reminded) that the dive is NOT OVER UNTIL THE TOES DISAPPEAR UNDERNEATH THE WATER. The diver must be taught to maintain GOOD FORM (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed) for the entire duration of the dive and they must try to enter the water with as little splash as possible each and every time they do a dive.

These little things that separate "good" divers from "not-so-good" divers do not occur accidentally -- they must be practiced and perfected over time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Many divers today use wrist grips while diving to help reduce the constant pounding on their wrists that comes from platform diving and to a certain extent springboard diving. There are two types of wrist grips on the market today that are designed for this purpose. They are the Donjoy Wristwraps and the Tiger Paw Wrist Supports. The kind you choose is a personal preference. I have found that the divers who like the Donjoy Grips do NOT like the Tiger Paws and vice-versa. The pair you choose depends on how much and what kind of wrist support that you need.

The Donjoy Wristwraps are made of a black neoprene materials that wraps around your wrists only and is tightened and secured by two Velcro straps that go in the opposite direction of each other. Some divers like these because they are less bulky than the Tiger Paws and can be tightened more easily too. The Tiger Paw Wrist supports are made of a waterproof pack cloth material and the not only cover the wrist, but wrap around the thumb as well. They place more padding on the back of your hand and some divers like this extra cushion especially if your arms collapse on a tower entry and the back of your hands smash into the top of your head -- OUCH!!

The best suggestion is to find a teammate or a friend at a diving meet who wears wrist grips and try them on for a few dives. You may even want to have your coach "spot" you on a handstand on the ground to see which style you like best. Whichever pair you choose, make sure that you break them in and get used to them by first wearing your wrist grips for a few springboard practice before going up to dive tower. Also, be sure to put your name on the grips in indelible ink so your grips do not "disappear" on pool deck during practice or a meet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The "Cheeseboard"

Divers all around the world know what a "Cheeseboard" is. That is the nickname for the 16' aluminum diving board manufactured by the Duraflex International Corporation. The actual full name for this world standard of the springboard diving world is the Duraflex 16' Modified Maxiflex Model "B" Aluminum Springboard. The word "modified" refers to the 189 perforations found in the end of the diving board. The "Cheeseboard" is the ONLY diving board used today in all Olympic, International and National Diving Competitions around the world.

The name "Cheeseboard" came about by accident. Way back in the day, Duraflex inventor Ray Rude was installing some of his new "modified" diving boards and some little kid said "hey it looks like swiss cheese" and so the name "cheeseboard" was born.

The Duraflex factory takes a 16' Maxiflex Board (tapered at both ends) and "modifies" it using a large punch-press that Ray Rude found in a junkyard -- had it shipped to the Duraflex factory where he re-tooled it to "punch" the holes in the end of the board. The process of "modifying" the diving board takes about 30 seconds.

Springboards and More uses these very punch-outs to have "Cheeseboard" earrings and bracelets made by well-known and highly respected Krombholz Jewelers in Cincinnati, OH.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Olympic Trials Begin Today!

The road to Beijing and the 2008 Summer Olympics begins today for the top springboard and platform divers in the United States. The Olympic Diving Trials begin today at the I.U.P.U.I. Natatorium in Indianapolis, IN.

For more information about the Olympic Diving Trials, check these websites:

Be sure to check back here for behind the scenes stories, happenings and tidbits live from the Trials.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Check Your Depth!!

Certainly, the depth of the water underneath, in front of and to the sides of a diving board is an important safety consideration and hopefully you as a coach teach your divers to always check the depth of any water prior to diving in head first -- especially at new or unfamiliar pools.

With the start of the summer diving season upon us, take a moment to remind your divers again to do this. WHY? Because often times, the diving "well" or "hopper" at summer pools is not as big and not as deep as the pools where your divers train year round. There is a BIG difference between 12 feet of water and 10 feet of water. There is a BIG difference between 17 feet of water and 13 feet of water -- the bottom comes up quickly!!

If your diver is used to practicing in a pool that is 13 feet deep and then they go to their summer swim club where the pool is only 11 feet deep -- they need to be aware of that and they need to make adjustments when they enter the water. Similarly, if your divers go to a diving camp this summer where the water is 17 feet deep and then they come back to your regular practice pool where the water is a very safe 13 feet deep -- your divers must still be VERY CAREFUL until they re-adjust their bearings and get used to the different water depth.

Diving is a VERY SAFE SPORT under supervised conditions and by using a little common sense. Let' s make sure we all enjoy a SAFE summer of diving!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Three Step or Four Step?

When I first started coaching diving, we always taught new or beginner divers a three-step approach and hurdle. It was simple or so I thought -- less steps meant less things for "little Johnny" to remember.


I remember hosting an annual clinic for local diving coaches -- most of whom were current or former divers who had summer coaching jobs at local swim or country clubs. I remember it like it was yesterday -- I gave my little talk on how to teach the three step-approach and hurdle and one of the young coaches at the clinic asked why I did not teach a four-step approach and hurdle. I told her that as the diver got older and had developed more skills, that was indeed what I would do. She asked me again, why I did not teach NEW divers a four-step approach and hurdle. I told her that less steps meant less to remember for young divers and she said that she liked to teach new divers a FOUR-step approach and hurdle for the simple fact that the diver would start the approach and hurdle with the SAME LEG!! I paused for a moment and thought -- GENIUS -- why didn't I think of that? It IS so simple now -- young divers who were always forgetting which leg is used to take the first step and then which leg to lift in the hurdle, can certainly remember to start their approach and hurdle with the same leg. All I needed to do was ask them which hand they used to eat, write or throw a baseball and that is the same leg I told them to start their approach and then lift in their hurdle.

That became my NEW method and I have used it on NEW divers ever since!

NOTE: For many summer diving leagues, the rules are pretty vague so for very young divers, I suppose you could teach and use a TWO-step approach and hurdle (Same starting foot / hurdle leg and less things to remember!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Practice Under Meet Conditions!

Often times, I will see a diver during practice who will balk, break position or otherwise give-up on a dive because of a bad hurdle, takeoff or any number of other situations that always seem to crop up. The coach will remind the diver that if they do that in a meet, they will probably receive lower scores from the judges or in the case of a balk, have a scoring penalty imposed. The diver usually shrugs and says" I won't do that in a meet!"


It has been my experience that a diver does in a meet, what they do in practice. This is why you practice!! Teach your divers that they need to "practice under meet conditions." They need to be able to do all of their dives without balking or breaking position. They need to be able to do all of their dives with any hurdle or any takeoff and they need to be able to do all of their dives without regard to any other adverse conditions such as cold water or air temperature, early morning events, rain, wind, bright sunlight, bad equipment, etc.

discipline, Discipline, DISCIPLINE!!

This all goes back to teaching your divers HOW to dive and not just teaching them dives.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cleaning Your Twisting Belt

Legendary diving coach and inventor of overhead spotting DICK KIMBALL, shares his tips for keeping your twisting belt spinning freely and easily.

  1. Make sure the metal ring of your twisting belt is not bent, dented or otherwise damaged.

  2. Place some cardboard or newspaper on the ground and set your twisting belt on top of it.

  3. Spray some "brake parts cleaner" (available at all auto parts stores) into the ring and onto the ball bearings all the way around. (Be sure to use the thin "straw" to direct the spray into the ring).

  4. Let it sit for a few minutes. The brake parts cleaner will cause all the gunk, junk, dirt and grime that is on your ball-bearings and inside your ring to drop through the bottom of the ring and onto the cardboard or newspaper.

  5. Once it dries, put some graphite powder into the ring and onto the ball-bearings.

  6. Hold the twisting belt with one hand and use your other hand to move the outside ring back and forth to work in the graphite.

  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 and then "free-spin" the belt a couple of times.

  8. Kimball says he does this about once every two weeks and his twisting belt (which he claims is older than he is!!) will spin around about 20-25 times with one pull.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do The Opposite!

It has been my experience as a diving coach that when a diver has a continued problem with a dive, one way to solve the issue is to try and get your diver to do the OPPOSITE of the problem they are having.

  1. A diver who dives too close to the board, you try to get them to do the dive too far out from the board. (Start with jumps that are too far away from the board first)!
  2. A diver who keeps diving to the right side of the board -- you try to get them to do the dive to the left side of the board.
  3. A diver who is over twisting -- you try to get them to square out too early on the twist.
  4. A diver who keeps going short on a dive -- you try to get them to "go over" on the dive.
  5. A diver who keeps missing the end of the board on a hurdle -- you try to get the hurdle slightly past the end of the board (toes over the edge).
  6. Etc. etc.

No matter what, continue to coach good form (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed) as well as vertical entries with little or no splash. REPETITION IS KEY!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


This week, I had the opportunity and privilege to judge at the 2008 FINA Grand Prix International Diving Championships at the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. During the first of our daily judges' meetings, we discussed a number of things about the events from the previous day. One such topic that we discussed I felt was very relevant to diving at all levels from beginner to international elite and that topic was how some divers did very good dives but they did not FINISH them well and therefore the scores from the judges were not as high as they could have been.


The best divers know how to finish their dives.

REMEMBER: The dive is not over until your toes have disappeared underneath the water. Make sure your divers are taught and learn to stay TIGHT with legs straight, feet together and toes pointed all the way through the entry. The extra half point or point they could receive from the judges could make a huge difference in the final results -- it sure did at the FINA Meet!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Don't Let Go of the Ropes!

During the 2008 FINA Grand Prix International Diving Meet at the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center, some coaches were "testing out" of overhead spotting proficiency on both trampoline and dryboard. Our proficiency test took place under the watchful eyes of legendary spotters Dick Kimball (University of Michigan -- retired) and Julian Krug (Univ. of Pittsburgh). My group included Ted Hautau (NC State University) and Kevin Sage (Sagebrush Diving -- CO).

While I was waiting my turn to "test" my skills, I recalled what my mentor Charlie Casuto told me when he taught me how to "spot" trampoline more than 20 years ago -- these words still hold true today:

  1. NEVER, EVER let go of the spotting ropes when you have an athlete in the belt -- even when you are not actively "spotting" them.
  2. Make sure the athlete in the spotting belt understands what skill you want them to do.
  3. Never take your eyes off the person in the spotting belt when you are actively spotting them.
  4. Make sure the athlete you are spotting knows and understands that they are NOT to "go" until you are looking at them AND you have given them the "go" command.
  5. Avoid anything that could distract you or cause you to lose your focus when you are actively spotting an athlete.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice!

WORD OF CAUTION: All coaches should first learn how to spot over a trampoline. After getting proficient at trampoline spotting, then you can move on to spotting dryboard and finally, you can learn "over-the-water" spotting. The reason this is important is when spotting over the water, you must "let go" of the ropes after spotting the skill so the diver can drop into the pool. Without exception, you NEVER LET GO of the ropes when spotting above a trampoline or dryboard so you must learn this VERY IMPORTANT lesson first.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

2008 FINA Grand Prix Meet!

If you are in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area this week, be sure to stop by the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center located at the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Hall for the 2008 AT&T USA DIVING F.I.N.A. Grand Prix. This international diving competition will feature the best divers in the world in one of the last major competitions before the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Click here for a schedule of events.

While there, be sure to stop by the Springboards and More Booth (located on the 3M side of the pool) where you will find all kinds of diving related equipment, supplies and novelty items sure to please any diving enthusiast in your family.

The Springboards and More Booth will be open Wednesday May 7 - Saturday May 10 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Diving Coach Research Project

Springboards and More is researching and compiling a listing of all the awards and honors that have been won by diving coaches over the past 100 years. We plan to upload all of this information to a website that will be available soon. The website will be a constantly growing database as we collect more and more information.

Not only are we compiling listings of the major diving coach award winners, but we are also looking to compile NCAA Coach of the Year Winners, US Diving Coaching honors, College Conference "Coach of the Year" winners, as well as High School and Geographic area diving coach award winners.

If you would like to assist in this project, please send a note to springboardsandmore@cinci.rr.com or if you have any awards or honors you would like to see added to our compilation, please send that information as well.

We appreciate your efforts towards this project and we hope that this new website will be a source of inspiration to future diving coaches and help to keep our sport moving forward!

Monday, April 28, 2008

FUNdamentals, FUNdamentals, FUNdamentals

Now that the summer diving season is right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to remind all coaches -- especially first-time coaches about the importance of teaching FUNDAMENTALS to your divers.

The biggest "coaching" mistake I see from young and inexperienced coaches, is trying to teach young divers "hard" dives when they cannot do the "easy" fundamentals of our sport. I am talking about "GOOD FORM" -- that is legs straight, feet together, toes pointed -- and VERTICAL entry with little or no splash. It makes no sense to teach a young diver difficult dives if they cannot keep their feet together on an easy dive. In the same way, it makes no sense to have a young diver do a front double somersault and land in the water like a bowling ball when that same diver could do a Front 1 1/2 S.S. and go straight in the water -- these are COACHING ERRORS that simply will not score well from the judges. Keep in mind that higher judges' scores almost always beats higher DD (Degree of Difficulty). It is almost always better to do an easier dive well than to do a hard dive poorly.

Make a habit of spending the first 10-15 minutes of your summer league practice (every day) teaching divers "Good Form" and teaching them how to enter the water as close to vertical as possible. Make a game or a competition out of it to keep the kids interested and to trick them into learning the "boring" stuff that will pay big dividends in the long run.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Please Stand!

A diving coach is, in reality, a teacher. The job of a teacher is to help, encourage and assist your students to learn the subject matter that you are presenting. In this case, your subject matter is the sport of diving. As a person who teaches diving, you need to find the best way possible to reach the students in your classroom (the pool).

There is, in my humble opinion, no right or wrong way to teach diving (safety excluded) -- every diving teacher is different and every diving teacher has his or her own methods to get the lesson across to the students (divers). Experience has shown me that a student is more apt to learn in an environment where the teacher is enthusiastic about the subject matter being presented and I feel strongly that a diving teacher who STANDS during practice has a much better chance of displaying that enthusiasm to his or her students (divers). A coach who stands can be more animated and can better demonstrate techniques; can walk over to the diver for some one on one discussion; can jump up and down to celebrate the learning of a new dive or to show dismay at a diver who repeats the same mistake again. In essence, a coach who stands can bring some energy to the classroom (pool) and this can really benefit the students (divers).

Think back to your school days and recall how boring it was to be in a class where the teacher just sat at their desk and read notes for you to copy in your notebook. Now recall those classes where the teacher was a bundle of energy and you could not wait to get in there and learn! NOW GET OUT OF YOUR CHAIR AND START COACHING!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reflections on Coach Lyden

While attending the funeral for University of Kentucky Diving Coach MIKE LYDEN, I was impressed (but not surprised) by the large outpouring of support from his friends and neighbors, the UK Athletic Department and of course from the diving coaches around the country. However, I was most impressed at seeing many if not most of Mike's current and former divers.

I believe the true measure of success for a coach in any sport is the positive impact he or she has on their athletes long after they have competed for the last time. Mike was more than a great diving coach -- he was tough, driven and very demanding both inside and outside of the pool. He required his divers to do well academically and to be in top physical condition. He instilled in them discipline, attention to detail, a work ethic and most importantly, he taught them to be winners. This was quite evident as I looked around the room and saw table after table of physically fit, well-groomed, well-dressed productive members of society who have carried with them the lessons learned while diving for "Iron Mike."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Iron Mike Memorial Fund

As most of you know, MIKE LYDEN -- one of the finest diving coaches in the United States lost his battle with cancer on Friday April 11, 2008. A memorial fund has been set up by Wildcat Aquatics, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and 100% of all donations will directly benefit Mike's wife Emily and his three children Jessica, Jack and Brittany.

We have a chance to double our donations to honor the memory of our friend and colleague. A generous donor has offered to match funds up to $10,000.00 submitted by the diving community. In order to have your donation matched, please send your check made payable to "Wildcats Aquatics - Iron Mike Memorial" and send to Springboards and More. They will coordinate the gift with the matching donor.

Make checks payable to "Wildcats Aquatics - Iron Mike Memorial"

Mail to
"Iron Mike" Foundation
c/o Springboards and More
P.O. Box 268
Milford, OH 45150

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thanks, "Iron Mike"!

MIKE LYDEN, one of the finest diving coaches in America lost his battle with cancer on Friday April 11, 2008.

  • Thanks "Iron Mike."

  • Thanks for being such an inspiration to so many.

  • Thanks for being the great coach you were.

  • Thanks for being the great competitor you were.

  • Thanks for being the fighter you were.

  • Thanks for being the friend you were to so many.

  • Thanks for being the mentor you were to so many.

  • Thanks for being the great husband you were.

  • Thanks for being the great father you were.

  • Thanks for the passion that you brought to the sport of diving.

  • Thanks for your zest for life.

  • Thanks for bringing out the best in all those with whom you came in contact.

You will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Rest in Peace.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just A Half Point More!!

Ask yourself this question after your next diving meet: “What could I have done better on each dive to get just one half point more from the judges?”

In a typical 11-dive high school dive list (5 Voluntary Dives and 6 Optional Dives that includes 105C, 203C, 303C, 403C, 5132D and 5223D) your total score would INCREASE by nearly 30 POINTS if you took every score you received from each judge and added ½ point to it before re-calculating your score.

EXERCISE: Pull out your most recent diving sheet and re-calculate your final total after increasing every judges' award by one half point. (Example: If you received scores of 5.5 , 5.5, 6.0, 6.0, 6.0 on your first dive -- change those scores to 6.0, 6.0, 6.5, 6.5, 6.5 and recalculate the point total). Repeat this for all eleven dives and then see where you would have ended up in the final rankings had this been your score!

THIRTY POINTS – that is almost one whole dive!! That is like getting to do 12 dives in an 11-dive meet – on which end do you rather be?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Watch The Bubbles!

When a divers enters the water with little or no splash, the result is usually a high score from the judges. In order to get that "RIP" sound when entering the water, the diver must have grabbed their "flathand," lined up the entry correctly and remain tight through the water -- especially their shoulders, elbows and wrists. The final piece of the "RIP" puzzle is the diver needs to split their hands as soon as they touch the water -- this in effect "RIPS" open a hole in the water through which the diver enters.

A coach can tell if the diver is splitting their hands simply by watching the bubbles where the diver entered the water. There should be THREE sets of bubbles: the middle bubble is where the diver entered the water and then the two sets of bubbles to either side of the middle bubbles that are generated by the diver splitting their hands upon entry. If a coach only sees one set of bubbles, this means the diver is not splitting their hands apart on entry. If the coach sees three sets of bubbles BUT the two sets of side bubbles take a few seconds to reach the surface, then the diver is splitting too late. Sometimes, new divers will split their hands BEFORE they hit the water and this will be very easy to see as the splash will be big and the diver will probably complain of a headache when they get out of the water!

FINAL NOTE: The three sets of bubbles should be nearly in a straight line or the two "outside" sets of bubbles should be slightly in front of the middle set of bubbles. If a coach notices one or both "outside" sets of bubbles breaking the surface BEHIND the middle set of bubbles -- WARNING -- this could lead to shoulder injuries -- especially for tower divers! If you see this situation, it MUST be corrected right away!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Good "Hobie-ism"

Legendary Diving Coach HOBIE BILLINGSLEY was often heard to tell a diver "Don't let the water dictate your direction upon entry." In a nutshell, this means that a diver should maintain a tight straight-line body position throughout the completion of the entry. The dive is NOT over until your toenails disappear underneath the water.

If a diver does not maintain a tight body when they enter the water, the water might force them to move in a certain direction that makes the dive appear to go short, over or maybe look twisted in the eyes of the judges -- all things that reduce the scores given to the diver.

Divers must learn this most important of skills from the very beginning of their diving careers. A good drill is to have them lie on their back with legs straight, feet together, toes pointed and a "flathand" grabbed and then on your command "STRETCH" -- they try to make their body 10 feet long and hold this tight stretched position for 10 seconds. Relax and then repeat 10 times. In addition, every practice should include time spent on learning to enter the water straight (read: VERTICAL) with this tight body position and good form (Legs Straight, Feet Together, Toes Pointed).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Best Diving Meet Fundraising Idea

Hosting a diving meet can be a great way to raise funds for your team. It takes a great deal of work but can be very profitable. I have run numerous diving meets over the years including the 1996 U.S. Diving Senior National Championships at the then brand new Corwin Nixon Aquatic Center on the campus of Miami (OH) University. The Cincinnati Stingrays Parent's Group put on one heck of a show and I still get coaches complimenting me (and the team) on what many consider to be the best Nationals ever held.

The meet had pomp and circumstance, huge crowds, incredible food and hospitality for the coaches, divers and volunteers as well as great media coverage from the local and national press.

How was it done -- especially the incredible amounts of food that was served? The meet planning committee made a spreadsheet list of every single thing we thought we would need to run a first class diving meet -- down to the last potato chip and paperclip. Then the parents went to people and businesses they knew and asked for a NON-CASH donations. We asked for a donation of product or service instead of asking for cash. We updated the spreadsheet regularly so potential donors could see how many people and businesses were helping us with our endeavor. Most businesses will gladly donate product in lieu of cash and we credited them for the value of their product donation as if it were a cash donation.

When all was said and done, we figure that the value of the donations we received (mostly products and / or services) totalled nearly $50,000 and with this you can put on one spectacular diving meet!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Duraflex Factoid

Did you know that the very first Durafirm Stand (as we know if today) was designed by Ray Rude and manufactured in the Fall of 1961. It was installed at Princeton University. The coach there at the time was Bob Schneider (of RIP Magazine Fame).

Source -- Jan Rude -- President of Duraflex International Corporation

Sunday, April 6, 2008

What Is That Noise?

A phone call I often get from coaches involves the the loud noise coming from their diving equipment when being bounced. In most cases, this is due to one of two things:

  1. The FULCRUM is not properly adjusted (either the Anti-Rattle Bolts or the Roller Clamp Lock-Nuts)
  2. The HINGE has either missing or broken Nyliners ("bushings") which allows the Hinge Pin to rattle around inside the Hinge.

To adjust the fulcrum, you need a 1/2-inch combination wrench and a 9/16-inch combination wrench. Try to isolate which side of the fulcrum is making the noise and then determine if the Roller Blocks is lifting up and banging on the Slide Track (loose Anti Rattle Bolt) or if the Fulcrum Roller is lifting up and banging on the Roller Block (loose Roller Clamp). When tightening, always do so in quarter-turn increments and then re-test. Do NOT over-tighten.

If the noise is coming from the hinge (you can usually see the hinge pin moving inside the hinge), then you need to replace the Nyliners ("hinge bushings"). To do this, you must first remove the diving board and then knock the pin out of the hinge. Clean or replace the hinge pin and then add the four NEW Nyliners to the hinge and then re-insert the hinge pin. Put new "O" rings on either end of the hinge pin to prevent it from working itself out of the hinge assembly. If you run into problems, feel free to contact me at Springboards and More for trouble-shooting over the phone.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Administrating Your Diving Team

Most diving coaches that I know love to coach but do not like the administrative duties that are required to run a successful diving team. Running a diving team is much like running a business -- it is very important to keep up on the day-to-day administrative tasks. Examples are returning e-mails and phone calls, recruiting and registering new divers, billing and bill paying, collecting past due fees, lesson plans, continuing education, etc.

My solution is to schedule a block of time -- the same time every day -- to do these things. I like mornings because my mind is fresh and there are few distractions. I go to the office and try to answer all e-mails, return phone calls and perform all of the routine tasks that I need to do in order to keep my diving program (read: business) running smoothly. Often, these daily administrative duties can be accomplished in a fairly short time as long as you keep up on them.

WOW! Did you know that if you wake-up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do each day that you will add about 7 1/2 DAYS to your year? (30 minutes x 365 days = 10,950 minutes which equals 182.5 hours which equals 7.6 days). Think about how much more you could accomplish with an extra 7 1/2 days!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Diving Board Tool Kit

Having diving equipment that is in good working order is paramount to running a successful diving team. Every diving coach should have a basic knowledge of how to maintain their diving stand and board. The following items should be kept at the pool:
  • Grease Gun with Tube of Grease (Duraflex Mystik JT-6 is recommended)
  • Can of 3 in 1 Oil (to lubricate hinges)
  • Rags (for wiping off fulcrum slide tracks BEFORE greasing)
  • Can of WD-40 or similar product to help remove dirt and grease from fulcrum slide tracks
  • 15/16-inch combination wrench (Tightens diving board bolts / stand installation bolts / fulcrum box installation bolts)
  • 9/16-inch combination wrench (Tightens ALL bolts that go into Durafirm diving stand plus the fulcrum anti-rattle bolt)
  • 1/2-inch combination wrench (Tightens guard rail attachment bolts and all fulcrum bolts except anti-rattle bolt)

Best Wishes for a Safe and Successful Season!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trampoline Spring Information

There are several trampoline springs on the market today, but you need to know the differences in order to make the correct decision when purchasing them. Most non-competitive or backyard trampolines utilize 9 in. springs and nearly all competitive trampolines utilize 10" or even 10 1/4 in. springs.

All trampolines springs have what is called a "Resting Stretch" and an "Active Stretch." The Resting Stretch is defined as the amount of stretch on the spring when it is attached to the trampoline frame and bed and nobody is jumping on it -- it is "at rest." The Active Stretch is defined as the length to which the spring could stretch when an average size person is "actively" jumping. See the chart below:

As you can see, there is quite a difference. You will also note that depending on what spring size you choose has an impact on the actual size of the trampoline bed needed to correctly fit your trampoline frame. HAPPY JUMPING!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

USA Diving Registration and Safety Certification

Coaches beware - make sure you have your USA Diving registration and safety certification. USA Diving will be checking your registration at all the regional, zone and national level meets.

They have also partnered with the American Red Cross, and you can get your first aid requirements online. For more information CLICK HERE. Don't procrastinate, get certified!

Get Ready for Spring!

Spring is upon us and that means competitions! NCAA championships just finished and the spring regionals are already in progress. What does that mean for coaches - check your boards and stands and be proactive! Springboards And More has multiple equipment packages that can help fix problems that occur to Duraflex Diving Stands. The most common problems occur on hinges, fulcrums and guardrails, and these are easy fixes. Questions - give us a call at (877) 348-3246.

Monday, March 31, 2008


VINCE PANZANO (Ohio State University) and DAN LAAK (University of Georgia) were named NCAA Diving Coaches of the Year for 2008. Panzano was named Women's Diving Coach of the Year and Laak was named Men's Diving Coach of the Year.

Panzano had a spectacular Women's Championships that was highlighted by a 1-2 finish in the 3-meter contest. Laak was honored for the accomplishments of his diver Chris Colwill who finished 1st, 2nd and 2nd in the three diving events contested.

The award is determined by a vote of all diving coaches at the NCAA Championships.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Freshman Sean Moore Wins NCAA Platform Title

Freshman Sean Moore from Ohio State came from behind to defeat Chris Colwill of Georgia to grab his first NCAA title on platform at the NCAA Championships in Seattle, Wash. Sean is the son of former Ohio State diver Tim Moore, who won five NCAA titles and was fifth at the 1976 Olympic Games on platform. Moore, a freshman, received 9's, 9 1/2's and one 10 on his final dive to win the title by 18 points.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Congratulations to the following COACHES for their success at the Men's NCAA Division I Diving Championships. Randy ABLEMAN – Miami (Reuben Ross – 6th 1-meter, 1st 3-meter, 4th Platform, JJ Kinzbach - 8th Platform); Mark BRADSHAW - Arizona State (Mickey Benedetti – 7th 1-meter); Mike BROWN – Hawaii (Magnus Frick - 2nd 1-meter, 6th 3-meter); Pat GREENWELL - Alabama (Aaron Fleshner - 3rd 3-meter); Jeff HUBER – Indiana (Landon Marzullo – 4th 1-meter; Taylor Roberts - 4th 3-meter); Patrick JEFFREY - Florida State (Terry Horner – 3rd 1-meter); Julian KRUG – Pittsburgh (Alex Volovetski – 8th 1-meter); Dan LAAK – Georgia (Chris Colwill - 1st 1-meter, 2nd 3-meter, 2nd Platform); Mike LYDEN – Kentucky (Stephen Andrews – 5th 1-meter); Vince PANZANO - Ohio State (Sean Moore - 1st Platform, Weston Wieser - 7th Platform); Matt SCOGGIN - Texas (Jonathan Wilcox - 7th 3-meter, Matthew Cooper - 6th Platform); Jeff SHAFFER - Auburn (Kelly Marx -5th 3-meter, Daniel Mazzafero - 8th 3-meter, 5th Platform); Adam SOLDATI - Purdue (David Colturi - 3rd Platform). The top eight finishers at the NCAA Championships earn All-American honors.

Dan LAAK of Georgia was named the 2008 NCAA Men's Diving Coach of the Year, and his diver Chris Colwill was named 2008 NCAA Men's Diver of the Year.

Springboards and More congratulates the DIVING COACHES for all their hard work, dedication and long hours at the pool that went into these performances.