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!