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.