Sunday, October 25, 2009

How Carving Pumpkins and Coaching Diving are Related

It is my favorite time of the year -- the leaves are changing colors, a chill is in the air, fires are crackling in the fireplace and my kid's most favorite "holiday" is just around the corner -- HALLOWEEN and the weeks leading up to it. They love decorating, costume shopping, apple cider, fall festivals, corn mazes, hay rides and of course selecting and carving the perfect pumpkin.

We carved our pumpkins the other day and I, the diving geek that I am, found some strange similarities between carving pumpkins and coaching diving. Here goes:
  • Going to a pumpkin farm and searching for the perfect pumpkin is like a diving coach attending a summer league championship meet scouting new talent for your team. There are many that appear to be acceptable -- but to the trained eye, there are but a few who make the grade. You have an idea of what you want and it is your mission to sort through all of them to find the right one or two.
  • There are many pumpkin carving kits available on the market today just as there are many different ways to coach diving. You choose the way you think will work the best with your personality, strengths and weaknesses and those of the divers you coach. Keep in mind that YOU may need to make changes or adapt depending on the pumpkin you are carving or the diver you are coaching.
  • There are many tools in a pumpkin carving kit that can help you get the desired result. Diving coaches also have many tools from which to choose that can help them help their divers reach the desired result. It is up to you the coach (or carver) to make use of these tools and to choose the correct tools to help do the job.
  • In pumpkin carving kits, there are different levels of carving difficulty -- the more difficult the pattern, the larger the potential payoff as far as contest success, accomplishment and pride. The same could be said for coaching (and learning) diving.
  • When learning to carve a pumpkin, it is best to start with an easy pattern before moving up to more complicated, time-consuming and difficult patterns. Coaches need to make sure their divers are well-schooled in the fundamentals of diving before moving on the more challenging and difficult dives.
  • And finally, take your time; use all the tools at your disposal; be patient and most importantly -- pay close attention to detail. If you cut corners while carving a pumpkin, the end result will be less than satisfactory -- ditto for coaching diving.

May all your pumpkins be perfectly carved and may all your divers learn from you how to jump high, spin fast, enter vertically and disappear under the water with nary a splash!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

No comments: