Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Well -- we found all sorts of items that were "Made in America" -- namely Duraflex Diving Boards, Durafirm Diving Stands and 2-Ply Black Rough-tex (Non-Slip Diving Platform Surface). In Beijing at The Water Cube Olympic Pool and The National Aquatic Training Center; In Shanghai at the venue being built for the 2011 World Championships; and in Guangzhou at the site of the 2010 Asian Games -- "Made in America" was everywhere!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The flight was smooth and nice and the service provided by the flight attendants was excellent. There was a movie (in Chinese) on the flight of nearly two hours and there was some mystery meat sandwich that was served that most in our group did not partake. Upon landing in Shanghai, we got our luggage and met our new tour guide "Hyphen" who took us to our waiting bus and took us to the waterfront where we enjoyed an incredible 45 minute cruise up and down the Shanghai Waterfront with its more than 1000 buildings over 100 meters tall all lit up in a colorful array of lights and moving billboards. It was stunning.
The street vendors were everywhere outside the buildings but the massive gift shop inside The Water Cube was a big hit with our group. After leaving the Olympic Village -- it was off to get a quick bite to eat before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Shanghai.
We visited the wonderful Temple of Heaven in Beijing. This place is THREE times bigger than The Forbidden City and here is where you can see hundreds o f people doing Tai Chi on the plaza; practicing calligraphy (using water) on the ground and large numbers of people walking, dancing, exercising, playing cards and checkers etc. - just relaxing and having a nice time. The culmination is the beautiful "Temple of the Good Harvest" which I hope to post a picture of as soon as I can.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
1) Go in straight (vertical entry -- most important!)
2) Go in straight with good form (legs straight, feet together, toes pointed!)
3) Go in straight with good form and little or no splash (RIP entry!)
4) Go in straight with good form, little or no splash and at a safe distance from the diving board (too close is too dangerous!)
Once your diver can do these four things, there is a fifth item and that is to increase the degree of difficulty (D.D.) of your dive list. Once your D.D. has been increased, you then try to complete numbers one through four again on the new list of dives.
Chances are good that if you can do these four things (plus the fifth item), you will be able to accomplish what legendary diving coach Hobie Billingsley used to tell his divers: "Beat the guy who finishes 2nd"!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
This day will only happen once in your lifetime so if you have a diving meet today -- hopefully, today's date will impart some kind of good luck to you. If you do not have a meet today but will be attending practice -- it might be a good idea to really put in some extra effort so that someday in the future you just might hear the announcer reading your scores as today's date!! 10/10/10!!
REMEMBER: According to the new FINA Diving Judging Chart, a "10" does NOT mean perfect -- a "10" means EXCELLENT so go out there and try to be excellent today!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
If we change the words around to make this quote more relevant to diving, perhaps it would read as: "The meet is won or lost far away from spectators -- behind the lines, in the pool, and in the dryland room, long before I soar through the air and knife through the water."
The question is are you as a diver doing all that it takes to be a champion? Are you putting in full workouts with maximum effort -- both in the pool and in the dryland room? Are you eating right, getting enough sleep and taking good care of your body? Are you doing extra stretching, watching films, practicing hurdles, working on entries, handstands, kick outs, slow-motion simulation, visualization, etc.? If not, chances are good that you will not be as successful as you could be (or should be). If you are, then perhaps this other Ali quote will ring true:
"I hated every minute of training, but I said (to myself) 'Don't quit. Suffer now and the live the rest of your life as a champion'."
Monday, April 12, 2010
The first thing you should do if your diving board is making strange noises is to do a visual inspection (while somebody is bouncing on the board) and try to determine from where the noise is coming. Is it the board itself or is it from the fulcrum area? Perhaps the hinge area? Maybe the guard rails? Could it be where the stand is bolted to the pool deck? Could it be a combination of some of these?
Often times, it is difficult to determine because noise travels so fast, it can be hard to pin point.
If you can isolate the noise, you should make the necessary adjustments to the fulcrum, guard rails, stand, etc. If you CANNOT isolate the noise, I would suggest you oil the hinges. Yes, that is correct -- oil the hinges. A Duraflex hinge has a "male" and "female" part that are held together with a (hinge) "pin" that is surrounded by four plastic Nyliners ("bushings") and an "O" ring at either end of the hinge pin to keep it from sliding out of the hinge.
You will notice that Duraflex hinges have a small hole in the center of the "male" portion. This is where you insert oil into the hinge assembly. (The Duraflex factory suggests 3 in 1 Oil). The hinges should be oiled every time you grease the fulcrum (about 2x per month). Every time the board is bounced, the hinge pin pivots inside the Nyliners and Hinge. If you do NOT oil the hinges, the (plastic) Nyliners (bushings) start to dry out and as the board is bounced, the hinge pins have difficulty pivoting inside the Nyliners and this is often times where you get the squeaking sound you hear when the board is bounced.
If the problem has persisted for quite some time, it is very possible that the Nyliners have cracked or broken and you may need to replace the hinge pin, the Nyliners and the "O" rings (aka the Hinge "Guts" Kit -- sold exclusively by Springboards and More).
Regardless of what needs to be done, remember the four "P's" and one "M" of diving board maintenance: Proper Maintenance Prevents Poor Performance (of your equipment).
Monday, March 29, 2010
Division I Women: JANE FIGUEIREDO (University of Houston)
Division I Men: ADAM SOLDATI (Purdue University)
Divison II Women: DAVE HROVAT (Clarion University)
Division II Men: DAVE HROVAT (Clarion University)
Division III Women: STAN RANDALL (Trinity University)
Divison III Men: JOHN MOORE (S.U.N.Y. Oswego)
Best Wishes to these and all diving coaches for a safe and successful 2010 and beyond! Keep up the GREAT work you are doing!
The Texas Diving duo of Drew Livingston and Matthew Cooper combined to score 54 team points with their 3rd, 9th, 16th, 3rd and 7th place finishes); 2nd Place team University of California scored ZERO team points in diving; 3rd place team Univ. of Arizona scored 13 team points in diving; 4th place Stanford University scored ZERO team points in diving and 5th place team Univ. of Florida scored ZERO team points in diving.
In mathematics, a person needs to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide -- it is difficult to be successful in math (or life) by only being able to do three of these four disciplines. Similarly, well rounded swim teams need to have sprinters, distance swimmers, backstrokers, flyers, breaststrokers AND DIVERS. It is difficult to be the overall best team if your team is weak or lacking in one or more of these disciplines. And, since diving accounts for 3 of the 21 events (14%) that are contested at the NCAA Championships -- it behooves every program to make sure that their diving teams have all the resources necessary to recruit and then train the best divers available to be the very best they can -- it can only help the swimming and diving team as a whole.
(Just ask the Florida women)
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Well better think again -- especially after seeing the results of the Women's Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. The University of Florida won the venerable team title by a scant 2.5 points over 2nd place Stanford and it would not have been possible had it not been for the very strong showing of the Florida divers. In fact, the University of Florida DIVING Team accounted for 40 of the 382 team points scored by the Gators. The other top 5 teams scored ZERO diving points in the meet. Without the points earned by the divers, the Florida Gators would have finished in 5th place as a team. See below:
NCAA Division I TOP 5 TEAM SCORES (WITH Diving Points)
University of Florida -- 382 Team Points (40 points from diving)
Stanford University -- 379.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of California -- 363.00 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of Arizona -- 359.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)
Univ. of Georgia -- 342.5 Team Points (0 points from diving)
NCAA Division I TOP 5 TEAM SCORES (WITHOUT Diving Points)
Stanford University -- 379.5 Team Points
Univ. of California -- 363 Team Points
Univ. of Arizona -- 359.5 Team Points
Univ. of Georgia -- 342.5 Team Points
University of Florida -- 342 Team Points
The moral to the story is to never underestimate the importance of having a diving team!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Like many pools around the country where competitive divers train, the TIVO is an integral piece of equipment that is used on a daily basis. (For those who do not know, a TIVO is a device that looks like a VCR and which records and then plays back what was recorded on a delay set by the coach. This allows the diver to instantly see the dive they just performed and is considered a "must have" training tool for divers).
What I noticed is that most of the divers in the competition would do their dive and then go right to the TIVO to watch their dive BEFORE looking to their coach for corrections and suggestions for improvement. My thought was that this was BACKWARD. The diver should go to the coach FIRST to get coaching on the dive and THEN go to the TIVO to watch the dive paying close attention to what the coach told them they needed to do on the next attempt. This way, the diver does not fall into the potentially bad habit of coaching themselves and thinking they know the best way to make corrections to their dive.
Without a doubt, a TIVO is a great asset for every diving team because it certainly helps the divers improve at a faster pace by giving instant feedback about the dive HOWEVER; it is my humble suggestion that the following rule be established: The diver first comes to the coach to get advice and corrections on the dive BEFORE going to the TIVO to watch it.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Certainly, a quick visual inspection of your spotting equipment should be done before every use. Are the ropes frayed? Are the swivel clips bent or broken? Does the spotting belt have any loose stitching? Is the rope running smoothly through the pulleys? etc. etc.
But the real answer depends on many factors including:
- How often is the spotting rig used?
- How big are the kids being spotted? (College age? High School? Age Group? Lessons?)
- How often is the spotting rig "shock-loaded"?
- How old are the ropes? The Pulleys? The Clips?
- What is the environment where the spotting rig is used? (Indoor? Outdoor? Near the ocean? Heavy chlorine environment? Direct sun?)
- How experienced is the person doing the spotting? (Very experienced? Novice?)
It is my suggestion that the coach or facility maintenance staff should closely inspect the entire spotting rig including the ropes, the pulleys, the swivel clips, the links that attach the pulleys to the spotting rig or the ceiling clamps, the rig itself or the ceiling attachment clamps at least twice per year -- more if the spotting equipment is used daily.
It is always best to err on the side of caution -- when in doubt or if not sure -- replace.
NOTE: Make sure the components you use are RESCUE RATED and designed and intended to be used for overhead lifting of human weight -- not the cheap imported rope and hardware sold at Big Box stores. Remember that Good Spotting Equipment is NOT Cheap and Cheap Spotting Equipment is NOT Good!
Of course, teaching the kids how to play the game is the job of the coach but I like how the local referees take an active role of teaching the kids during the games. As you can imagine, the rules of basketball for 3rd graders are not very strictly enforced -- but when they are, I really like how the referee will squat down in front of the kid and tell him exactly why the whistle was blown or why the foul was called. This way, the youngster can get immediate feedback and learn the game one rule at a time.
Similarly, diving referees and judges should do the same thing -- especially in summer league diving. If a failed dive, balk or other penalty is called, the referee (or judge) should call the young aspiring diver over and explain exactly why the penalty was called to make sure they understand. In certain instances, I think even letting young diver repeat a dive that was failed is a great opportunity to teach the sport to them. Call them over, explain why the dive was failed and then let them try it again. This is a non-threatening and non embarrassing way to teach a young diver and keep them involved in the sport by taking a potentially humiliating experience and turning it into a positive situation.
A few notes:
- Scores in diving range from a high of "10" (Excellent) to a low of "0" (failed).
- Whenever possible -- judges should be seated on BOTH sides of the diving well.
- Whenever possible (and at all "big" meets) there should be both a referee and an assistant referee who are seated on opposite sides of the pool.
- The ASSISTANT referee makes the call (failed dive) and the referee either confirms it or does not confirm it. In order for the dive to be declared failed -- BOTH the referee AND the assistant referee should be in agreement.
- If the referee declares the dive to be "failed" -- all scores are "0" -- even if one or more of the judges does NOT think it was failed.
- A judge who gives a "0" to a dive not declared failed by the referee should be able to defend that score with an explanation other than "it was my opinion."
- All diving judges should watch as much diving as they are able in order to keep their "diving eye" sharp.
- All diving judges should know and understand the rules of the sport.
- All diving judges should first and foremost be completely neutral; judge what they see fairly and accurately and always give the diver the benefit of the doubt.