Diving is a very graceful yet powerful sport. There are two forms of diving, one using a springboard, the other using a platform. Springboard allows for more creativity; however, the diving board is much lower, while the platform boards are rigid and much higher off the ground. The judge’s will score the dives based upon the elements that include the dive’s approach, takeoff, distance from the diving board or platform, height, speed of rotation, execution, as well as position when entering the water, and entry into the water.
As you can see there are many different elements involved in diving, competition diving is highly competitive. Diving has the benefits of instilling bravery and courage. Most children must work to overcome the fear of diving. Divers must also learn self-discipline, concentration, and total body awareness. Diving also, helps improve motor skills, and increase upper and lower body strength.
Children can start diving incredibly young, as young as 5 years old. However, before your child starts diving they must know basic swimming skills, as well as be able to pass a deep end test. Children must be able to kick back to the surface, and swim to the edge of the pool at an absolute minimum before they are ever allowed to dive. Kids start really diving typically around age 8 to 12 years of age.
Great attributes to have to excel in diving including being athletic, flexible, and very brave with large amounts of courage. Persistence is another key attribute in diving; it takes a great amount of practice for a child to learn the proper techniques for the dives to look polished and effortless.
You want to look for teams that are organized by coaches who have been certified by U.S. Diving. You want to also look for a coach that is willing to help your child overcome their fears and what scares them, instead of making them feel bad. Diving because of the skill involved typically has four sometimes five practices a week all year around. This adds up to a considerable time commitment, as well as the transportation issues that can arise. Make sure you are fully prepared to handle the time and transportation issues before they cause problems.
The costs involved with diving are also considerable; they range from $100 up to as much as $400 a month just for team fees! Add to that the cost of the swimsuit, as well as the membership to a pool so your child can always practice, other expenses can include private diving lessons to help your child improve which can cost as much as $100 per hour. As your child enters, the more elite levels there are also competitions that will require entrance fees, as well as travel expenses to attend.
Diving is not for the faint of heart, it requires a lot of skill and dedication to master the dives as well as a lot of time and effort on the part of the child as well as the parents. Parents should only enter into this activity if they are able to handle all of the expenses, and are prepared to spend hours at the pool each week, and a lot of time transporting children to and from practice, lessons, and matches.