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Unsung Hero: Coach's Advice

Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 1
I am a swimmer and a diver, but I am a better swimmer than diver because I have been doing that for longer. I started diving this year but I have been swimming for about seven years. Diving boards have always terrified me and I didn’t even attempt to jump off of one until last year. I don’t even know why I wanted to start diving because it’s still scary to me. At the beginning of the season I was just a swimmer but then Coach announced that there would be dive practice going on so I just randomly decided to go. The land workouts were easy but then we had to start using the board. I was petrified with fear. It was just a simple approach off of the board so I did it and then everything was fine for about two weeks after that because we were still working on the same thing. But then we moved on to back dives and those were terrifying because of the way that we had to do the lay outs. You have to fall back into the pool while arching your back and keeping tight. That is terrifying because you have to trust yourself to not hit the board and to not splat your back on the water because that hurts terribly. I eventually got over that fear though. But then we moved on again and we were learning how to do just a basic dive off of the board with an approach. I was terrified the most of this because you have to make sure you stay tight because you could seriously damage your shoulder and you can face plant into the water. Neither of those options sound fun to me. So I went to the board and stood on my starting spot for about five minutes to get my courage and when I thought I was ready I did my approach and when I went for the dive I panicked and looked like a starfish when I entered the water. It didn’t hurt too badly though. I did this a couple of times but then the coach called me over. She gave me the best advice I have ever received.
All she said was “The only thing that is stopping you is you.”
This advice changed how I perceived everything that I was scared of. I was the person being scared, the board wasn’t trying to scare me, the dive wasn’t trying to scare me, I was just scaring me. The next time that I went to dive I still messed it up, not because I was scared though, just because I realized that I didn’t know how to do the dive. So I learned how to do it and then I went to try it again. I’m still not very good at diving, but at least I have swimming to fall back on.
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