Here we try to provide information to answer a few frequently asked questions from parents.
We also occasionally pass on advice from other parents who have written in.
How to deal injuries
For our funded athletes, this is an easy issue. They have medical support on tap. For other divers, this is a more difficult issue. Most people consider their first port of call to be the GP, however in the majority of cases, the GP will recommend rest and once activity is resumed, the problem re-occurs.
If you do not have medical insurance, physio or chiropractic treatment can be expensive, but it is definitely worth investing in. Not just for diving, but for any future activity the child may pursue.
Nicky Rutherford, Physiotherapist. Special rate for divers (she is a former international level diver, so knows all about the stresses and strains put on the divers’ bodies). Plympton Physiotherapy, Erme House, Station Rd, Plymouth 01752 344606.
Dr Mike Burdon, GP & Sports Injury/Exercise Physician. York House Clinic, 5 Church St, Stoke Damerel, Plymouth 07791 446490.
If in doubt- seek advice!
How do we decide what competitions the divers do?
It’s all about providing the divers with a combination of opportunity for success and opportunity to be challenged.
It’s important that we know what is expected at each level, in terms of the minimum skills which should be performed and the standard to which they should be performed.
Fortunately, to make this easier, our coaches all have a great deal of experience at all levels of competition, so they know whether a diver is ready for the next level or not. If we are not sure or we need a reminder, we often look back at previous years’ results and dive lists.
It can occasionally be a tough call with divers that are border line – we want to give them a challenge, but we also want to provide them with an opportunity for success too, so getting the balance right can be tricky!
Depending on the type of competition, there may also be rules which exclude divers from competing in one level if they have moved up to compete at another level.
For example, divers who compete at National Age Groups cannot return to compete at the National Skills Finals, whilst they are in the same age group.
Divers who compete at Elite Juniors, cannot return to compete at National Age Groups whilst they are in the same age group – so we have to make sure we get the decision right, otherwise the diver cannot go back!
So, as you can see, there are a lot of things we have to consider when we select a team, but rest assured, any decisions we do make, are always based on what is best for the diver at that time.
Movement within the programme
It is important that parents and divers are aware that movement through the programme is not a “given” just for taking part. Some divers may never progress past the novice squad, others may move through the programme at a rapid rate.
Some divers get stuck on one skill they simply may never get, for psychological, technical or physical reasons (or a combination of all of these). The coaches do their best to ensure divers are working towards the skills required for the next level, but they will not work solely on the problem skill as this is boring, there is still no guarantee they will get it and working on just one skill will be detrimental to all other areas of their diving.
Promotion and Skill Development
Different divers move, develop and learn at different rates, which is why not everyone always works on the same thing in any given group and which is why divers are promoted at different times.
Coaches will always take the divers along a path which is appropriate for them personally.
Important – competition results have no bearing on squad or group selection.
Please remember in terms of developing the more advanced skills, the basic skills are even more important, than the end skill.
For example, the most important parts of a forward 2½, are the hurdle step and the entry. Therefore if there are technical problems, a diver will benefit more from working on hurdle step jumps and tuck rolls, than doing loads of front 2½’s.
The aim of the coach and the programme is to enable the diver to reach their full potential, regardless of their level. The methods/skills used by the coach are chosen in order to achieve that goal.