Georgia Diving Club Parents Handbook

Dear Parents
This is a packet designed to help you orient yourself to the sport of Diving. If you have any questions, comments or concerns related to Georgia Diving Club, please let us know.  

CoachesOur coaching staff has been around diving for many years, you can click here to learn more about each coach. All of our lesson coaches are AAU Certified and have had background checks.  Our team coaches are AAU Certified, USA Diving Certified and also have had background checks.  We are trying to encourage and teach each diver safe skills to use on the diving board.  We will use a variety of techniques and equipment to help us achieve this goal.  Please understand that coaches may use a physical spot to teach kids a new skill.  If you or your child feels uncomfortable with this or if you have any other questions please let us know.  

What is AAU?The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) was formed in 1888 to serve as a forum for athletic competition among young men and women. The AAU is the largest nonprofit, volunteer based, sports organization in the United States. It supports over 500,000 athletes in 34 sports on the local, regional, and national level with more than 250 national championships. It was designed for all who share a passion for athletics. The AAU has helped to mold and shape our young athletes to become faster, stronger, and smarter.  Please click here for more information on AAU.

What is USA Diving?USA Diving is a not-for-profit organization that continues to take the sport of diving and its athletes of all ages to new levels.  We select, condition, and train teams to represent the United States in major diving events including the Olympic Games, World Championships, and the FINA Diving World Cup. Other well-known events include the AT&T National Diving Championships, the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix, and the Junior and Age Group National Diving Championships.  Many of our athletes begin diving as youths in our junior programs like the Georgia Diving Club. Some go on to our senior program to become top national and international competitive divers.  USA Diving is also a resource for guidance and information regarding all aspects of the sport. Connection through our membership program gives coaches, divers, and fans access to the latest diving programs, events, news, and more. USA Diving members experience the excitement of diving at every level.  Click here for more information on USA Diving.

Diving SafetyMany parents express concerns about the safety of diving. However, for an athlete who is properly trained by a safety certified coach, diving is an extremely safe sport. “Diving Safety, A Position Paper” published by United States Diving reports on a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission which found that there were fewer accidents related to diving and diving boards than to golf, bowling or bleachers. A second study conducted by the “National Spinal Cord Injury Data Research Center” found that half of all diving injuries occurred in rivers, lakes and oceans and that most diving injuries “result from horseplay and injudicious behavior.” As Olympic Coach Ron O’Brien has explained: The sport of diving has suffered a poor image through association with accidents involving a dive into water, but having no connection to the sport of diving itself. These accidents occur in the shallow end of the pool, not the deep end, and they usually involve people who are not divers, have received little instruction and whose activities are not properly supervised.

General Rules for Practice• Make sure the diver is at practice on time (on time is defined by being at the pool 5-10 minutes early) and ready to dive.     Siblings and career obligations often make this difficult so car pools with teammates are often the best solution.• Divers are NOT allowed on dryland equipment without a coach directly supervising the dryland area. • Please ask all questions before or after a practice.• Parents & siblings please do not sit in the top 3 rows of bleacher area.• Please stay in the bleachers to watch practice.  Parents and siblings are NOT allowed on the pool deck.• If you have other children with you, they must stay off the dryland equipment.• Enjoy watching your kids learn and be active! 

PaymentsPlease click here for group and fee information. All payments are due by the end of the second practice of each session.  All payments not made by the end of the second practice are subject to a $10 late fee unless prior arrangements have been made with the coaches.

Make Up Policy If you miss a class, which is not cancelled by the coaching staff, there is no guarantee of a make-up.  When possible we will offer a make-up class which will usually be on a Friday or Sunday.  It is your responsibility to have you son/daughter to his/her regular class. Please do not assume you can bring your son/daughter to any class other than the one he/she is signed up.  Prior approval by the coaches is required before you may attend a different class time or day. 

Insurance Every diver must be a member of the AAU before they can begin lessons.  Please click here to directions on how to register.  A copy of the registration/receipt must be given to the coaching staff before being allowed to practice.  Before a diver will be allowed to compete at a USA Diving meet he/she will have to register with USA Diving. See coaches for more information.

A Diving Parents’ Responsibilities• Make sure the diver is at practice on time. • Encourage your child without pressuring them. Always show interest and enthusiasm.• Please do not coach your child during practices or meets, allow the coaches to do their job.  Some coaches find that divers    perform better and more effectively when parents are not present or are seated further away.• If your child misbehaves, a coach has some responsibility to discipline them, but the ultimate responsibility for discipline      remains with the parent. • Do not criticize coaches, officials or other divers in front of your child.• Let your child know that you will be there for them, even if a practice or competition does not go as well as hoped or      anticipated.• When asked, help out with team or meet activities. When at a meet hosted by another team, remember to thank coaches,    officials and other meet volunteers. Putting on a meet is a tough job; expressions of appreciation are always welcome.

How to Prepare Your Child for a Competition• Most divers do not need a pep talk from their parents before a meet. Divers usually get excited about competing, and do not    need to get “fired up.” Let the coach set the mood and the tone. • If your child seems nervous, help him or her to focus on their goals. Always be positive with your encouragement and       comments.• Diving is a sport that is better performed when the athlete is relaxed. To reduce stress, it is important that the diver’s self      esteem (or the parents’) does not depend on the outcome of a meet or the performance of a particular dive. It is important to    remember that a poor performance at a competition is not a negative reflection on the diver or the parent. Win or lose, a diver    must know that he or she has his or her parents support and approval.

How to Handle a Poor PerformanceIt is impossible for an athlete to give a top performance at every meet. Dealing with disappointment can be much more difficult than dealing with success. A parent should focus on some aspect of the competition that went well. Examples include performing a new dive for the first time in competition, or visible improvements such as a better toe point or higher jump. Allow your diver to be disappointed before trying to cheer them up. A diver needs to know that they can fail and still be supported. Then focus on up-coming events.

Try not to say the following:• Oh, it’s not that important.• If only you had...• Why did you balk?• We pay a lot for you to train, and this is all we get?• It wasn’t your fault, it was the judging.• If only the coach let you do another dive.

Proper EatingFor good practices and meets, it is important that the diver eat well. Many divers have trouble eating before the meet, but they should eat something. If a diver runs out of fuel in the middle of a meet, it is too late to do anything about it. Complex carbohydrates such as apples, yogurt, pancakes, pasta and whole grain breads are ideal pre-meet foods. Before practices and competitions, divers should avoid foods high in fat such as hamburgers, french fries and sausage.

What Age Group Is My Child In?Competition levels are divided into the following age groups: 9 & under, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18. A diver’s age as of the last day of the calendar year determines the age groups for that meet. Thus, if your child turns 14 on the last day of the year, your child will compete in the 14-15 age groups for that entire year.

Communicating with the CoachA diving coach can have a positive and long-lasting relationship with your child. He or she can help a diver to perform well and make diving a pleasant experience for your child.  As a parent, you may find it difficult to approach a coach with a question or a concern. Remember, you and the coach are working together in the best interest of your child, and you should feel comfortable discussing with the coach any issue that affects your child.  The best time to approach a coach is before or after a practice or a meet, not during the event. It is helpful to remember that a coach is most likely concerned with long-term goals and may have a different perspective than the parent. Also, remember that a coach is concerned with the best interests of the team, as well as those of your individual child. A misunderstanding or miscommunication should be addressed early on before it turns into a more serious problem. Approach the coach with your concern and listen to the coach’s explanation. Some misunderstandings may be a miscommunication on the part of the child. Occasionally a parent may want to remove a child from the sport due to an unpleasant experience. Before making any abrupt moves, a parent should talk to the coach to see if a less drastic step may improve the situation. Working together, parents and coaches can create a positive atmosphere for a diver. Please remember, it is the parents’ job to support the diver and the program, and the coach’s job to coach.

Diving MeetsThe following suggestions are geared to help you through your first few diving meets. These are general rules. You should always check with your coach to find out specifically what he or she expects of divers and their parents.

Before the Meet Starts...• Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal prior to the competition.• Be sure that you know what time the coach expects you at the pool. Give yourself plenty of traveling time so that your child    will arrive at the pool before the scheduled warm-up begins. It’s better to be safe than sorry. • If the meet is an “away” meet, make sure the coach knows where you are staying so that he or she may get in touch with you if    needed.• Check with the coach before leaving for the meet to learn if your child should sit in the bleachers with you or report to the    deck. Some teams sit together on the deck, so look for familiar faces. • United States Diving insurance regulations do not allow parents on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity (i.e.,    working the scoring table). • Have your child contact his/her coach so that they know you have arrived. Follow the coach’s instructions on what to do next.    It is important to remember that coaches are generally very busy at meets, but will spend time with each child when it counts    the most - during their warm-up and during their event.• Find the registration table. If your child is registered, check in and pick up a diving sheet(s). If your child is not registered, you    should pay the registration fee, fill out all appropriate entry forms and releases, and pick up a diving sheet(s).• Diving sheets describe what dives your child will be doing and in what order. They are used by the announcer and the scoring    table to record scores. If your child has never before filled out a diving sheet, and does not know how to do it, check with the    coach. Sometimes, a more experienced diver from your team will be available to help your child. Some coaches recommend    filling out a practice sheet the week before the meet and reviewing it together. • Once diving sheets are filled out, turn them in at the appropriate place (usually the registration table or look for large envelopes    hanging on the wall).

 The Competition

  • It is important for every diver to know when their event begins, and at what time the coach expects them to be ready to compete.Once the event has begun, the diver should know their order in the event, and always be prepared to dive when their name is called. Usually, the announcer will call the current diver and the “on-deck” diver (the next diver in the order).  

  • All questions concerning a judge’s call, the conduct of a meet, or the meet results should be directed to the coach. The coach will pursue the matter through the proper channels. 
  • If you are looking for something to do, check with the parents’ organization running the meet. You may be able to help in some way, such as working at the scoring table, or you may want to bring a good book or some work from home

After the Event, a Parent May Want To• Make sure the child is available for any award ceremonies if applicable.• Tell your child what a great job they did and how proud of them you are.• Help them to relax if they are preparing to dive in a second event.• Make sure they are eating and/or drinking the proper foods.• Once the diver has finished competing, check with the coach before leaving (to find out about the next practice or warm-up t   imes for any upcoming events).

What to Take To the Meet• Bathing suits - one for warm-up and one for competition.• A sammy or chamois towel, so that the diver may dry off in between dives.• Towels -your diver will be there for awhile, so pack at least two.• Team outfit.• Sweat suit or terry cloth bath robe.• Playing cards, walk-man, games - diver may have some free time between events.• Food - don’t count on the snack bar at the meet to provide nutritious foods. A cooler with healthy food such as fruit, yogurt,    granola bars and juice is usually a better choice.• For you - a book or some work from home. You’ll have some free time in between warm-ups and events. • Remember, pools are usually very warm and humid. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately - layers are  recommended.