The Dive

November 8, 2016
By , Clarkston, MI

As the school bell rang letting students know 6th hour was finished and you got to leave. I got out of my seat and started walking to the pool. Holding a heavy backpack full of binders and books. A duffle bag with towels and spare clothes. I had to walk into the office and talk to the coaches. As I walk into the locker room, the captains called a meeting, explaining goals for the meet and trying to get everyone hyped up for the meet, even if everyone was hyped I was always nervous. Sitting there quietly and listening to the seniors talk. As I walked out to the pool being ready for the meet to start, my coach pulled me aside. “You are the new kid in this group, these other guys are much older than you, but you have a high chance to get a win”, my coach said. I got used to everyone being much older than me, but I was still always worried.

The meet had started and diving was always the first event when we were home. Being home was always a good advantage for some reason. We went through four dives and I was in first by a high lead, but my hardest two dives were next. I never liked going on the board and listening to the announcer start talking. “I just want to do my dives and get it over with” I said as a joke to my coach before we started. For my fifth dive, I didn’t get as high of a score as normal and the opponent had a very good dive and was almsot caught up to me. In nerve wracking moments like these I always broke in the pressure, I remember at countys how I broke down in pressure and wasn’t able to rank, and my coach knew what was going to happen when he saw we were at the last dive.

The announcer called my name, said my dive, then was silent. I walked to the end of the board, my dive was Inward 1 ½ tuck. I didn’t get lots of time to practice this dive since I learned it a few days ago. In my head, bringing up the scores and realizing the opponent was only 2 points behind me. The board was rough and it scratched my feet like always. I was nervous, but also excited. The board started moving up and down, I started lifting my feet up and down. I went up in the air in my tuck, bringing my legs close and possible to my body. I came down and let my legs out and straightened my body out. In the water I went and I felt confident about the dive. As I saw on the tivo, my legs were not all the way straight and toes were not pointed. I saw my dive score coming up as 48 points, even though that was a new score for me I knew I could have gotten higher.  As I looked away from TiVo and made direct eye contact with my coach, I remember him telling me, “Every bit of practice you can get into that dive, you will get closer to making it perfect”. I learned from that moment that I won’t ever be done practicing and I’ll always have work to do. Getting good at a dive takes patience and time. “Even if you finish the whole diving list on the backwall, you can learn all the twisting opposite or re learn everything in a different position”. The kid in second place went up, did the dive and ended up scoring 52 points to win the meet. I knew my coach would have a good talk with me when he was able to. Even though I set myself a new PR as 179, I knew I could always get a higher score and I won’t ever be done perfecting my dives.

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