Swimming & Diving (Girls V) Swimming & Diving (Boys V)

Five D's of Diving: Dive, Duck, Dip Dodge and Dive

By Jessica Lee | Apr. 27, 2022 9:50 AM

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Five D’s of Diving: Dive, Duck, Dip, Dodge, Dive By: Anna Coney In sports, athletes are always striving for perfection, but it is virtually impossible to reach. Sophomore Abram Monahan has confronted this challenge head first: like a diver would. Monahan, searching for a new creative outlet, was intrigued by the swimming and diving team. “I have a lot of friends who swam and I am into gymnastics and doing flips of trampolines and it just was something new to challenge me,” says Monahan. Prior to joining the team, Monahan had many close friends on the team, gravitating him towards his decision to join. Above his connection with peers, he also had a mutual skill set that diving requires. The perfect mixture of personal interests naturally caught Monahan’s attention and resulted in his official joining on the team. The open and inviting environment of the swimming and diving team welcomed Monahan with two open arms. “I've been surrounded by a great, supporting team. I mean the swimmers are super supportive and the divers are just a great group of people,” says Monahan. The support Monahan received shortly after his admittance to the team, provided a comforting atmosphere for him to learn and grow. Introducing new concepts of athletic skills and sport can be difficult and intimidating for many, but Monahan was ready to step up to the challenge. Monahan’s coach, Eric Martin, says that in his first year, “He was just kind of doing dives, learning the sport a little bit, kind of figuring out what exactly diving was.” Monahan learned the ins and outs of diving and was fully committed to developing his dives his first year. “Last year, since it was my first year I just had a lot to learn about diving in general. I had to learn how to dive and technique.” says Monahan. He cultivated his ability in the sport and finished his freshman year 13th at Regionals. A very commendable placement considering his youthfulness in his diving career compared to his competitors who have dove their whole lives. Shifting into his sophomore year, Monahan decided it was time to take his training wheels off and created his main focus to ”working towards being a more competitive competitor and challenging [himself] to better [his] scores.” says Monahan. Determined to become a more cutthroat challenger, Monahan was confronted with the difficulties of diving. Perfection is always the number one ambition, but it simply does not exist. You can never be perfect in diving, but better and more precise. “I love diving because no matter how good you get, there's still room to always get better. There's no such thing as a perfect dive, but room to improve,” says Monahan. Coach Martin says, ¨He always wants to make sure what he's doing is perfect. That can be really good and really bad sometimes, you know, that perfectionist takes over and him and it frustrates him.¨ A popular quote in motivational circles, commonly attributed to Voltaire “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Despite the impossibility of a perfect dive, Monahan´s perfectionist attitude pushes him to improve day in and day out. While at times, infuriating, the hardwork and precision put into every practice shows through in the visible growth Monahan has displayed the past two years. Another obstacle encountered by Monahan was consistency of performing a dive precisely, until under the pressure of meet judges. Monahan says, “Diving can get super frustrating. Sometimes I will have a dive that I practice every single day and I never mess it up and then the day of a meet, the one time it really matters, I mess it up. It just gets frustrating because I know I can do the dive, but it just wasn't executed well.” “[Monahan has] that drive to want to be perfect once he succeeds,” says Martin. Monahan’s persistent need to perform to his max ability, presents conflicting mental stressors on him. He strives to repeatingly dive eloquently, then maintain that perfection. While training to become a stronger opponent, Monahan learned how to perform difficult dives he never would have dreamed to execute. He says, “Last year, the inward 1½, was my least favorite dive, but this year one of my favorites.” He expands on the fact that the inward 1½ was a challenging, frightening dive that challenged him mentally and physically, but this year the thrill of the difficult dive stimulates positive exciting emotions among Monahan. Despite Monahan’s conflicts of being a perfectionist in an imperfectable sport, Monahan enjoys the ability to always challenge himself to accomplish something better and harder. “He's a hard worker, but he's also a very coachable kid. You know, when you talk to him, he's always listening and paying attention. Then he takes what you say and he tries to make those adjustments so that he's always improving,” says Coach Martin. Another component that always is allowing and encouraging Monahan to improve is his teammates. Monahan stresses more than anything the immense encouragement he receives from his team. “My team is just really good at picking me up when I keep failing a dive. They just motivate me to keep trying and keep bettering myself,” says Monahan. Monahan expresses the impact his teammates have left on him. Anytime that he has come short of his desired performance, his teammates have always been there to lift him up and prompt him to keep his head up. Monahan says, “Moments that I may be upset with my performance and as soon as I´m out of the water the boys are there to help me get back to where I need to be. They support me so much and it just is a great experience to know that you have a team to lean back on.” As much as the divers have an impact on Monahan he hopes to reciprocate that impact on them. He hopes to leave a good culture and environment for his future and current teammates to prosper in. After a year filled with hard work, determination, and support of peers, Monahan used all his training to compete at Sectionals, earning himself first and a gateway into Regionals where he placed 10th with 2.5 points away from preceding into State. With so little to improve on to advance to State this year, Monahan is optimistic for his future in his diving career and what his upperclassmen years will bring him. Anna Coney is a student writer for The Pilot Flashes, Franklin Central's newspaper. Issues of The Pilot Flashes are printed quarterly. If you are interested in becoming a Pilot Patron and donate to offset printing costs, please contact the teacher sponsor Daniel Lichtenberger at daniel.lichtenberger@ftcsc.org.

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