This year, when it came time to sign up for the time, Connor said he wanted to do it again because it's really fun! Well, OK then, we'll sign up.
As a recap, Connor's first year on the dive team he had three dives - hurdle and front dive; back dive; forward flip. The flip was never fantastic, but it was good enough. Last year, Connor lost his flip. He just couldn't do it any longer, and by the end of the year, there was a lot of negative energy around that dive. It was almost painful to watch. This year, he started the season by losing his back dive. So, in two year's time, he had gone from having 3 regulation dives to 1. This is not good.
So we went to the pool, and while I can't help him on his flip, I can help him on his back dive. We went to the diving board, and I made Connor practice the dive. I was giving him pointers, the lifeguard was helping him out, he was standing on the end of the board scared to try. Finally, I told Connor we'd leave the pool after he did 5 or 10 (I can't remember which) quick back dives. He would need to go to the end of the board and not pause - because it was clear to everyone watching that Connor was just psyching himself out.
Whatever the number was seemed reasonable to Connor, and he actually completed them. They weren't necessarily pretty, but they did allow him to get over his fear. We repeated this exercise a few times, until Connor was happy and excited to do the dive again. I even showed Connor videos of him performing the dive last year, hoping that if he saw himself do it, he'd be more comfortable.
He took two sessions of morning dive lessons, and during lessons, he worked on the dive some more. Connor's coach rarely hands out a compliment that isn't deserved, but even he was telling me the dive looked great.
The final meet of the season was with four Arlington swim clubs. Because there were so many divers, each diver would only do two dives, rather than three. There was a delay in the meet for an electric storm, it was so hot that as I stood at the score recording table, I was literally slipping off my chair from the sweat. And even though I advocate not being jealous of anyone, I have never been so jealous of every single diver as they plunged into the water. Did I mention it was hot?
Connor's first dive was good. His unadjusted score was second or third. His second dive was a jumping back dive. And he nailed it! All of the table workers looked at me and expressed how impressed they were with him.
The dive was good enough to catapult him into first place among 7 year old boys. And it was so wonderful to be able to tell Connor that all his work paid off. That he had taught himself that back dive again, and it looked fantastic. His coach was so proud of him - the team cheered for him - it was such a fantastic way to end the season.
Now...hopefully he won't lose that dive again in the off-season and he'll get that flip back next year! He has expressed interest in moving to the "A" team, but he definitely needs all his dives to do that.
Bravo, Connor! You really do deserve that medal!
|The AFC Boys Waiting to Dive|