|ISU diving camp opens with a bang|
|Written by Todd MarTodd, Marver Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Tuesday, 28 June 2011 17:07|
In any sport, youth and amateur athletes look up to professionals as role models. This act of admiration is no different for the attendees of the Illinois State diving camp, which opened its first session on Monday and continues through tomorrow at Horton Pool. Both local and out of state high school divers are in attendance.
During camp, ISU diving coach Phil Hoffmann discusses professional diving on a national scale with the athletes.
“We talk about Olympic-level diving to give the kids an idea of some dives and skills we are working on [during camp],” Hoffmann said.
The camp consists of four sessions. The next two sessions, which are each only three days long, will take place July 11 through July 13 and July 14 through July 16. Divers ages 8 to 18 regardless of skill level are welcome to participate.The final session that is open only to high school divers will take place July 25 through July 28. Campers may attend multiple sessions.
The camp objectives are to teach the basics of diving in a safe and educational environment, assist divers with previous diving experience to improve their skills, provide dry land training with specific diving skills as well as instruction and for the participants to have fun and learn new skills.
The coaching staff, as well as current and former divers that come back to help with the camp enjoy working with the younger divers to view the sport at the various progression levels.
“We all see it at the collegiate level day in and day out, so it is nice to see the beginning stages and also some of the up and coming kids in the area, as well as out of [state divers],” Hoffmann said.
Check-in for camp begins at 8:15 a.m. on the first day of each session with attendees arriving by 8:30 a.m. on the other days. Divers receive a camp t-shirt upon check-in. Each day’s activities officially begin at 8:45 a.m. with dry land training.
“We start out with our dry land activities, which is using our dry board, as well as the trampoline and our spotting harnesses,” Hoffmann said.
The spotting equipment over the one-meter boards and trampoline, which includes belts with a safety harness, provides the safety, comfort and confidence needed to allow divers to attempt new dives and skills.
Not only do divers have the opportunity to use the equipment in a collegiate pool facility, but also on the second or third day of camp they are given the chance to view previous dives on video and learn from their mistakes. With TiVo Video Equipment, videos are taken of individual divers, and they look back on them later in an analysis session with coach Hoffmann. The videos help the athletes visualize their skills and see what improvements can be made.
The rest of the morning, from about 9:45 a.m. to noon, consists of water training. Camp ends at noon, except for the last day of each session. Campers are able to show off their skills with friends and family and enjoy a pizza party celebration from noon to 1 p.m. on the last day of camp.
While the camp is a great benefit for the young divers in attendance, it also serves a purpose for the coaching staff, in addition to the current and former ISU divers that lead the athletes through each day’s activities.
“It is a great learning tool for the current and former student-athletes that come back to help,” Hoffmann said. “For our current divers, I think that it is great because sometimes seeing and coaching it really makes you think it through a little bit better, so then internally it helps their diving.”
“Also for the former divers, it helps them progress as coaches. A good majority of our former athletes in some way, shape or form stay with the sport whether it is coaching high school, club or some on the collegiate level.”