Travel Team Policies


High Dive Champions has a group of divers that is chosen and chooses to represent the team competitively.  To become a Travel Team member a diver must have a “Junior Olympic list of meet dives” that is required for participation in AAU and U.S. Diving meets.  Additional requirements are outlined below.


The Benefits

The Travel Team will:

·      Have additional designated practices run by the head coach

·      Be featured on the team bulletin board

·      Will have priority for private lesson times

·      Will have additional trampoline training

·      Will have goal setting & results meetings with coaches


The Commitment

The Travel Team:

·      Will practice at least 3 times a week (on average)

·      Will attend all home meets (4 per year)

·      Will attend all away meets (4 per year, usually less than a 2 hour drive)

·      Will compete with a list of dives that meet the head coaches DD requirement.


For the Travel Team Championship Season:

·      The head coach will post eligible divers for U.S. Diving Regional Championships & AAU National Championships approximately 4 weeks in advance

·      Eligibility will be determined by Degree of Difficulty and readiness to be competitive in the designated meet

·      All National Designated team divers are expected to compete on 1 & 3meter.

Team Rules, Policies and Standards of Conduct

Special Note from Head Coach Mike Darland

As a parent and long time coach, I believe a very important decision in your son’s or daughter’s life is which athletic endeavors they choose, and just as important, who they choose as their coach. It is my mission to teach diving to boys and girls in a safe, fun and successful manner in a professionally run program.  To truly deliver on this for every diver, I have put into place, a well thought out and a time proven set of team rules, policies and standards.  While this is a lot of reading, the following is important to the success of our mission and the safety and development of your child.

All divers must register with U.S. Diving and AAU to dive in practice and in diving meets.

General Rules

1. Parents are not to “Coach or Direct” divers during the practice.  This common sense rule may not appear to be worthy of  #1 rule status, however, it is important.

Divers are expected to be able to practice on their own with the Coaches supervision only.  If a diver is not able to practice without a parent, an introductory Diving Class, run outside of High Dive Champions, is more appropriate. 

2. Divers are not to participate or dive with another Coach or Diving Program without the approval of the Head Coach.  As a successful and professionally run diving program, our divers develop a solid foundation and become very skilled and competitive over time.  As a result, many of our divers receive “invitations” to other diving or “social” events from other coaches.  This is sometimes an unethical recruiting effort, and you are to notify the head coach of these types of invitations.  While these invitations may appear innocent or well meaning. Head coach approval is needed.  It is always the parent’s and diver’s decision what team to join, however, once that decision is made, it is important to be committed to the team.  Training with one team is also important for training continuity and safety reasons. (Some divers have become injured while “trying” something with another coach.)  With all this being said, there may be situations where team members are encouraged to take advantage of unique training opportunities, like summer diving camps. I also fully support divers representing their summer diving country club teams.  Again, consulting with Head Coach Darland is important and necessary.


3.  Parents, Divers and Coaches are asked to be positive at all times.  Please do not criticize our team, our team approach, our team coaches, our team policies,  other divers or other parents. Take a positive approach. Our team philosophy is all about the positive.  We believe…

·      A positive approach to overcoming problems and difficulties is a preferred method

·      A positive coaching approach is more effective, and leads to longer term success

·      A positive mental attitude leads to better athletic performance.

·      Being positive is just a better approach to life

While our team always wants to improve and be open to new ideas, if you have a concern, issue or better idea, please contact the head coach.  I do like to hear ways we can improve.

Parent Guidelines

Here are some additional guidelines that you can follow to greatly improve your child’s performance and development.

 1.     Encourage your child without pressuring them.  Interest and enthusiasm go a long way in improving performance.

2.     Do not fall prey to the “comparing game”.  When in an effort to motivate, a parent constantly compares the improvements of their child to the improvements to another.  This is a “Coaching 101 no, no”  Children are naturally very driven by group dynamics and peer support, however, no person can control how well or poorly another person is doing in lessons.  Comparison like this can only produce anxiety without solution.  Divers can control how well they are doing compared to how well they can do, and the coach is generally a pretty sharp judge on how well the athlete can do from day to day.

 3.     Please avoid voicing club service concerns to your child. Your words will greatly influence your child’s attitudes and thoughts.  If a child feels they are being treated unfairly by the coach, this will reduce their initiative and the belief that they are in control of their development within the training environment.  If such a condition has been reinforced by the parent, this may become a problem the coach is powerless to undo.  Instead, arrange a meeting with a coach to discuss grievances so that some positive results may follow.

Rules and policies for the current year can also be found and downloaded on the Registration page.

4. Parents must watch from the Balcony.  Parents are not allowed on the pool deck except to enter or exit the pool area.  For legal reasons, parents are not allowed to sit  any where on the pool deck unless prior approval has been received by the Head Coach and the Pool Director for special situations.

5. Parents are to avoid communication with divers during a work out.  Our coaching staff works to create an atmosphere of positive experiences through hard work and focus.  We use the tools of group dynamics to create and motivate our team and to encourage our team to push their own limits.  In order to develop a “team” atmosphere, athletes need to be tuned in to the workout in progress and tuned out to communicating with their parents between dives or exercises.

6. Do not interrupt or distract Coaches during a workout.  This is an important safety issue.  If a diver is being coached, spotted, or called out of a dive, it is extremely unsafe for any parent to be asking questions of the coach or distracting coaches from the balcony. If a coach is preparing for a class,  conducting a class, or attending to a diver please do not interrupt or distract.

During diving lessons, our coaching staff incorporates structured lesson plans that will lead to the athletes’ development and success.  Running an effective and efficient workout is what we are paid to do and our coaching staff will ensure that the athletes stay on task.  Lessons shall run the entire practice time with few exceptions and, in our pursuit of success, we will systematically avoid distractions whenever possible.  We ask that parents do not interrupt workouts, except in the case of emergency.

7. Do not try to influence coaching decisions for practices.  Coaches will make coaching decisions regarding lesson plans, diving drills and diving groups that work together prior to and during individual workouts.  It is distracting, unsafe and inappropriate for parents to try to have a hand in coaching decisions. If you have some specific goals you have for your diver, please contact the head coach to discuss before practice.

8. Coaches are available to parents by phone or by appointment.
  Coaches will generally need to prepare and breakdown training tools immediately before and after practice (Trampolines, mats, Tivo, etc.)  The coaching staff likes to talk to parents, however, please provide them the ability to greet and transition divers without interruption. If you have a specific question, like the time a workout ends, please call the Head Coach prior to the workout.  There are also a host of other important questions you may have such as:

- Goals set for your diver and their progress towards those goals

- The longer term training plan designed for your diver

- The details regarding meets we plan to attend 

These types of questions usually need a longer discussion, so please call the coach to arrange a time to talk or meet.  Coaches enjoy these discussions and do not want to rush through them.

9. Please make it a point “not” to attend some practices.  We greatly appreciate the fact that parents wish to come in and support their children’s activities.  It is still more impressive that parents are willing to take time out of their days to “be there” for their kids.  However, in any sports psychology texts, one can find the important term, “intrinsic motivation.”  This concept describes a motivation that comes from within the individual athlete, not from an external source.  Intrinsic motivation is the thing inside most successful athletes that gets them to an acceptable level of performance arousal on their own-from within.  The ability to motivate from within is an essential element that must be developed in our athletes at a young age.  Without the parent at practice, students may at first be less focused, but they soon learn to stay on task out of intrinsic motivation.


10.  No Food or Glass containers are permitted in the pool area.


11. Practice times and overall schedule can be found at the team website.  While there are normally no significant changes from year to year, the head coach may make practice schedule changes based on registration and the overall team composition.

Any changes to the practice schedule will try to be posted on our website with at least one weeks notice.


12. Have your diver to practice on time and ready to dive. Car pools are usually the best solution to transportation woes.  However, try not to have your diver arrive more than ten minutes before practice without your direct supervision.


13. Have a parent or driver at practice when practice ends.  Responsibility for the child transfers back to the parent when diving practice ends.


14. Parents need to help and contribute at home diving meets. We typically host 3-4 diving meets a year at Purchase College.  With a month or so leadtime, parents will be contacted with the responsibilities and contributions that are needed.  From donating a couple cases of water to working on a scoring table, your donation of baked goods or just your time on meet day is necessary for our meet’s success. 

15. Please do NOT Coach the divers.  We accept the role of coaching athletes and safely bringing them through the progressions that shall lead to competitive diving.  In accepting the role of coach, we ask for support from our parents in helping the athletes succeed.  We involve our parents in running diving meets, transporting arhletes to practices and meets, running club activities etc.  This will be the parent’s role for which we appreciate.  However, in an effort to help, we ask that parents do not cross the line into actually coaching the divers.  This raises many issues of concern and we will share some of them here.  When parents cross the line and begin coaching the athletes,…

·      The children are often put in the unfortunate position of having to choose who to listen to,  their parents or the coach.  Because our coaching staff never wishes to engage in a power struggle between parents and the coaches, as this would go against the natural benefits of sports in general, we wish to avoid this potential conflict.

·      An imbalance in the corrective feedback system occurs.  Athletes can only take so much corrective criticism at a time, and coaches dish out a lot of this in each practice.  If our athletes are then told on the ride home, at the dinner table, at the breakfast table etc, the athlete will suffer from what is known and clearly understood in professional coaching as “over-coaching.”  Over-coaching produces performance digression and athlete burnout – it dulls the athlete’s ability to respond to instructions during practice and meet situations.

·      Athletes may become injured.  Our coaching staff is composed of safety-certified professionals in the science of coaching diving.  Through our study of the physical principles of the sport, we have gained a key insight into what motions may potentially lead to injury and what motions are safe.  Parent coaching tips may put the athletes in danger of coming in contact with the board or water incorrectly, causing injury.

·      We lose some of that vital connection between the athlete and the coach that is a key ingredient to producing successful athletes.  In a sport so often associated with the conquering of fear, we rely on a strong relationship of trust between the athlete and the coach. The best diving coaches in the world form a very trusting relationship with their athletes. In earning an effective level of trust, the coach cannot be undermined by the coaching influences of diving parents.


Any attempt to directly or indirectly coach a High Dive Champions diver by the parent in any setting is a direct violation of one of our most clear-cut and important club rules.  Coaches that witness parents coaching their children or other children on the team are required to ask the parent to stop doing so.  This may involve the coach stopping the diving practice to let the parent know that such behavior is unacceptable.  If the parent were then to continue coaching at this time or at a latter date, the parent responsible will be asked to leave the premises during diving practice for a period of time as determined by the head coach.  This club rule is not negotiable.  If you have concerns about this rule or any other team rules, please contact head coach Mike Darland to arrange an appointment, 914 522-5440.

Team Policies & FAQ

Practice Rules for Divers

 1.  Divers are to Be Respectful of Others.

·      No Touching or Hitting teammates in any way. (With towels, hands, Sami’s etc.)

·      No “Innapropriate Language”. (More specifically, no use of swear words or sexual discussions.) 

·      No use of cell phones or music players during practice (Permission is required from a Coach, before the start of practice, if a call needs to be made or received during practice)

·      No Bullying, we should treat everyone as our friend.


2.  Divers are expected to be in line for diving boards before their turn.  If there is more than one diver waiting for their turn, divers can keep warm in the hot tub.  There should always be a diver “ready to go” on the diving board.


3.  Divers are to surface immediately after a dive and look to the coach for their coaching tip.


4.  Divers are to swim back under their diving board and to get out of the water immediately, to stay clear of other divers.


5.  Divers are asked to dive in a timely fashion. 


6. Divers need to ask a coaches permission to leave the practice area, (to visit the restroom, get a refreshment, see a parent, make a phone call, etc.)

Team Policies

1.     Intermediate or under 11 year old divers may not practice during a scheduled “Advanced Only” practice, unless prior approval is received by the head coach.  Advanced divers may practice during an Intermediate practice with a coaches’ approval.


2.     Team suits – Team suits & Team shirts are required for all diving meets.  We want to present ourselves as a team, so a team suit & shirt is made available for sale through our   Please do not order until Head Coach gives notice, since each year a new suit style is chosen.  Team sweat suits are also available for sale, each year at our website.  Team sweat suits are to be worn for award ceremonies at all diving meets.  It is customary at championship meets to wear team sweat suits for pictures, so please remember your sweats.


3.     Make Up Classes - If you miss a class or you anticipate missing a class, please arrange a make up class in the 9-week session. Make up classes cannot be carried forward to a future session. To arrange a make up class, you can simply leave Coach Mike Darland a message when you will be coming at 914 522-5440.  Coach Darland will call you back if an alternate plan is necessary.


4.     Bad Weather - Bad weather rarely closes the pool. If there is a situation, like a severe winter storm, which may close the pool, please call Coach Mike Darland.  Thunderstorms at Purchase College require the pool be cleared for 20 minutes without another sound of thunder.  In this event, the diving for a class may be limited, however, we may be allowed to train on the trampoline, so classes may continue with dry land training.