Competition System and Meet Format Descriptions
The Indiana International School of Diving has the most advanced competition and diver evaluation system in the United States today. Our staff has been operating a competitive system since 2001 that has benefited our divers in ways that have not been accomplished elsewhere in the country. We incorporate 3 meet formats throughout the year that each contribute to the development and accurate assessment of our divers’ movement patterns. Our greatest claim to fame is the creation of the nation’s first Diving Levels format that has been designed to accurately guide safe, progression in learning the sport of diving. The following information will help parents understand the philosophy and the characteristics of each meet format.
Our Levels Meets compose 3 of our 5 IISD hosted meet experiences. They have been designed to develop several essential components of teaching diving systematically. Divers need to maintain previously learned skills as they move on to more complex skills or their development in the sport will be unpredictable, and potentially unsafe. The Levels evaluations provide the coaches with accurate feedback as to which skills have been mastered and which skills, or components of a skill, require further development. Mastering each key component of each diving Level will enable the athlete to navigate through their lifetime in the sport safely and successfully.
In the Dryland and Water Levels Meet Formats, not all diving skills are performed from the diving boards. We have developed stations of activities that are performed in the water, from the side of the pool, from the diving boards into the water, on dryland diving boards, on the trampoline, and the floor. We recognize this portion of the lesson as the fun time for the diver and as the portion that really fosters a growing interest in the sport through a variety of activity.
Dryland Level Evaluation
This meet format assesses the core skills of all divers – strength, flexibility, timing, sequential movements, accuracy and form of diving movements. This is, essentially, our most important format for diver development. Dryland Level training allows the divers to develop the above characteristics in an environment that removes the diver from potentially hazardous landings on the board, platform, or water surface. When the diver has mastered all the above components to perform a dive, instruction on the water becomes safe, successful, and accelerated.
- Strength: Divers need to develop core muscle strength to perform diving movements. Coaches can only expect divers to successfully perform diving movements with proper form and posture if the divers are strong enough to move their bodies through the required diving movements. Dive-specific strength enhancement directly influences the success of the attempted diving movements. The Dryland Meet Format tests the students ongoing development of strength.
- Flexibility: Divers need to develop dive-specific flexibility. In order to eventually attain correct positions required in diving, athletes must have a remarkable range of motion with their bodies. Developing flexibility is a long term, constant process. It is critical to develop proper, full body flexibility in young divers because the window for improving a person’s joint flexibility begins to permanently close at age 10. The Dryland Meet Format tests the students' ongoing development of flexibility.
- Timing: Divers need to develop timing to perform competitive dives. Timing development allows the divers to make the movements at the right moment. The divers are often performing a dive takeoff and entry in less than 2.5 seconds, during which they may be required to make more than 10 specific movements. The timing of each movement is essential to the successful completion of the dive. Dryland Meets test the athlete’s ability to time their movements correctly.
- Sequential Movements: Divers need to develop a cognitive understanding and motor memory of the order in which diving movements must be made. Many of the body’s innate reactions to the environment must be retrained in order for the diver to make the right movements in the right order, and land on their head (which by nature, is a very unnatural activity for humans). Dryland training places the divers in the upside-down positions they will be faced with during their water training and allows them to move their body parts in the correct sequence for dive performance. Dryland Meets evaluate the order in which diving movements are made.
- Accuracy and Form of Diving Movements: Divers need to develop form and accuracy in their diving movements in order to produce an aesthetic finished product in their dives. Form follows function in diving, and must be taught after the required diving movements can be made. The Dryland training system allows divers to repeat diving movements at a much greater frequency than training in the water. In the Dryland arena, more than 300 diving actions can be performed in the amount of time it requires to do about 50 water dives. This high volume of repetition allows the divers the much-needed resource to become consistently accurate with their diving movements. The Dryland Meet Format evaluates the accuracy of repeated diving movements.
Water Levels Meets
This meet format assesses proper transfer of the core skills to the water environment. Water Levels training allows divers to transfer the above characteristics in an environment that is specific to each part of every essential diving skill. The Water Levels Meet Format allows diving instructors to see each puzzle piece of a dive that will later be put together in a final product of performance. Proper mastery of one Water Level is necessary to establish the building blocks for proper mastery of the next Water Level and higher levels of competition meets.
Future Champions Levels
This level of competition is for divers who may not be ready for the dive requirements of the standard FINA meet format. This way, divers who are still new to the sport with respect to skill attainment can be introduced to this meet format in a way that accurately addresses their appropriate level of skill attainment and meet preparation.
USA/FINA Diving Meets
This meet format is the established format for national and international level competition. The dives performed are essentially a measure of the finished product of the divers’ development in those dives at the time of competition. This meet format is much more outcome focused than the Levels Meets, which are process-oriented. Our organization strives to keep the divers focused on the process of bettering their skills, in the Levels Format, for most of the competitive year. For those who are ready, a 2 to 3 month championship training cycle is implemented for USA Diving competition. This type of training should take place only when the necessary components of diving success are in place, so that coaches can prepare athletes for a positive and successful competition season.