Indiana International School of Diving

Training Plan


Levels Theory

The Indiana International School of Diving Levels are designed to produce the safest and most competitive long-term diving accomplishments for your child.  Each Level presents its challenges and may take considerable time to master.  Some Levels may be passed easily by talented divers, but most divers will stall out and struggle through the challenges of higher levels.  Realistically, even divers who have the highest potential may spend more than 12 months in any one level, especially if they are young. Elite divers often train outside their immediate level, and eventually return to their core fundamentals until they have shown mastery of those skills.  This approach may initially delay a diver’s advancement through the levels but will inevitably accelerate the student’s learning curve by providing them experience with more skills.  We operate according to the philosophy that 8 Time Olympic Coach Dr. Ron O’Brien has crystallized in his words… “It does not matter who learns skills first, but who learns them best.”  The IISD will actively train each diver to develop their best performance, and we shall do so with a long term, proven, and organized approach. 

Water Levels Synopsis

NOTE:  Students must pass 85% of the skills required for each level before they can progress to the next level.

Level 1:

Level 1 diving is designed for all ages of beginners, specifically very young and very new divers.  The curriculum allows divers with little experience to enjoy challenges with skills they can do successfully.  All the skills in this level are designed so the divers can experience a sense of accomplishment in a sport that is probably new to them.  The interconnectedness of all the levels greatly prepares the divers for the next level’s challenges.  Level 1 defines the most basic skills that are absolutely necessary to participate in the sport.  New or young students will be challenged with the simple skills presented here.

Level 2 

Level 2 diving is designed to prepare the divers for a more functional group of fundamental diving skills than Level 1.  Successful completion of Level 2 lays the groundwork for diving takeoffs, diving entries, timing and connection into and out of the tuck position, and proper sequence of basic tuck comeout actions.  Level 2 skills are the specific prerequisites for the first wave of competitive dives that are introduced in Level 3. 

Level 3 & 3 Advanced

Level 3 diving is designed to transfer Level 1 and Level 2 skills into more holistic performance of the earliest competitive dives, particularly front and inward dives.  The goals of this group is to develop physical fitness, coordination and confidence while working on the Level 3 skills.  Aside from teaching front and inward dives, Level 3 is a prerequisite stomping ground for the armswing skills, back and reverse dives, and somersaulting dives that are introduced in Level 4.  In Level 3, lineups become more complicated in preparation for Level 4 skills. 

Level 4 & 4 Advanced

Level 4 & 4a diving is packed with new material, as well as a review and advancement of the front and inward dives taught in Level 3. These divers will compete locally in various developmental meets and will focus on the basic skills necessary for competitive diving.  Level 4 introduces back and reverse dives, and front and inward somersaults.  Level 4 develops takeoff mechanics, armswing skills and lineup techniques.  Furthermore, it covers some prerequisites for dives in the pike position, back and reverse somersaults, and multiple somersaulting dives.  Divers completing level 4 are already well on their way to competing on both levels with basic dives.  As is the case with the earlier levels, Level 4 teaches the prerequisites that are essential for successful completion of Level 5.

Level 5 & 5 Advanced

Level 5 & 5a is certainly a long way from the skills acquired in Level 1.  This level introduces the pike position for forward and inward dives, and front and inward multiple somersaults.  The level teaches a more advanced hurdle and armswing technique, as well as the prerequisites for twisting dives.  Lineups are advanced again in preparation for higher levels of competition. Level 5 – 3 Meter is greatly developed in terms of dive volume.  Level 5 is the milestone for divers passing from beginning levels into what will soon be very high levels of competition.

Level 6 

Level 6 is generally the landmark level for divers to become competitive in the Junior National circuit. USA Diving requirements are synonymous with the types of competitive skills introduced here.  Introduced on the 1 meter are double somersaults in the front, back, reverse directions, as well as forward 1 ½ somersaults and inward 1 ½ somersaults tuck. 3 meter skills include front 2 ½ somersaults, back and reverse 1 ½ somersaults, and inward 2 somersaults.  In Level 6, competitive twisting dives are introduced at the beginning level, including prerequisites for more complex twisting dives.  Multiple bounce approaches are taught along with complex sequences of body movements on voluntary dives.  Additionally, Back and reverse dives are taught in the pike position.  Level 6 divers need a good measure of strength, quickness, and timing to pass this challenging level. 

Level 7 

Level 7 carries on where Level 6 left off, with more competitively advanced skills.  This level introduces dives that are useful at all levels of competition.  1 meter skills include back and reverse 1 ½ somersaults and front 2 ½ somersaults in the tuck position.  Also front 2 somersaults pike and inward 1 ½ somersaults pike are evaluated.  Twisting dives advance to additional twists and/or additional somersaulting actions.  3 meter skills advance to front 2 ½ pike and back, reverse, and inward 2 ½ somersaults tuck.  Back and reverse single somersaults in the pike position are also introduced.  After passing Level 7, divers will likely begin to realize and enjoy their special status as an accomplished diver in nearly any competitive setting. 

Level 8

Level 8 takes divers where few will ever go.  The goal of this group is to perfect each skill in a competitive list of dives and to develop and maintain optimum physical conditioning in order to compete at the national level.  Building on the accomplishments of the difficult previous Level, 3 meter 2 ½’s are transferred to the 1 meter board; pike optional somersaults are prepped on the 1 meter, and one meter optionals are advanced.  Forward 3 ½ somersaults is introduced on the 3 meter board; and multiple twisting dives in every direction are taught.  Furthermore, multiple somersaulting/twisting dives are introduced.  Athletes who pass Level 8 have a sure chance of qualifying and scoring at the Junior National Championships in any age group or gender. Level 8 divers train 5-6 days a week at 3 or more hours per day and are prepared to compete well throughout the United States each year.

Level 9 

To learn Level 9 is to graduate the apprenticeship stage and to enter the mastery level in the sport of diving.  Divers at this level progress to some of the high degree of difficulty skills that are seen performed by Olympic Medalists, which may include exciting dives like 4 ½ ss and 3 ½ ss tuck or pike in every direction. 

Level 10 

Level 10 skills are reserved for those divers who have the ability and desire to push historical limits in high level dive performance and diving difficulty.  Currently, Level 10 is a category reserved for divers who can perform the skills of world class athletes.  Divers at this level will design the level under their coach’s mentorship in a way that meets the athlete’s aspirations. 


As the program continues to grow and as our coaches’ education reveals more answers, the above Diving Levels and their requirements may be modified to meet the needs of the program’s success.