Dive in Head First

First-year diver Ethan Le competes during freshman year


Photo Courtesy of MSD

Ethan Le dives for the first time as a freshman during the fall season. “It’s really fun knowing that in a small season I got taught by just the other diver,” Le said. Le had no experience diving prior to this year.

The announcement for the next dive echoes through the pool. Ethan Le (9) climbs the steps on the diving board and walks to the edge. He takes a moment to collect himself, then jumps gracefully into the water below.

“Before I do a dive, I think to myself…‘This is the dive I’m gonna do.’ I go through the motions in my head a bit, and then if I’m nervous, I just go. I don’t think, I just go,” Le said. “But on dives that I do know I think I can do, I do them in my head and then I just go.”

Le began his diving career this year when he joined the OHS swim team. 

“[I’ve been diving] just this first season…” Le said. “I saw the other diver on the team and it looked really fun to dive.”

Diving in your first year isn’t common, especially in such a small season. Le didn’t let that stop him from trying, though.

“It’s really fun knowing that in a small season I got taught by just the other diver,” Le said, “and I was actually able to compete and that I and the other diver carried the entire thing of diving because it was just us…It was all our own efforts.”

For divers, the sport can require a lot of thinking and processing your dive. Some of what they need to consider is where they have to flip, in what direction and where they have to position their body. 

“Swimming in an event takes a lot more mindset because swimming in an event is just keep pushing, keep on going…The aspect of diving is in your mind. You just say, ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do this no matter how hard the dive is.’ No matter if you’re gonna flop, you just have to go out and do it as best as you can…” Le said. 

In order to compete, divers must be able to do six full dives and Le had to learn them all this year. In order to achieve this, divers must constantly be practicing

 “For training, you do whatever dives you would do in your competition, so at first I…would just run through my lineup of diving during practice and be good for a meet…,” Le said. “If I didn’t do as much training as I had, I wouldn’t have been able to compete, and if I didn’t practice as many times as I did, I wouldn’t have been able to do as good as I did.”

Having divers is somewhat newer for the team and makes the team members closer, as they are going through a learning experience together. 

“Everyone’s really supportive and everyone cheers really loud when I get a good dive in,” Le said, “and I think it just increases team morale and the feeling of being a part of a team.”