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Diving coach

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Oct 1, 2007
Campbell, CA
My dd's gym appears to be grooming a diving coach to be our optionals bar and vault coach. Currently he is teaching compulsories. I am having serious reservations about his ability to coach my level eight daughter.

We have an excellent bars and vault coach two days a week. He has tremendous experience but has other artisitic and musical interests in life which occupy the rest of his time. We hire him to do privates so as to supplement what we are lacking in our regular classes. Our gym claims to be actively looking for another coach, but the scuttlebutt is that the diving coach will accompany the optionals in their upcoming season to gain experience. My guess is that he will be used as an optionals coach in the following season and maybe as a spotter in the present season. In the interim, we will enter the level 8 season without a fulltime top level bars and vault coach...unless we hire him privately, which gets expensive.

I've corresponded with one coach with 30 years experience who has no connection to my dd's gym or to any other gym in the area. He advises that a diving coach could not properly teach optional bars or vault without many years of experience coaching gymnastics. The diving coach I allude to, while having a great reputation as a diving coach, has only 6 months experience teaching compulsories.

Any thoughts, advice?


Apr 9, 2007
I just hope he doesn't teach your daughter to twist like a diver :)

In all seriousness, I would have some reservations. But from my experience the best coaches I have seen were not high level gymnasts themselves, and study the sport unlike someone that has been in their whole life. Give the guy a chance to watch and learn, if he's willing to learn that is a great step in the correct direction.

I would just make sure he can SAFELY spot your child and other children in the gym. Safety should be number 1, make sure he just doesn't have them "chuck" the skills but uses proper progressions and can safely hand spot them.

Good luck!


Oct 1, 2007
Campbell, CA
I would give the diving coach a chance, but I don't expect my daughter to be around long enough for him to gain the requisite experience to properly coach her. While he has a very good reputation as a diving coach, he has only 6 months gymnastics experience at the compulsory level...I know, Even Bella Karolyi wasn't a gymnast.


Oct 1, 2007
Campbell, CA
I don't mean that we would leave abruptly. I meant that it would take years for the diving coach to get the experience he needs and that my daughter would graduate by then.

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
Don't assume the worst right off the bat, and if you haven't already, don't share your misgivings with your daughter (though if she has any misgivings herself, lend her an open ear).

Gymnastics, especially women's gymnastics, is almost entirely based on a few basic principals; it doesn't take significantly more technical knowledge to coach an elite than it does to coach a level 7; it all uses the exact same principals. I don't think it would be a stretch at all to say that 90% of all technical knowledge to be had in the sport can be learned in a few months. Having a background in diving, he probably has a pretty solid knowledge of most of those principals -- in fact, I think there are some things that divers do a lot better than gymnasts.

The most important thing that you gain from experience as a coach is not technical knowledge, it's the ability to communicate and work with kids. Since he has already been coaching another sport for awhile, he already has experience in this area.

There is a chance that he won't be a very good coach, but I would not say the odds of this are higher than they would be with somebody whose background is in gymnastics.


IMHO I'd prefer this diving coach becuase if not for all else he can break your DD fall when she lands on top of him and he is strong. I'd feel safer knowing this man can catch my kid if necessary. Also in this area the divers work out with the gymnast alot to learn body and air awareness. They train at the gym when it is too cold to be outside and alot of gymnasts go to diving after gymnastics or to many injuries prevent them from do gymnasts. Also hittiing the water at up to speeds of 40 mph vs a 100 lbs girl coming at me.. I'll take the girl...
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