As Cami Katz ’16 prepares for a meet for her UCLA club dive team, she knows that each individual dive is the result of hours of arduous training.
Before even jumping off the boards, Katz starts with an hour of core and leg workouts, otherwise known as “drylands” to divers.
Then, Katz jumps off a dry board, which is a diving board perched over a foam pit instead of water.
“We do those to practice the different types of flips, and trampoline with harness, which we use when we are going to learn a new dive,” Katz said.”This way we can get the feel of the dive without the fear of belly flopping because we are harnessed in.”
It’s only after doing those drills that Katz leaps into the water.
Every week, Katz spends 2 days perfecting dives from three different heights – 1m, 3m, and from a 10m platform. Within each diving height, the diver spends time perfecting different styles of dives.
Each day, she tends to work on front and inward direction dives or back, reverse and twister dives. For each direction or type of dive, she tries the voluntary dive (the basic, easiest dive), and also the optional dive, which is the hardest dive in that direction that can be chosen for competition.
After perfecting those, Katz continues to add even more twists and dives to her existing dives.
For club meets, Katz narrows her list of dives to 20 total dives the week before. The process is a little bit different for Katz at Harvard-Westlake, however, where she has less dives to impress judges.
“In high school, we usually don’t workout very much before we get in the water,” Katz said. “We just use the dryboard with pit and a harness to practice the dives with a bit of support from our coach helping us by pulling the harness. Then, we get in the water and practice our dives for the high school meets.There are six dives for dual meets and 11 dives for CIF and CIF qualifying meets.”
Although diving is an individual sport, Katz reiterated how much her teammates mean to her, and her success.
“Diving is not really a team sport, but I definitely love my teammates,” Katz said. “They help me get through a tough practice, give me advice if they have done the dive and comfort me on new dives and cheer me on at meets and I do the same for them. With school, we are part of the swimming team too, so it is fun to be at the meets and get support from all of them as well.”