Friday, June 5, 2020
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Just recently, I had a very interesting conversation with a young boy and his parents about whether or not he should continue being on the dive team.
But first, let me fill you in on some of the facts:
Ian is in the 8th grade and has been involved with competitive diving for 8 years or so. He hasn’t played or experimented much with any other sport because diving has been his only pursuit since the summer right before second grade. He likes the sport and has become quite a competitive diver.
Just recently, he has started to lose his first found love for the sport. The time and pressure and some of his results lately have all been reasons for his slow change of heart.
The final straw came last week when he placed much lower in the standings than he is used to, at the dive meet. So, I got the call to meet with mom, dad and Ian to figure out what they should do.
This is how the conversation went:
Tom: “So, Ian, your parents told me that dive has not been as fun lately, can you tell me why?”
Ian: “Well, I have….”
Mom: (interrupting) “This last meet was horrible! The judges had it in for Ian and purposely gave him bad scores.”
Tom: “Ian, is that how you felt about it?”
Ian: “I think…”
Dad: (interrupting) “The judges gave really low scores to all of the boys on our team. They didn’t like our team for some reason. I don’t usually get that mad, but his time, it was so obvious, and I was furious!”
Tom: “So, Ian, is dive still fun for you?”
Ian: “When I…”
Mom: (interrupting) “He has worked so hard and this is what has become of the hard work. We’ve invested so many years into this. I spend all my time volunteering in the snack bar, I barely get any warning when Ian is up for a dive, I have to scramble out to watch and run back in to cover since the other parents don’t want to help. Is it too much to ask to have all the parents share the responsibility?
Tom: “So Ian, if you stopped diving, what sport or sports would you pick up?”
Ian: “I think I would….”
Dad: (interrupting) “And they made us pay an entry fee at the gate. We pay way too much money the way it is with all that it takes to be on the dive team, parents should be able to go watch their kids perform for free. And, with the entry fee, you would think that they would have supplied enough lounge umbrellas for us all to sit under. We already bring our own chairs, now we have to bring our own umbrellas too? I’m just saying.”
Tom: “So Ian, tell me some of your favorite memories from all your years of diving”.
Ian: “Well, I remember 2 years ago, when…”
Mom: (interrupting) “Ian would do fine if the Judges would just be consistent. That’s all we ask for, just be consistent. And, while I am on the subject, why do the dates, and the times of meets have to change all the time? They give us a schedule before the season starts, and then it seems like every week things are changed. Why can’t they just keep it the way it was first given to us? That’s all we ask for.”
Tom: “So Ian, if you change sports, will it be hard to leave some of your close friends that you have made while being on the dive team?”
Ian: “Yea, especially D…”
Dad: (interrupting) “I can’t believe how the judges show favoritism to the Falcons dive team. The parents from that team have got to be paying the judges on the side… If you were there you would agree… it was so incredibly biased. If they only knew how hard Ian worked, maybe they would consider being fair. That’s all we have ever asked for: judges who don’t cheat! And come on, $5 for a hot dog and chips. We don’t ask for much, but the food prices as well as the entry fees have to be reconsidered.
Tom: “So Ian, it was nice talking with you. Hey, let’s meet again tomorrow, do you want to? This time, can you leave your mom and dad at home? That’s all I’m asking, is that asking too much?”

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