Frequently Asked Questions
On this page you will find answers to many of the most common questions MDC receives. If you don't find the answer to your question here, contact us at MDCController@gmail.com.
Q1. Can we make up a missed class?
Answer: If you contact us in advance, we can almost always get you into a make-up class. If you know your coach's email address, you can contact him or her directly. If not, contact MDCController@gmail.com and we will help you make arrangements.
Q2. It's a holiday. Is practice cancelled?
Answer: We cancel practice for the following holidays: New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the period between Christmas Eve and New Years Day. On other holidays, we hold practice as usual. Check our online calendar to be sure!
Q3. What does my child need to be able to do to start diving?
Answer: The key pre-requisites for any of our classes are: ability to swim comfortably in deep water, ability to dive in head first from the side of the pool, and a willingness to try new things.
Q4. Can parents be on the pool deck?
Answer: Unfortunately our insurance policy prohibits us from allowing parents on the deck. The only exception is for parents working as volunteers during special events.
Q5. How do I get info on schedule changes, event announcements, program updates and news?
Answer: Make sure you are registered with our email list to receive regular updates, event announcements, and news. Click here to get registered.
Q6. The weather is terrible. Is practice cancelled?
Answer: We make our own decision regarding inclement weather decisions. Obviously if the facility is closed, we can not hold practice, but just because the Montgomery County Public School Systems are closed, do not assume that MDC has cancelled classes. We make our decision by noon for each day. We will post an announcement on the front page of our Web site, send out a tweet via @MDCTweets, and email all members who are registered on www.montgomerydiveclub.org
Q7. My kid is so scared of a dive that he doesn't want to go to practice. What do I do?
Answer: The fear in diving is real. Wiping out is not fun. It hurts, and the possibility of having another incident can be anxiety-producing. If you find your diver stressed out, please drop your coach(es) a note. It's a great help to us to know these things, and most times we can work with parents and children to solve these issues if we know about it early on.
Q8. What should we bring to practice?
Answer: Bring a swim suit, a dry towel, hair ties if you have long hair, and a swim cap if you like. Many divers use a small towel called a sammy to dry off. You can buy them here.
Goggles are not allowed during diving practice.
Q9. I have a question. Who do I contact?
Answer: First, have a look at the questions and answers on this FAQ page. If you dont find the answer here or elsewhere on the MDC web site, send us an e-mail at MDCController@gmail.com. If you need to contact a staff member, you can get his or her e-mail address from the Staff page.
Q10. What can parents do at home to help kids improve more quickly?
Answer: The best parent athlete relationships are based on unconditional support. Let the coach motivate and discuss technique. Don't punish poor performance - that's the coach's job. Let the athlete dictate how much "homework" they want to do. If it's coming from the kid, that's a good sign. Many kids work on flexibility and conditioning at home. Some even search Youtube for diving videos to study. Just make sure that you are being a parent and not a coach. Mixing those two roles can be problematic.
Q11. Which class should I choose?
Answer: For most of our customers, the Human Springs Team is the right answer. This program is similar to summer league programs, except that we introduce skills from the 3-meter and platforms when appropriate. These are 90 minute classes and most participants are between the ages of 9 and 18.
For kids who would benefit from a shorter class (45 minutes) we recommend our Human Springs Lessons. These classes are appropriate for absolute beginners, most kids under 9, and kids with attention issues.
If you are hoping to make your High School Diving Team, and you are not interested in learning 3-meter or platform, take our High School Springs classes.
If you are 19 years old or older, and either dived in high school or college or you've just decided to learn a new sport as an adult, check out the Rusty Springs - our Masters Diving program. In Rusty Springs we work with absolute beginners as well as former divers coming out of retirement.
A very small number of divers will be invited to participate in our invitation-only programs, such as Super Springs and National Team. Invitations are extended by the Program Director only after consultation with the National Team Coaching Staff. If you believe your child ought to be considered for an invitation-only program, you may contact the Program Director and request an evaluation. Kids who have been active at a high level in sports such as ballet, gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling are generally good candidates for these programs. We generally are looking for divers age 11 and under for these programs, but we do make exceptions on occasion.
Q12. How many days per week should we be diving?
Answer: You can take a few or as many classes per week as you like. We recommend two days per week, simply because it allows kids to retain information and build on their skills. Diving one day a week is generally a good maintenance program if you want to keep your diving skills intact. If you are hoping for significant improvements, two or more days a week is appropriate.
Let's be honest. Registering for MDC is not quite as elegant as we would like. We are making changes to simplify it. In the meantime, we offer step-by-step instructions and sympathy. It's frustrating for us too.
Q1. Do I really need to re-enter my info?
Answer: Unfortunately we do. Because there are several different organizations involved, each with their own information privacy policies, we are forced to collect the information separately. We are working with the County to change this policy, but at this time it is all we have to work with.
Q2. What is the Web Site Fee?
Answer: In an effort to improve communications and smooth out the registration process, we have purchased a custom online registration system. As part of the service we receive, each active member of the club pays a monthly web site fee of $1.10. This is set up as a recurring credit card charge during your registration process. This nominal fee will be paid directly to the company that created and maintains the registration system for MDC (CMS LLC).
Q3. Why is it asking for my credit card info?
Answer: Our online registration system is run by a separate company in Denver CO. They charge each active member a monthly fee of $1.10. This will be set up as a recurring credit card charge during your registration process. This nominal fee will be paid directly to the company that created and maintains the registration system for MDC (CMS LLC).
Q4. Do I have to register for AAU? Why?
Answer: Every participant in every one of MDC classes must have a current AAU Membership number on file. This is the only way we can provide the insurance coverage that is required by the Montgomery County Recreation Department (MCRD).
Q5. Why is it so complicated?
Answer: The main issue is the nature of our relationship with the County. Montgomery Dive Club is contracted by the Montgomery County Recreation Department to provide diving instruction at their four indoor facilities. When you register for these classes, you have to pay them directly, either via the MCRD web site (RecWeb) or in person at the front desk of any of the pools. These fees go to the County, the County takes a percentage, and then they send the remainder to MDC to pay coaches salaries.
Q6. I want to join MDC! How do I register?
Answer: It's a bit more complicated than we would like, but once you've done it, it will make more sense. Until then, we've created step-by-step instructions. You will need to add your info to the Montgomery Dive Club (MDC) database on this web site, as well as provide your information to the Montgomery County Recreation Department (MCRD) Active Montgomery site. It is redundant and silly. We are very sorry for that.
Click here for instructions.
Email MDCController@gmail.com for help and questions.
Spring-specific (Lessons) Questions
Looking for more information about Human Springs Lessons, Human Springs Team, Rusty Springs or High School Springs? See below for details.
Q1. What skills will be taught in Human Springs Lessons?
Answer: Human Springs Lesson divers begin each session by learning and/or perfecting front and back jumps standing and with arm-swing from one-meter and three meter springboard as well as platform when appropriate. Basic skills also include four-step front approach on springboards, and forward entry, and backward entry from 1, 3, and platform as appropriate. Once the basic skills are learned/refined, divers learn all basic dives (front, back, inward, and reverse) in tuck position. When basic dives have been acquired and refined, increasingly complex somersaulting and twisting dives from the springboards and platforms are introduced. All skills are presented as developmentally appropriate depending upon skill and willingness of participants. Each week of the session has a specific focus, such as fronts, inwards, or twisting. While the main thrust of that week's work is dedicated to the area of focus, divers practice a variety of skills each week.
Q2. What skills will be taught to kids on the Human Springs Team?
Answer: Human Springs Team divers begin each session by learning and/or perfecting front and back jumps standing and with arm-swing from one-meter and three meter springboard as well as platform when appropriate. Basic skills also include four-step front approach on springboards, and forward entry, and backward entry from 1, 3, and platform as appropriate. Once the basic skills are learned/refined, divers learn all basic dives (front, back, inward, and reverse) in tuck position. When basic dives have been acquired and refined, increasingly complex somersaulting and twisting dives from the springboards and platforms are introduced. All skills are presented as developmentally appropriate depending upon skill and willingness of participants. Each week of the session has a specific focus, such as fronts, inwards, or twisting. While the main thrust of that week's work is dedicated to the area of focus, divers practice a variety of skills each week.
Q3. What skills will be taught to the Rusty Springs group?
Answer: Rusty Springs divers begin each session by learning and/or perfecting front and back jumps standing and with arm-swing from one-meter and three meter springboard as well as platform when appropriate. Basic skills also include four-step front approach on springboards, and forward entry, and backward entry from 1, 3, and platform as appropriate. Once the basic skills are learned/refined, divers learn all basic dives (front, back, inward, and reverse) in tuck position. When basic dives have been acquired and refined, increasingly complex somersaulting and twisting dives from the springboards and platforms are introduced. All skills are presented as developmentally appropriate depending upon skill and willingness of participants.
Q4. What skills will be taught to the High School Springs group?
Answer: High School Springs focus on one-meter springboard, but occasionally use three-meter springboard and platform as training aids. High School Springs begin each session by learning and/or perfecting front and back jumps standing, with arm-swing and with full approach from one-meter. They also practice entry skills from 3-meter and platform as appropriate. Once the basic skills are learned/refined, divers learn all basic dives (front, back, inward, and reverse) in tuck position. When basic dives have been acquired and refined, increasingly complex somersaulting and twisting dives from the springboards and platforms are introduced. All skills are presented as developmentally appropriate depending upon skill and willingness of participants.
Q5. Should I pick Human Springs Lessons or Human Springs Team?
Answer: Human Springs Lessons are recommended for: beginners who are comfortable in deep water and can dive in head first from the side of the pool. If your child is not comfortable swimming in deep water or cannot dive in head first from the side, we recommend you start with swimming lessons. Most kids in our Lessons are 9 years old or younger.
The key difference between Lesson and Human Springs Team is that Lessons are 45 minutes long, with 30 minutes of in-water time, while Team is 90 minutes long with 60 minutes of in-water time.
If your child struggles with the cold, or has attention issues that make a 90 minute class difficult, the shorter Lesson format may be best.
Human Springs Team divers tend to be 9 - 16 years old. When we have older (13-15 year old) kids join who are absolute beginners, we tend to place them on the Human Springs Team so that they are in a group with kids closer to their own age.
Q6. Do the Springs travel to meets?
Answer: We schedule one competition at an MCRD facility for Human Springs each session. Each session we invite teams from all over the National Capitol Area to join us. In addition we travel to meets at nearby pools such as George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and Oak Marr Recreation Center in Oakton, VA. We are continually looking for opportunities to expand this circuit of meets. The meets are low-stress, emphasizing sportsmanship and friendly competition in an encouraging atmosphere.
Q7. Do we have to go to every meet?
Answer: All meets are optional, but we encourage you to join us. These meets offer a great opportunity for the kids to show their stuff and make new friends.
Q8. Should we be taking dryland diving classes?
Answer: MDC is one of only a handful of diving programs around the country offering dryland diving classes. These classes offer a significant advantage over in-water classes: kids learn faster in dryland. Whether on tumbling mats, trampoline or dry diving board, divers can perform more actions in a shorter time, learning faster and retaining more information. It is an amazing way to improve your skills quickly. Consider adding a dryland class to your training schedule and just see what happens!
Q9. My kid is doing nothing but front jumps, back jumps and fall-in dives - What gives?
Answer: In order to safely enjoy the sport of diving, certain fundamental skills must be taught to beginning divers. Even as those divers improve and excel, they continue to revisit and refine these basic skills. Jumps and basic entries are critical to learning more complex skills, and every diver must demonstrate competence in this area before they can move on to more advanced skills. The better you learn your jumps and entries, the better those harder dives will be later!
Q10. We finished a session of Human Springs Team. Do we move up to Super Springs/National Team now?
Answer: Not so fast... Human Springs Team is designed to accommodate the vast majority of divers through their pre-collegiate careers. Over time we expect the Springs Team to evolve into a highly competitive arena for area athletes who then go on to dive in the NCAA. Most people do not want to train 15-20 hours a week during the school year for a single sport. Most people do not want to travel all over the country for competitions. This is why we offer the Human Springs Team, and why we are working to build a circuit of competitive opportunities around the region for these divers. Human Springs Team is the ultimate destination for most of our competitors.
Q11. My child wants to be on the National Team. How do we get promoted?
Answer: MDC has two invitation-only programs for our members - Super Springs and National Team. The coaching staff is continually monitoring all Springs groups to identify candidates for these teams. If your child is interested in consideration, feel free to share that with our staff. See the FAQ on Invitation Only Programs for more information.
Q12. Do kids in the Springs groups have to have a team suit?
Answer: We do not require outfitting for any of the Springs groups. We encourage you to get one if you are diving in the meet, but it is not a requirement. If you want to get a suit, click here for more information.
Invitation Only Programs
For divers who show extraordinary commitment and ability, MDC offers two invitation only programs. AAU National Team is designed to prepare athletes for the rigors of training at a national level in the AAU circuit and get ready be recruited to college. The USA National Team represents MDC at USA Diving competitions around the country preparing athletes for the rigors of training at a national level in the USAD circuit trying to qualify for international competitions and get ready be recruited to college.
Q1. Will I have to dive 3-meter and platform?
Answer: Unless you have a documented medical condition that prohibits you from diving on platform, members of National Team and Super Springs Team are expected to learn competitive lists on 3-meter and platform. We will, however, take each diver at his or her own pace. We will not allow divers to perform a skill if they do not consistently demonstrate safe technique.
Q2. How much are parents expected to volunteer?
Answer: We host several competitions a year. These events are critical as they help to pay for coach travel, new equipment and insurance expenses. Hosting a meet is a large undertaking, and it requires the coordinated efforts of all MDC families. Parents of National Team and Super Springs Team divers are expected to donate a few hours each day of the meet. If you won’t be in town, please sign up for a job that can be done before the meet. The benefit for you is this allows us to keep training and travel fees down and keep an amazing group of coaches on staff.
Q3. How much travel will we do?
Answer: We typically offer a travel meet each month from December through August. Summers can be intense when you reach higher levels, but just about everything dies out by the second week of August. Divers, coaches and parents rest from mid-August until after labor day.
Q4. Do we have to buy the team outfitting?
Answer: We ask that every National Team and Super Springs Team diver purchase a suit, backpack, and team sweats. We recommend that you also purchase a t-shirt and shorts. Divers attending meets are required to wear team outfitting on the award stand. The cost of the outfitting is generally around $300.
Q5. There are spots available in your "Guest Diving" class. Can we just sign up for that?
Answer: Montgomery County Recreation Department aquatic facilities are known throughout the nation as exceptional sites for competitive diving training and competition. As a result, USA Diving teams from near and far request use of our pools for regular training. Approved teams are allowed to register for our "Guest Diving" group. They must provide their own insurance and coaches. We simply allow them to use the pool during our practices. Local divers should not sign up for this program.
Q6. My kid is stressed out. What can we do to avoid burn out?
Answer: Keep your coach in the loop when outside stressors or diving itself is wearing on your diver. Small adjustments to our workouts or conversations between coach and athlete can work wonders. Keeping the lines of communication open is key to a healthy coach-diver relationship.
Q7. How do we get invited to these programs?
Answer: A very small percentage of MDC divers will be considered for the National Team programs. All MDC coaches are continually monitoring Springs groups to identify potential candidates. Generally speaking, we are looking for young, highly motivated athletes. We value work-ethic, training habits and attitude as much as we value natural ability. If we have multiple openings in our National Team groups, we may elect to hold a formal tryout. Otherwise, we keep a close eye on divers in our Springs classes and promote from within. On occasion we have athletes from other acrobatic sports such as trampoline, tumbling or gymnastics contact us seeking to switch over to competitive diving. In these cases we conduct personal interviews and talent identifications to determine if it would be appropriate to place these divers in our highest level programs.
Q8. We just joined the National Team. What have we gotten ourselves into?
Answer: This is a USA Diving Junior Olympic program. There are several thousand kids around the US that participate in USA Diving training and competitions on the one-meter, 3-meter and platform. Montgomery Dive Club is widely considered one of the top programs in the US to train for competitive success. In this arena exceptional divers may win the right to compete internationally, or compete on the Senior level vying for a spot in the Olympic Trials. The majority of MDC graduates go on to compete as divers in the NCAA.
Our season runs from early September through early August – this is a year ‘round program. Our peak competitive seasons are March-April and July-August. In March we compete at a Regional Meet where divers can qualify for the East Nationals. The East Nationals takes place in early April. In June we compete in another Regional Meet. Divers can qualify from that meet to compete in the Zone Meet. Divers at the Zone meet can qualify to the Junior Nationals. Our ultimate competitive goal as a team is to win the team championship award at the Junior Nationals in August.