Safe-Sport - Child Safety
Valley Dive is a Private Dive Club, and as such, is organized under the umbrella of a non-profit organization
All participants in the Valley Dive Club are required to carry their own Health/Accident Insurance. In addition, once an athlete has decided to join the Valley Dive Club (monthly membership & yearly fee), that athlete will be enrolled in AAU, and/or USA Diving, as a membership feature, providing adequate auxiliary insurance coverage, should an accident occur. In addition, each pool is required, by state law, to carry additional insurance. While we avoid accidents, and work very hard to minimize risk for physical problems to occur at the pool, Valley Dive, in no way, can prevent injuries associated with sports activities, thus, all Parents and Athletes understand and agree that 1) voluntary sports participation carry risk, and 2) agree to assume all risk for participation, and 3) agree to hold Valley Dive and Coaches harmless, should any injury occur. Some simple rules for Athletes to follow are provided (below) that will help each athlete to further protect themselves while at the swimming pool.
Rule 1 - Do not run on the Pool Deck.
Rule 2 - Listen to Guards/Coach instructions.
Rule 3 - Follow Coaches Safety Instructions
Rule 4 - Follow Coaches Corrections for Diving
Rule 5 - Do not horse around on the pool Deck.
Rule 6 - Keep talking to minimum so others may hear what the coach is explaining.
Rule 7 - Follow the example of the 10 Habits of a Successful Athlete on the Home page of this Website.
Valley Dive strives to achieve a positive outcome for all participating athletes. We follow guidelines for coaching and interaction with athletes, as outlined by the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, CIF, USA Diving, AAU Sports Organization, USOC, and adhere to all updated materials and testing for such interaction, as required by these agencies. In addition, all Coaches are required, as members of USA Diving, to pass an updated "Safe Sport" course bi-yearly, to ensure all interactions are as safe as possible. By signing your child up to participating in Valley Dive Activities, each parent agrees to AAU Insurance, which is paid for by Valley Dive.
Each Parent has the power to guide, influence, support, encourage, and ultimately choose each activity and school that their child(ren) interact and participate in (until they are of age, one would argue).
Once committed, diving is a long road that has the beginning, that you as a parent, help to choose, and also has a very defined end (for 99.9% of participants, that would be the end of college, (should they choose sport participation at the university). Diving provides a path to college entrance, that is very unique, and college should be a cornerstone objective for every diver.
Parents and Coaches and Athletes are partners in improvement. A coach (teacher) has a well-defined role in physically improving the Athlete in a safe way, and psychologically preparing the Athlete for the rigors of competing. This competition is the building block of adulthood NOT the physical improvement (which, incidentally, is important for a variety of other reasons). You, as a parent, must, as hard as it may be at times, follow some simple rules that will, down the road, give you peace of mind, and provide your Athlete/Child with a superior outcome.
Rule 1 - Avoid comparing your Child to others
Rule 2 - Coaching your child destroys relationships
Rule 3 - Speak positive/ be a role model for your Child
Rule 4 - Ask a Coach questions, if unclear
Rule 5 - Support the team aspect of the Sport
Rule 6 - Be patient, year over year results speak volumes
Rule 7- Focus on the experience "How did it go?"
Rule 8- Try to stay away during workouts, unless specifically invited to attend (obviously, the first few practices may be needed for younger Athletes). Generally, parents should not be visible during workouts, as this often adds performance expectations on a child athlete, and can create interference with team and peer dynamics. We will have specific practices and or meets for parents to participate, or if you have a specific request (such as taking video or photo), we will be happy to oblige.
Rule 9- DO NOT criticize your, or anyone else's Athlete. Never helps.
Rule 10- DO NOT recap a practice or performance blow by blow. Usually the child Athlete is tired, and wants to chill.
Rule 11- Try to keep your talking to a minimum, no matter how curious you are, and, rather, listen. They will tell you in their time.
Rule 12- Refs, judges, coaches do their best (!), so please be kind to all.
Rule 13- ALL Good performances should be applauded.
Rule 14- If you get overexcited, leave, take a walk. (it happens!). If you blurt something out, no worries, apologize and move on.
Rule 15- Smile first when your child finishes a practice or performance. It is the smile that they will remember, but criticism, they will never forgive you for.
Rule 16- Every one of your Child's activities has a beginning and an end, with any activity acting as a pathway for individual growth, on many levels. Try to remember that the sport, the game, the practice, is not the end of the road, but only a method to build character for their future.
Rule 17- Help your child to eat in a reasonable and timely way. A snack before practice is wise. "Never" and "Always" can sometimes put an unnecessary burden on an Athlete. General Nutritious and healthy eating habits are great assets to nurture in all Children and in all Athletes.
Rule 18- Drop-off and Pick-up your Athlete ON TIME. It is imperative (unless otherwise arranged with Coaches) that your Athlete arrives on time. This is on you. Pick-Up times should also be respected. If a parent is late on occasion (it is Los Angeles, after all), please let coach know before hand. If it happens, unexcused, more than once, parents will be charged $10 per 15 minute increment.
Rules I used with my children for Activities were simple.
1. DO YOUR BEST (Don't worry about anyone else)
2. HAVE FUN (try to have a positive experience)
Rules I have used specifically for Coaching
1. TRY TO IMPROVE YEAR OVER YEAR
2. SET A GOAL AT BEGINNING OF THE SEASON
Make it simple.
Remember, you, as a parent, must let your child experience their sport on their terms, not yours.
Athletes and Parents and Coaches have their individual roles. Finding the "right" coach for your child is an interesting past-time, that many athletes and parents spend their budding careers perfecting (and often repeatedly fail at). Keep in mind... the grass is always greener, when looking to find the "best". Instead, try to focus on the athlete having a good experience while focusing on solid basics, which allows the athlete to become an Athlete and improve for the long-haul, (includes things like bonding with team and learning the life skills that each sport offers).
Most divers create friends and bonds for life, both nationally and internationally. It is a unique sport, and rewarding in many ways.
Coaches are Teachers who use Sports or an Activity to build Physical, Emotional, and Maturity pathways on the road to Adulthood. Successful athletes (no matter the level) are almost always successful adults, (who tend to look back on sports fondly, after having built a good habit routine).
A Coach is successful when a positive set of conditions have been presented for athletes to learn, train, and perform effectively. Each athlete has different abilities, different plateau potentials at various ages, and different ways that they are open to motivation. A successful coach will provide appropriate pathways for that Athlete as they mature in their sport or activity.
Part of a coaches responsibility is to educate parents on their focused, and changing role, and provide specific ways to participate with the sport in a positive and encouraging way (such as helping with meets, helping with trip organization, helping with fundraising, etc).
Valley Dive trains all Coaches with a Positive Re-enforcement technique, which, on face value, comments on one positive to athlete, followed by one correction. This technique is proven to allow children to progress, as the positive comment opens the door to the athlete "hearing" and "retaining" the correction more often, meaning the athlete acts on the correction more often, leading to faster learning.
Good Coach Positives -
Listens and Advises
Controls group effectively
Avoids Anger / Screaming
Motivates through psychology
Asks Athletes questions
Informs Parents of Progress, Roadblocks
Engages Parents and Children as a Team
Promotes Scholastic Engagement
Provides a "looking ahead" perspective
Helps Athlete with reasonable Goals
Each Athlete must make the determination to participate in each sport or activity. At younger ages, it is a partnership between the parent and athlete. As the child grows, and the Athlete emerges, the Athlete, along with Coach direction, must take over the responsibility of owning the sport, or as we say "Buying In". The parent, at this stage, (and as the athlete matures),
must take on a different role, and the Athlete must take responsibility, as clearly defined on the Home Page of this website, for their goals, (ultimately determining their progress in their sport or activity).
Advice: Thank your Coach after every practice. You will feel better about the practice, you will help build team appreciation and bonding, and this simple comment will let your Coach and Parents know that you are working together to improve.
An Athlete who has "Bought In", will begin to exhibit some of these traits:
Asks Questions on Diving
Wants to work harder, and longer
Works on their goals, outside of practice
Watches Videos of their Sport to Improve
Reads articles on Successful Athletes to mimic
Becomes part of the fabric of the sport
Is curious, and may reach out to sport experts
May follow or befriend successful Athletes
May Chart multi-year short-term goals to reach a longer-term goal.
May create a support group of Athletes
May create a team (trainer/psych/nutritionist)
We work from a POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
philosophy. As such, the TEAM, and not the Individual, will be apprised beforehand, of a specific outcome (such as 100 pike-ups), should an Athlete violate our Code of Conduct. Should an Athlete not wish to accept the outcome of their actions, they always have the option to sit on the sidelines, until practice is over. (penalty box)
Examples of a Violation for any Team member:
Disrespectful Behavior to a Team Member
Cursing, acting out, or creating problems.
Contradicting or Talking back to coach
Refusing to follow instructions
Refusing to follow workout
The Athlete who works hard, listens, and enjoys the process, will ultimately better perform.
*Extreme Athlete Behavior can result in expulsion from class.
Help Support our mission of motivating at-risk children to become involved in sports where all donations are steered to Athletic Scholarships/Grants, Athlete Outreach, Upkeep of facilities/equipment and staff.