Boston College Diving
Program Structure and Philosophy

Hello, I am Erica Dour.  The 2009-2010 season will be my second as the Diving Coach for Boston College.
Tessa Green is the Assistant Diving Coach.  It is also Tessa’s second Boston College season.

We are very excited for the upcoming season.  The 2008-09 season consisted of eight enthusiastic divers, five women and three men.  This season, new talent will be gracing the diving boards and adding more depth and energy to the team. An important part of the diving team is the progress each athlete makes mentally and physically.  Although it can be a big change from high school to college, I would like to make the transition from high school diving to a Division I program as smooth as possible so the interest and success in the sport continues to grow.

This page is to give you an idea of the way the Boston College Diving Program runs:


Throughout the season, divers are required to attend the five scheduled practices a week.  Practices are two hours long, not including stretching and pre-practice exercises.  The divers do a series of abdominal work and leg work prior to practice.  This includes tuck and pike outs (“kick, look, reaches”), 1-2 minute planks, 3 sets of 30 tuck jumps (single, alternating legs), and hanging tuck and pike ups.  Plyo-metrics and cross training are also rolled into the drylands.  We take the time to concentrate on strengthening the core muscles to reinforce control and body alignment. 

Control is stressed in practice.  It is important for a diver to have body awareness, control on the board, control of his/her jump and ultimately, control of the dive carried out.  If a diver is having difficulty utilizing the board for the jump, I tell that diver to put the fulcrum on the highest setting (9) and that diver is coached to wait for the board to come up before getting off the board.  The opposite is given to someone who has control of the board but is not utilizing their body on the board to initiate spin or has a hard time controlling the dive:  the setting would be put on the lowest setting (1) and the diver would then be forced to use his/her body to finish the dive.  Lead-ups are also used in practices.  For example, if a diver is trying a back 1 ½ pike on 1M, an appropriate lead-up would be a back 1 somersault and taken over a little bit with arms slightly open.  This would also work for a 3 meter back 1 ½ pike lead-up.  Divers use each board in every water practice.  Confident hurdle, control, accurate body alignment and flexibility are four factors that are implemented in every practice.  Although that sounds like a lot, they are the basis for great, consistent dives.  Even when trying a new dive, if these components are met, the more likely the dive will be executed effectively.

As the season goes on diving, practices become more specialized to work on individual dives.  At the end of practices throughout the season, divers warm down with voluntaries, line-ups and stretching on the mats. 

Since diving is such a mental sport, it is very important for each diver to feel confident and know they are in a safe environment.  I believe divers are at their strongest when they are at ease in comfortable surroundings; the use of an appropriate correction method varies from athlete to athlete.  Although practices can get intense on the boards with difficult or new dives, the members of the team are very supportive and respectful to each other.  I expect all of my divers to come to practice with a good attitude and a positive state of mind. 


Exercise and Weights:

Practices are not the same every day.  Drylands and strength training are incorporated to reinforce fundamental diver motions.  Weight training is optional for the divers.  While strength training is an element of our practices, weight lifting is not a required part of the Diving Program.  If a diver has any kind of soreness, they are directed to our Sports Medicine Department and meet with our trainer who might suggest stretches or lifting to compliment and strengthen the muscles. 

Keeping both the divers and swimmers in a similar dryland regiment creates a fair, in sync team.  Coach Groden requires his swimmers to choose three Plex-offered “dry” lands a week ranging from Yoga to Spinning classes.  Divers are required to do the same required 3 classes, while also encouraged to do cardio workouts and stretching on their own before jumping on the boards. 


In the beginning of the season, I ask all divers to write out their goals for the season on paper so the divers (and I) can see what is in store for us during the season.  These goals include academic objectives as well as potential 1 meter dives, 3 meter dives, “reach” dives (dives an individual would like to get but would work towards for far in the future), meet scores, intent for making the travel squad, and any other physical or school-oriented aspiration each diver may have.  Writing out goals allows the diver to see in writing what they hope to accomplish and feats to strive for, while providing personal motivation inside and outside the pool arena. 

Students come to Boston College for a great education! Both Coach Groden and I realize this and run a program that allows swimmers and divers to succeed both academically and athletically. Swimmers and divers at BC are consistently in the Top Ten nationally by the College Swim Coaches Association Academic All-American Standings. Boston College divers achieve great success both in the classroom and in the pool. If you are concerned whether or not being an athlete will take up too much time and hinder your academics, I would reiterate that being part of a team only helps you academically. The ability to prioritize and balance activities is a great lesson for anyone to learn and a tool to use even after graduation.  Boston College’s Swimming and Diving Program helps to build this key component.

In my opinion, being a NCAA collegiate athlete is an honor. If you have the ability and are given the opportunity to be part of a collegiate athletic program, it should be taken.  In order to reach new plateaus, it is in the hands of each athlete.  I am there to help perfect a diver’s current list of dives, offer constructive criticism, and encourage each diver to reach their individual goals.  It is up to the diver to decide when they would like to add a new dive.  I do NOT make divers try dives they do not feel comfortable doing; however, I would never suggest or request a dive I did not think a diver could complete. 

I hope this page has given you an idea of how our diving program is run at Boston College.  Thank you for your time and interest in Boston College Diving!  GO EAGLES!!!


** If you are interested in diving for BC, please send a video of your current dives to: 

Boston College Diving
Attn:  Erica Dour
William Flynn Complex
144 Commonweath Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467