Upstate Diving is a skill based diving club. This means that our divers are instructed in a set of skills and when the skill set is mastered the diver advances to the next level in the club. The program is a 10 level system. Each of the three groups, Sparks, Fire and Blaze, has 3 levels, and the Elite Level is Level 10. The coaching staff rates each skill and when proficiency is demonstrated, they are given a certificate of advancement and invited to join the next level of instruction. All the skills are rated on a scale from zero to ten, much like a competition. Understanding skill names and positions are key to a child’s progression. Please see the skills sheet at the end of this booklet to find the specific skills your diver will need to advance to the next level. With each level of advancement, there is also an increased time and financial commitment required from the diver. The coaches will explain the time and financial requirements for each group whenever a diver is about to “level up”.
Advancement to the next diving group is done by testing up. Divers must be able to perform all of the required skills and dives and receive a score of at least a 5 from the Program Director. Divers must also be able to perform all skills or dives from lower levels to advance to the next group. Advancement testing must be scheduled with the Program Director and is normally done directly after practice. Advancement testing may be done at any time during the month but the diver will only be able to attend the new group when the new month begins and the new diving group fees have been paid. Advancement forms may be found online or requested from any coach. There is a $15 fee for advancement testing. This is a nonrefundable testing fee whether the diver passes or fails the advancement test. Divers advance at different rates. Some divers progress slowly at first and then make quick progressions after two or three years of diving. Others will progress quickly then spend a long time at one level as he/she adjusts to their growing body and other challenges from outside the pool. The most important thing to remember is that everyone will progress at his/her own pace. There is no standard time for “leveling up” and when the diver is ready, they will be tested up to the next group. Some divers may plateau for a long time and become frustrated, but as with any sport, it requires dedication and commitment to succeed. Support your diver in making good decisions that will help them grow and mature. Be supportive by continuing to focus on the long term goals of the diver. If the time comes where the diver feels that it is time to stop diving, please take a few minutes and discuss the decision with their coach.