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Swan Dive: Diving Captain Ethan Daniel

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Swan Dive: Diving Captain Ethan Daniel


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Senior Ethan Daniel has been on the diving team since his freshman year and has experienced multiple coaches and a variety of divers. We asked him a few questions about his experiences on the Tam diving team.

Q: Why did you first join the diving team?
A: My sister was a senior and I was a freshman and a couple of her friends were on the dive team. At the time the only underclassmen was one sophomore besides all juniors and seniors, so they basically needed young people to dive, and I volunteered to join. I didn’t have any prior gymnastics or trampoline experience, I just did it for fun.

Q: How does diving differ from other sports you’ve played and why?
A: I played soccer when I was younger. Diving is not as much of a team sport as the other sports…It’s really about individual performance, [but] it’s almost more of a communal atmosphere and the teammates almost feel closer, just because we’re always in the water together.

Q: Can you tell me about coach Nate Severin and his coaching approach?
A: He is a very positive coach, and we’ve had a very interesting contrast. Before [Coach Severin], we’ve had another coach named Ken Light, and he had a very different approach. It was a very rare experience to get a compliment from him and most of his criticism of diving was true…And then [Coach Severin] came, and he only had two years of experience just from diving in high school. So, at that point, it was half way through the season in my sophomore year…Severin is great, he is always quick to offer encouragement and he’s really fun. He gets very excited when you do a dive well, and he’s also helped recruit a lot of new people who have been in his PE classes.

Q: Have you noticed a progression in the team since you joined? Have more kids joined and why do you think this is?
A: I think part of it is Severin. He’s a fun guy, people like him, and he teaches five periods of freshmen so he has lots of people to recruit from. Also, part of it is that it’s a fun team to be on. You get to sit out in the sun. There’s not a lot of super intense workouts or anything

Q: How competitive has Tam diving been since you joined it? Has it become more competitive?
A: It really varies a lot from year to year…but I’d say it’s a very helpful atmosphere even between teams. People are really friendly. If your coach is busy filling out a form or something, another coach is always happy to give you tips on stuff like that. It’s not very competitive. Really only NCS is really tough. It’s the top 32 divers from the North Coast area and so, particularly in the East Bay, there’s a lot of club diving and so some people come in that have been diving since they were five years old and they’re really good.

Q: Can you break down a diving match for me? Do you get a lot of support from Tam students when you compete?
A: [They’re] really relaxed. In the dual meets, there’s rarely more than four guys, four girls, something like that, and we don’t get many spectators. Usually, it’s just a couple parents. There’s somewhat of a formality. There’s a ritual where you call out the dive number and the person goes up and does the dive, the judges give out their scores. But, people make jokes and it’s generally a fun atmosphere.

Q: Many Tam students don’t know much about the diving team. Do you do anything to promote yourselves?
A: Not really. We just try and find anyone that has gymnastics and trampoline experience, like a lot of it comes from Severin rounding [up] people with that kind of experience in his PE classes and divers who have friends that are people who might like to dive. It can be kind of tough to find people, but we still get a lot of people…We had something like 10 girls joining at one point. This year, it was tougher to find guys. For the first part of the season, I was the only guy on the team, but we’ve since gotten a couple freshman guys.

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Swan Dive: Diving Captain Ethan Daniel