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Searching for some common sense.
John Helm


(1) The fulcrum.

Management at our local swimming pool claims there is a risk involved when novice divers move the fulcrum when using the diving boards. I claim there is no risk. I began diving in 1940, and continue to dive in the masters program. I have coached high school divers for fifteen years, and college divers for ten years. I don't ever recall anyone getting hurt from moving the fulcrum.

I e-mailed Janet Gabriel, our U.S.Diving representitive on safety, explaining the problem, and asked for documentation. Janet was prompt and courteous with her response. However, she suggested that fulcrums were kept forward so as not to compromrise the safety of the recreational diver. For documentation, she referred me to page 41 of the 1990 U.S.Diving Safety Manual The source was the Midwest Pool Management Corp?? I thought U.S. Diving was advising this type of group about diving safety, since we have the experts in our establishment. But no, they are advising us so we can advise them. Talk about going around in circles!!

(2) The last  U.S. Diving Safety course for coaches. Although the personnel who gave the course did an excellent job , I had John  Bransfield the U. Connecticut dive coach, the personnel were forced to follow the course outline as given them. The course itself had little to do with diving safety. It was really a crash course in life guarding. The only true valuable part of the course was the backboarding, but so much time was spent on trivia that not enough time was spent on backboarding. The first time I took this course was at Brown U. where Dave Sias hosted the course with Don Leas as the presenter. That was a true diving safety course.

Lets have our own coaches outline the safety courses. They know more about safety than anyone else.

(3) CPR U.S. Diving coaches are required to take adult/child cpr courses. However, in order to take the child cpr course I was required by the Red Cross to take the infant cpr course as well. I have never had an infant sign up for diving lessons ( they are under one year old).  I wouldn't know how to teach a three or four step crawl. True, infant cpr is a good thing to have, but it shouldn't be required to get ones coaching certificate.

(4) Announcing at national diving events with tv exposure. More than once, I have heard experienced divers in the roll as commentators explain that the dive the audience is about to see is dangerous. This gives diving a bad name. Please those of you who announce these events in the future, kindly stress safety. Explain to the viewers how the physics involved in doing the dive allow the diver to accomplish such extraordinary results.

John Helm, Coach

Conard and Hall High Schools, West Hartford, Connecticut
Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut

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