My name is Mike Brown and I have been the head coach for Dos Rios Divers since the club was formed in 1992. I am a retired special education teacher/physical therapist. I now devote my time to coaching diving. In addition to coaching the club I coach a number of local high school dive teams and teach diving classes for two Parks and Recreation Departments.
I began diving when I was eight years old and taught myself to dive. I would see other kids doing dives, ask them how to do them and then give them a try. I did not receive any formal coaching until I was 18 years old.
The result of being self-taught is that you teach yourself a lot of bad habits. When I began coaching I realized that I needed to educate myself so I began reading books and watching every video that I could find about diving. I have added to my library of diving material over the years and continue to review that material and attend coaching clinics whenever I can.
In September of 2006 I traveled with four of the club divers as part of a US team to compete in China. While we were there I had the opportunity along with the other US coaches and divers to attend two clinics. The first was held in Shanghai at the Regional Training Center where we competed. The second was held in Beijing at the Chinese National Training Center.
The most important thing that I can do as a diving coach is to teach the divers proper technique so that they can be as safe as possible. I believe that using a trampoline or dry diving board with a spotting rig is the best way to do that. The diver wears a belt with ropes attached that go through overhead pulleys. I have complete control of the diver as they do the dive. Learning in a spotting belt is also more efficient than teaching the divers on a diving board at a pool. In a half hour session in the belt the diver can do a dive 30-40 times.
I love the sport of diving and it gives me great pleasure to share my love of the sport with the divers. Diving is a beautiful, exiting sport. You should try it!