"Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people
to obtain uncommon results."
– Andrew Carnegie
Like any sport, diving offers a wealth of proven benefits such as physical fitness, self-confidence, enhanced brain development, emotional control, and much more. But in the absence of the optimal learning environment, too many of these benefits go unclaimed, because growth and personal excellence are possible only when we feel safe enough to take risks, and to value our successes and failures equally. That's why the ZAP program trains Team and Lessons divers together — to foster connectedness, unconditional support, and mutual respect across all ages, abilities, and levels of diving experience. When they are with us, we ask our divers to leave all other thoughts and concerns at home, and relish the dedicated time to work hard and focus on the joy of the sport. In return we commit to seeing that all of our divers:
Prior to getting in the pool, targeted dryland conditioning is imperative to preparing divers’ muscles for dive-specific movement patterns. Flexibility, strength, power, and core training are critical components to improving the mechanics of their work on the board, and mentally preparing them for practice.
In favorable weather, qualified ZAP divers benefit from trampoline training with an overhead spotting device. Trampoline work teaches divers how to bounce safely and control their bodies in midair while working on leg strength, core and balance. An overhead spotting rig with both somersaulting and twisting belts allows athletes to learn new dives assisted by the coach. Trampoline training is also valuable in teaching visual spotting to improve proprioception and increase divers’ accuracy as they enter the water.
In much the same way that the human body can only fully absorb certain nutrients when they are combined with others, a diver can only take the most from his or her physical training by complementing it with intensive mental conditioning. To that end, the ZAP program is designed to deliver an optimal balance of both. ZAP utilizes Smart Goals, the diver’s written articulation of short and long term goals, to allow coach and athlete to work together to map out an individualized path to diver success. Visualization techniques (such as progressive relaxation), Mindset Training (such as positive self-talk), competitive strategies for peak performance, and a variety of other proven methods for conquering fear and psychological obstacles are integral components of our Team & Lessons program, and serve our divers both on and off the boards.
Our instructional approach uses a series of skill progressions in which fundamental parts or aspects of a dive are mastered before they may be built upon. This approach breaks dives down into individual skills and movements, increasing the likelihood that they will be learned correctly, and allowing divers to progress safely from easier to more difficult dives. As such, ZAP pool training consists largely of simple, basic diving skills that focus on correct posture, balance, and entry. To ensure their safety as well as a positive learning experience, ZAP divers are taught only the dives for which they are deemed physically, mentally, and technically prepared. Additionally, ZAP makes regular use of Tivo (instant replay) to allow divers to see and replay their own dives, providing immediate feedback and constructive visual cues for improvement.