The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

District diving champ ready to defend title

Senior John Carr practices his dives during 5th period on Jan. 24. He will defend his district diving title on Jan. 26 at the New Caney natatorium.

After a year in which he has shown massive improvements, senior diver John Carr plans to return to State. That goal will start this weekend at the district meet, as he defends his title in one meter diving. After his victory at last year’s district championships, Carr went on to place third at region and 20th at state.

“I’ve been focusing a lot on practicing,” Carr said. “I’ve been going home watching videos of other divers and my own dives to compare and contrast and see what I can fix to make mine look better.”

Boys swimming and diving coach Greg McLain said that Carr demonstrates many of the traits that can make a successful diver, including bravery and the willingness to put in work outside of school.

“John has an internal drive to get better,” McLain said. “And it really shows in his dives. He’s really become a student of the sport. And like I said, he just wants to be a better diver.”

Carr, along with junior Colton Anderson and sophomore Sam Dellandre makes up the boys diving team. As well as daily practice with McLain, Carr and Anderson train with Eagle Swimming Association outside of school. Both athletes are relatively new to the sport. Carr picked up an interest in diving during his freshman year, when he noticed the divers during his swimming practice. His interest was solidified when Carr met a group of Kingwood High School divers at a public pool by chance. They introduced him to the basics of the sport.

“I just got up there and learned as I went on,” Carr said. “[I’ve learned that] if I feel like doing it, just go for it instead of sitting there watching everybody else do it.”

You’ve got to be brave to be a diver. When you’re spinning in the air close to that board, knowing that any dive you throw, you can either hit the water or hit that board, You have to have to be brave to do it.

— Greg McLain, boys swimming and diving coach

McLain said that the boys diving team is always small, hovering between the current three athletes to five in the larger years. In most Texas high schools, the swimming coach is responsible for the diving team as well. Although McLain had no previous diving experience, he has learned the sport from his athletes through the years. McLain said the most important difference between diving and other sports is the bravery required.

“You’ve got to be brave to be a diver,” McLain said. “When you’re spinning in the air close to that board, knowing that any dive you throw, you can either hit the water or hit that board, You have to have to be brave to do it.”

Carr said that the most difficult part of the sport is the mental power required to succeed and the potential for mental blocks. Up to his junior year, Carr said that he had a mental block against a reverse dive, commonly known as a gainer. With support from his teammates and family, Carr was able to get over this mental setback by trusting himself and just going for it.

Senior John Carr prepares to dive during practice in the natatorium. He finished 20th at the State Meet a year ago. (Grace Darcy)

“It’s all based on your mental power,” Carr said. “If you can push through it, you can do it.”

Anderson too, emphasized the importance of the mental side of diving. He overcomes his fear of certain dives by closing his eyes and forcing himself to do what he needs to do.

“The whole sport is mental,” Anderson said. “I didn’t know that until I got into diving. I thought, it’s just you get on the board and jump. But now that I’m doing harder stuff, it’s a lot in my head.”

Because of the heavily mental focus of the sport, successful dives offer an outstanding adrenaline rush, which  balance the risks associated with diving with an equal reward.

“My favorite part of diving is the feeling of getting a new dive down,” Carr said. “Like learning something new, and then just figuring it out as you go on.”

While Carr is something of a newcomer to the sport himself, his early success has helped him lead and inspire his team.

“He’s a good inspiration,” Anderson said. “I’ve learned a lot from John.”

Moving toward the district competition, and possibly regional and state competition, Carr, McLain, and the team have plans to make all of their hard work count.

“It’s really just doing the best they can, whether that’s advancing the region or advancing the state, that’ll all take care of itself,” McLain said. “The main thing is just doing the best we can to represent our school, having a good time, and supporting each other.”

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