The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The delight of diving

New divers find love for the sport and its supportive environment
Sophomore Vivana Dave attempts a synchronized dive along side another diver while two of her teammates converse in the hot tub. Photo courtesy of Vivana Dave | Used with permission

The thought of hitting her head began to fill sophomore Vivana Dave’s body with nervousness and worry as she stepped up on the board to attempt an inward dive for the first time. However, she made the decision to attempt the dive amidst the sounds of encouragement and cheering from her teammates. 

“My friends were encouraging me and giving me simple tips as I went up on the board,” Dave said. “They were encouraging me [to jump] and I knew they would never make me feel bad if I did it wrong.”

Dave joined diving after hearing about this positive environment along with a couple more new divers. For example, Junior Anya Walia, a former swimmer, decided to join after not liking the competitive environment surrounding the swim team, which she participated in for her first two years at MV.  

Graphic by Leah Desai

“Dive is really nice because there’s not the competitive pressure that I felt in swimming, since we’re all beginners and we are all at the same level,” Walia said. 

Though she is new at diving, Dave has six years of swimming and gymnastics under her belt. She believes her background in both of these sports has given her an edge against her competitors because of her familiarity with the water and ability to rotate in the air.

“I found that my level of expertise in things like flipping and tumbling really helped me with learning how to do certain dives,” Dave said. “And obviously being able to swim is needed to dive because we dive in very deep waters, so you need to navigate yourself around the pool.”

Vivana Dave attempts a synchronized dive during practice

Since most members lack the same experience as Dave, Head Coach Gregg Mahurin likes to take a laid back approach when running his dive practices. Mahurin creates a fun and encouraging environment to ensure that his divers aren’t scared to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. 

“My philosophy is if you’re not having fun, you’re not here for the right reasons,” Mahurin said. “It’s a great escape for the kids because Monta Vista can be so grueling, we teach people to do things that they’ve taught themselves their whole life not to do, so diving is a little bit scary and so you have to challenge yourself kind of like life — you have to take that first step.”

Graphic by Leah Desai

Though both Walia and Dave are new divers, they haven’t felt any pressure to achieve competitive success due to the supportive environment of the team. Both explain how the team is simply grateful to have new members. 

“The community is really nice and welcoming to the new people because there aren’t that many, so anybody they can get to join, they’re really happy about,” Walia said. “It’s not really competitive other than the meets, but even then, everyone’s pretty friendly to each other. So it makes it a really nice place to learn a new sport.”

Mahurin’s coaching style is a large contributing factor to Walia’s experiences on the team. She describes him as a nice coach due to his overall positivity and friendliness.

“I try to be as positive as I can be,” Mahurin said. “Positive reinforcement is the best way to coach anything, working with the abilities of each kid. I don’t push any pressure and I don’t care if we win or lose the meet. I want each diver to do their best.”

Though Mahurin’s bright personality shines for the divers, he acknowledges the lack of participants he has encountered throughout his 11 seasons. This is confusing to him, as he feels that the community around the dive team is a special one. 

“I mean, who wouldn’t want to just fly in the air and soar and flip into the water,” Mahurin said. “This is fun. You get to sit in a hot tub and be around a great team environment.”

Dave agrees, she enjoys the moments with the team in between dives at practice, where they all huddle together in the small hot tubs. In these hot tubs, the team converses about a multitude of things ranging from all things diving, to their social lives.  

“The tubs have literally faced every single conversation known to human history,” Dave said. “I feel like since there are not a lot of people on the team, everyone has gotten really close and we all know each other really well now.”

About the Contributor
Leah Desai
Leah Desai, Staff Writer
Leah is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. She is a member of the volleyball team at Monta Vista and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and listening to music.
More to Discover