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April 7, 2011


By: Jimmy Robertson

Logan Shinholser became Tech’s first All-American diver after finishing eighth in the platform event at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 26. The sophomore from Burtonsville, Md., won the platform and 1-meter titles at the NCAA’s Zone A meet in early March. Logan sat down and offered some unique perspectives on platform diving:


“The 10-meter [platform] is the highest one [33 feet high]. There are three different ones – the 5-meter, the 7.5-meter and the 10-meter. You have to do six total dives, and you can do all of them off the 10-meter, or you can do half and half. It doesn’t matter as long as you do all six. In the Olympics and in senior competitions, you have to go off at 10 meters. I do all mine off the 10-meter.

“You have to submit all six dives before you go [start competing]. You can change it up, but you can’t improvise in mid-air. In diving, the judges know exactly what you’re doing. You get judged on things like your DD [degree of difficulty], how well you execute the dive and your entry.

“On the platform, I usually shoot for a certain score, and if I hit that score, I’ll be good to go. If the judging is really hard, I’ll drop my score. You’ve got to play it by ear sometimes. You want to be realistic but hard enough to where you have to do well to get that score. “


“Usually, your best dives are your first one and last one. You want to start off on a good note and end on a good note. My front and back twists are my easiest, so I split those. My front is first and my back is toward the end. The middle four are tough.

“My toughest is a reverse 3.5 [flips]. You do a back flip going forward and do 3.5 and then land on your hands. That’s the highest DD that I do right now. I used to do a front 4.5, but since we didn’t have a 10-meter last year [at War Memorial pool], I didn’t train much for it and I didn’t want to just jump back into it. Hopefully, this summer, I’ll get back into it.

“What I do on 10-meter now is about average for what they did in the 2004 or 2008 Olympics. Now, with what’s coming up, this sport keeps progressing and guys are doing harder stuff. I’m trying to get better and get to that level.”


“It’s very scary even for the Olympians. It’s one of those things that I thought when I did it a lot more, I’d be less afraid of it. The older you are, the wiser you get. But I get up there, and it’s like, ‘Man, this isn’t what I want to do.’ It’s scary because there isn’t room for error. If I think too much about the dive, I’m doomed. I get really worried, so a lot of times, I’ll communicate with my teammates on the deck to keep my mind off the actual dive coming up.”


“I’ve never hit my head. If I do that, I’ll have to take a step back and see if I really want to dive. You hit your hands a couple of times and you hit your feet. They hurt for a bit, but it’s more that it scares you. You’re like, ‘Wow, that was a little bit close.’ But I’ve never hit my head. I’m typically a pretty safe diver. I have good distance from the board.”


“We practice Monday through Friday, and some on Saturdays. We dive every day. Monday is usually working on the basics, and then Tuesday through Friday is real-time diving. Saturdays, we’ll go back to fundamentals.

“On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we lift. On Tuesdays and Thursday, we’ll do dry-land stuff [mostly cardiovascular exercises] and do some plyometrics [exercises for power] and work on the trampoline. A lot of diving is doing work on the ground.”


“You’ve got to be kind of crazy, and you have to be able to focus pretty well. I get up there and have fun, but when it comes down to it, you have to go 100 percent because you can never bail on a dive. You have to be a thrill junkie. You use so much adrenaline doing this 10-meter stuff that when you do other stuff, it’s like, ‘Eh, that was okay. I guess that was cool.’ You have to be focused, but at the same time, have a wild hair. The average person is not going to get up there and dive like that.”