skip navigation

Coaches Corner

USA Diving Region 5 Intent to Participate & Hotel Block Links

By Christine Keating 12/03/2019, 7:30pm EST

Complete your Intent to Participate in the USA Diving Region 5 Championships by clicking here

Hotel Block at Hampton Inn Ann Arbor North 2300 Green Rd Ann Arbor, MI $131/night+tax *Free cancellation until 3pm EST, 72 hours prior to arrival. *Complimentary Grab and Go breakfast bags upon advance request through Mrs. Keating


HIGH SCHOOLERS: Make a Great Dive Video for All American Submission

By Christine Keating 11/26/2019, 11:30am EST

Attention High Schoolers.... according to NISCA:

When the All America Judges sit down to judge the 500+ diving videos, they know they are going to be watching great divers. However, you can set your diver apart by making sure that the video is as good as the diver. Here are a few tips:

  • Film as close to the judges viewpoint as possible. Your video should be shot from board level and from the side.

  • What must be filmed: Starting position, approach, execution and entry. Make sure that your diver is in the frame the whole time, from start to finish. Don't cut off their head at the top of the dive. It is better to get the entire dive and be a little farther out than to zoom in and miss a critical component.

  • Do not film the judges scores or the scores on the scoreboard as they are presented.

  • Edit your film. Make sure that the diver is vertical in the final version of the film. This is especially important with videos that were shot on a phone. It is very hard to judge a diver when you are watching them sideways.

  • Edit out any "dead air" time prior to the beginning of the approach or takeoff (in back and inward dives) and cut off once they have entered the water. A good video should not be much longer than 3.5 minutes.

  • Review the video and the score sheet and MAKE SURE THEY MATCH.  A frequent cause of disqualifications come from the dive on the screen not matching the dive on the list.

For more tips on creating your diving video, check out our website:  You can start submitting AA Diving applications to our on-line application portal beginning on November 1st. Start recording those 11 dives meets now! Remember, if you don't submit an application, you can't be on the All America list.

We are going to start posting articles as part of our Coaches Corner ongoing project. There will be several at first as we catch up with our ideas we have been saving... but then they will only be periodically. In addition to accessing these articles in your app, you can always access them on our coaches corner link by clicking here.

Without further adieu.... the Coaches Corner....

Suzy was a physically talented diver—extremely talented.  However, she could be her own worst enemy.  When things seemed to be going in the right direction, she could self-implode and turn things in the wrong directions.  Do you have a diver like this?

There is a strong connection between our thoughts, feelings, and actions.  Following are nine cognitive distortions for athletes (and coaches) to AVOID for becoming mentally tough.  They come from the book Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (Leahy, Holland & McGinn, 2011) and a Tim Elmore blog.

1. Emotional Reasoning: Letting our feelings guide our interpretation of reality. (I feel down about my diving today, therefore I should quit the sport.)

2. Catastrophizing: Focusing on the worst possible outcome as the most likely. (If I don’t win this meet, I will never get a college scholarship.)

3. Overgeneralizing: Perceiving an overall pattern of negatives based on a single example. (I knew this would happen. I seem to fail at almost everything I do.)

4. Dichotomous Thinking: Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. (That person is demonic! This situation was a complete waste of time.)

5. Mind Reading: Assuming that you know what people think without having enough evidence. (He thinks I’m a loser.)

6. Labeling: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others. (She’s a rotten person. I am undesirable. They’re all stupid over there.)

7. Negative Filtering: You focus almost exclusively on negatives and rarely notice the positives. (Look at all the people who don’t like me. Look at all the dives I miss.)

8. Discounting Positives: Claiming the positive acts you or others do are trivial, so you can maintain negative judgments. (Those wins were easy, so they don’t count.)

9. Blaming: Seeing other people as the source of your negative feelings, so you refuse to take responsibility for yourself. (She makes me angry! My coach did this to me.)

As World Champion diver Dr. Megan Neyer points out, “No one makes you feel anything.  You may feel something based on something they said or did – but own your feelings and thoughts; don’t blame someone else.  Getting into the blame game is not identifying current and future goals.”

We’ll only build tough minds by preparing athletes for the path—not the path for athletes. Hold team meetings and discuss how to avoid these cognitive distortions.  Also, please find attached an interesting article on Leadership Lessons From Serial Winning Coaches (SWC).

Jeff Huber, PhD
Director of Education
USA Diving


Head Coach Marc, Owner

Marc began diving as a freshman in high school in Ohio then earned a 4-year diving scholarship to Ohio University in Athens, OH. He graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in Fine Arts. He then spent three years diving professionally at Sea World of Ohio in a high dive stunt show.

In September 2007, he was honored to take over the American Flyers Diving Club and continue the tradition of excellence here. His family moved from Colorado back to his home in the Northeast Ohio area where he began his coaching experience. Before moving to Colorado, he coached for Glen Oak High School in Canton and Nordonia High School in Macedonia. He also worked with the American Flyers Diving Team for one year and coached gymnastics at Gymnastics of Ohio in North Canton. As well as being owner and head coach of The Flyers, he is currently coaching several area high schools including: Solon, Aurora, Twinsburg, Chagrin Falls, Nordonia, and Garfield Heights. During the three years in Colorado, he coached with the Mile High Dive Club in the Denver area, the CU-Boulder club diving team, various high school teams (including: Boulder, Fairview, Columbine, Dakota Ridge, Chatfield, and Summit) and his own club diving team in Boulder, the Flatirons Diving Club. He has coached diving continuously since 1996 at the high school, collegiate, and club (USA Diving and AAU) levels in Ohio and Colorado. (Marc is currently safety certified by the USA Diving and the AAU Sports organizations and current in first aid and CPR)

Since taking over the American Flyers in 2007, we have had numerous successes at all ages & levels. Some basic milestones include:

  • At the State level -  finalists, podium, medalists & champions. 
  • At the USA age group level; Nationally ranked, medal winning, internationally competitive & Team USA divers. Of which we have been honored to have 2 USA National Champions, 2 divers earning a rare & coveted spot as USA diving Jr. National Squad members for Team USA and a 2015 Jr. Pan American athlete.

Coach McKenzie

She is originally from Pennsylvania. She comes from a gymnastics background where she was a competitive gymnast for 10 years. She started diving when she was a freshman in high school and won the Pennsylvania State Championships (PIAA) in 2013 and was runner up in 2014. She earned a 4 year diving scholarship to Youngstown State University. McKenzie's favorite dive is a 105c on 1m. She graduated in December of 2018 with a bachelors degree in K-12 physical education & health. She is currently teaching elementary PE (K-4) at Mercer Elementary School in the Shaker Heights school district! In her free time she loves to hike, spend time with family, and fish.

Assistant Coach Curtis 

Curtis Roden begin his athletic career as a gymnast when he was five, 9 years before he began formal diving training. During high school, Curtis was a 3 year letter winning diver and a national competitor in gymnastics. He earned a 4-year diving scholarship to Cleveland State University. He graduated May 2019 with a B.S. in Health Sciences. Curtis spent his first 4 years of coaching as a gymnastics coach in North Canton, Ohio, and has transitioned to being a diving coach full-time. In his free time he enjoys a daily front flip, creating music, and spending time on wheels. (Curtis is currently safety certified by USA Diving & the AAU and is certified in first aid and CPR)

Yoga & Mindfulness Coach Missy

Missy is a High School Health and Physical Education teacher as well as a certified Yoga Instructor coach, wife and mom.  Her true passion is empowering people of all ages with the life skills of yoga and mindfulness.  As a former high school and division I college athlete, she was fascinated with sports psychology.  She pursued her masters in Education and Sports Science. She implements this knowledge and skills with our diving athletes!  Namaste


Dr Shaun McCrae, DC, PhD

Dr McCrae graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 2006 with degrees in Chiropractic (DC) & Human Biology (BS), the University of Science, Art and Technology with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biomedical Science and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. Dr McCrae has been a board certified Chiropractic Sports Physician since 2012 and has extensive training in Radiology (MRI & CT of the Spine), Nutrition (Specializing in Athletes), Orthopedics, (working with multiple Orthopedic Specialities), Graston Technique (Soft Tissue) and KT/Rock Taping. Dr McCrae has spent several years working with NCAA & Olympic level divers and swimmers, a semi-professional soccer team and volunteered with the Memorial Hermann Ironman event for 4 years. He currently volunteers at a local Children's Triathlon in Aurora, OH. Dr McCrae has participated in several research projects that relate to Chronic Back Pain in the aged population to idiopathic skeletal trauma in athletes. When Dr McCrae isn't on deck treating the divers of American Flyers Diving, he is in the stands watching his favorite diver, Colten or poolside watching his 2 favorite swimmers, Spencer and Teagan.

Coach Katie

Coach Dan 

Daniel has been coaching with American Flyers Diving since 2009. Dan started diving in high school, and has trained under Ron Kontura and Marc Cahalane. He was a 4 year letter winner, team captain, and conference MVP. Dan has also competed at the NCAA Division 1 level. His coaching résumé includes head coach and assistant coaching experience at the high school level in diving as well as track and field and junior elite level baseball and basketball. In Dan’s first year with the American Flyers, he helped guide 9 athletes to the Ohio State Championship Meet (the most in the club’s history), 15 district qualifiers, a conference champion, multiple division champions, a sectional, district and state champion, a district and state runner-up.
What Dan enjoys most about coaching is seeing kids progress in ability, both physical and mental. He likes to see kids set and achieve goals that they may have originally never thought possible. One of his personal goals for high school athletes is to help them receive scholarships for diving at the collegiate level. Dan also created the AFD facebook page and blog page, where regular updates from meet results, practice changes, awards earned by divers, etc. are posted. Dan’s educational background is in kinesiology and professional background has been in sales and marketing as well as coaching. In his free time he enjoys reading, going to sporting events and playing with his two dogs, Bailey & Sheba. He is also an instructor for Nordonia High School’s marching band. Dan recently got married in October, 2011. (Dan is currently safety certified by USA Diving & the AAU and is certified in first aid and CPR)

Coach Rob 

A native Pennsylvanian, Rob was the first diver in his school’s history, winning his local league championship multiple times and earning silver and bronze at the state level.  Eschewing scholarship offers in order to attend Oberlin, Rob qualified for nationals as a freshman but had to end his career prematurely.  Eventually, Rob turned to coaching in the mid 90’s at Johns-Hopkins University, coaching a USA Diving team as well while training under Dr. Vincent Wroblewski.  During his four-year-tenure, Rob coached multiple national qualifiers and All-Americans, including senior national divers, seeing his age-groupers earn scholarships at schools such as Indiana, Michigan and USC.  Rob then spent a decade in the U.S. Navy where he both worked on nuclear reactors and instructed Naval Reactor trainees.  Along the way, Rob coached when and where he could, getting some time in at Skidmore College, RPI and his own local program in Sasebo, Japan.  Rob returned to civilian life, earning his law degree and settling in the Cleveland area where his wife grew up.  While today he practices corporate law, Rob finds time in the cracks to coach again and has been with AFD since 2017.  (Rob is currently safety certified by USA Diving & the AAU and is certified in first aid and CPR).