Too often, divers get overlooked for their contribution to the team and many people do not honor and appreciate their dedication to the sport. Yesterday, I had to witness the physical and mental toughness of our Wabash divers first hand. Usually, I don’t get to watch Jake and Jake as much as I would like since they both dive at the same time swim practice is training, but with only an hour long swim practice yesterday, I had the pleasure of hanging out in the diving well with our coach, Wayne Applegate, and watch “the Jakes” hone their craft. Both of the guys were working on their DD and I got down to the diving well just in time to see Jake Schild work on his two and a half from the 3 meter. On his first attempt, Jake pulled out a little early and smacked the top of his back. Jake popped out of the water, took a deep breath, exhaled his pain and then regained his composure. Jake Schild took the next few minutes to recollect his thoughts and let the pain subside. Meanwhile, Jake Anderson worked on his hurdle and 1 meter dives. Jake was working on perfection for some of the minor details to his dives. A hip an inch too far to the left, a hurdle 4 inches to low, it’s amazing how a minute flaw can create a major problem. Anderson continued to make corrections and then Schild took the reigns on the 3 meter again. Another 2 and a half. This time Schild pulled out to early. I braced for impact knowing what was to come. Jake Schild knew what was coming as well. To me the fall seemed like slow motion. Like dropping a rock off a cliff and into a basin, the “crack” resounded throughout the pool deck. The sound paralyzed me, as I knew how much Jake had to be hurting. Wincing in pain, he arose from the depths. “I pushed out of it too early,” he said with pain in his voice. He crawled onto the deck, and his back looked couldn’t have been more red if he were wearing a Santa Clause jacket. Over to the hot tub he went to ease the pain. Jake’s back has taken a punishment this year, with another hard smack coming during the team’s meet with Rose Hulman. Minutes passed with Schild in the hot tub and Anderson working on 1 meter. After a talk with Wayne, Schild climbed back on the 1 meter board and finished up with some great work on his dives. The ability for Jake to dismiss the pain and come back strong on the 1 meter and finish up practice strong was inspiring. The mental attitude and toughness to not give into pain, for Jake to tell himself that he will rise to teh occasion and be stronger can’t be beat. And the ability to say that he had his moment of weakness, dismiss his pain, and work a 1 and a half to perfection on the 1 meter is something that everyone at Wabash needs to perfect. Jake used a moment of weakness to make himself mentally and physically stronger and no matter what happens the next time he throws a 2 and a half off the 3 meter, I know that from this day forward Jake will look at any setback or challenge in front of him and know that he will win, even if it means pushing himself to new levels of pain and anguish. So Jake Schild and Jake Anderson, dive on, you hard work and sacrifice to do not go unnoticed and unappreciated.
Steve Barnes is currently the second year head coach of a Wabash College in Wabash, IN. Steve maintains a regular blog, which can be found here. While this post is not new, we wanted to expose you to the type of posts he writes with his latest. Moving forward, we are happy to have Steve’s posts published here, as well as continuing on his current site. For Coach Barnes’ full profile, see here.