A Little Humor: 35 Thoughts Swimmers Have While Watching Diving

Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-Vermont Athletics

35 Thoughts Swimmers Have While Watching Diving

By Chandler Brandes, Swimming World College Intern

It’s a safe assumption to say that the vast majority of swimmers — including myself — do not understand diving. Those combinations of numbers and letters and twists and flips and diving lingo is all foreign to us. As swimmers, we have to ask ourselves: are divers this confused by swimming as we are by diving?

Here are 35 thoughts swimmers have when watching diving:

  1. Diving is so much cooler than swimming.
  2. What do those numbers and letters mean?
  3. I’m pretty sure that’s higher than 3 meters.
  4. How was that not a 10?
  5. How do they even score a 10?
  6. I could totally do that.
  7. Just kidding, no way could I ever do that.
  8. How do they know where they are when they resurface?
  9. If I tried that dive, there’s no way I’d ever resurface.
  10. What does “201C” mean? Is it secret diver code?
  11. How can they remember what each dive is?
  12. That was WAY too close to the board!
  13. What’s the difference between a 6 and a 6.5?
  14. Okay, that was definitely a 10.
  15. Why is there no 2 meter?
  16. I get more nervous watching diving than I do before my own races.
  17. Wait, was that their third or fourth dive?
  18. What on earth is a 5122D?
  19. I totally thought she was going to hit the board that time.
  20. How does scoring work for diving?
  21. How does scoring even work for swimming?
  22. That was DEFINITELY a 10.
  23. HOW WAS THAT NOT A 10?!
  24. I wish I was that graceful.
  25. I wouldn’t even have enough coordination to climb up the ladder.
  26. How did they get into diving in the first place?
  27. What am I swimming next?
  29. Nope, they didn’t, but that was way too close.
  30. Do divers ever wish they were swimmers?
  31. Probably not.
  32. What dive are they on? Number five?
  33. I should become a diver.
  34. Nah, I should stick with swimming.
  35. Wow, divers really don’t get enough credit.

…and there are many, many more questions and thoughts swimmers have about diving. It’s easy for diving to get overshadowed by swimming, but let’s not forget that we are a swimming and diving team. I talked to my teammates who are divers, and shammies have an actual purpose, and no—their hot tub is not just for lounging.


Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-Vermont Athletics


  1. avatar

    36. Maybe I chose the wrong sport. They spend like… 2 seconds in the water and then get to go sit in the hot tub.

    • avatar
      Diver & Swimmer

      Hope this was a joke…in freezing cold weather staying in the pool is the BEST THING ON EARTH…going in and out non stop especially for practice is miserable.

  2. Scott Richardson

    Clearly written by jealous diver (see #1 as to legitimacy of argument) as frankly no swimmer cares about divers and in all the years I swam competitive I don’t once ever recall watching the diving competition.

    • avatar

      You clearly did not swim in college because the divers are every bit as important as the swimmers when it comes to scoring points and being part of the team. In my program (D1 college) there is no division between the two, we are all one team

      • avatar
        John Whitby

        In the USA I think that diving and swimming are much closer. In the UK, diving is seen a a pain in the backside to swimming, mostly they are separate, we just (sadly) have the same swimming dominated governing body. This is probably one of the reasons we have lost so many diving facilities……
        Dive numbers are logical!!
        3 number dives.. Ist number is direction (group) of the dive 1= forward, 2= back= 3=reverse, 4== inward. 2nd number ‘flying’ somersault (1) or not (0). final number is the number of half somersaults.. 103 = forward 1 1/2 somersault. 4 number dives are ‘twisters’ 1st Number is 5 = twist, 2nd number = direction (as in a 3 number dive) 3rd number is number of 1/2 somersaults and the 4th number is the number of 1/2 twists. Easy once you get the hang of it! Agree with the comment about hanging around on poolside when it’s cold!

    • avatar

      As stated, it IS swimming and diving, and a team with good divers can tip the scale. See D3 NCAA’s 2014.

    • avatar

      Loosen up Scott, it just light humor, which clearly you’re missing.

    • Scott Richardson

      If I was forced to, I certainly don’t remember it and probably slept anyway.

    • avatar

      You are such a hero…

  3. Maggie Scott

    I was a great competitive swimmer and always wanted to dive. I decided in my late 30s to give masters diving a try and I love it I also get to compete as a novice at GB masters events through the year. Don’t knock it until you have tried it!!!!

  4. SE Kells

    Thanks, but no. I’d rather swim. I could see myself getting a concussion there.

  5. SE Kells

    Thanks, but no. I’d rather swim. I could see myself getting a concussion there.

    • Kiana Anderson

      So true! Especially with the coordinated part and the graceful part

  6. Yahia Zeino

    My thought would be:” really, divers don’t know how to swim?!!!”.

  7. Molly Lloyd

    as a diver, I think this list is really cute and nice! thanks for the input 🙂

  8. avatar

    36. Is everyone looking at my butt?

    • avatar

      HAHA this is funny. The swimmer thinking that or the diver? Because the diver is too busy making sure his/her butt is squeezed tight for the dive to overthink who is staring at it. 😀

  9. Sandy MacRae Cowan

    My main thought was how quickly can we get to the other end of the pool and catch the diver and pull them down as we swam by.
    The games we played during practice and the fun ?

  10. John Stein

    At smaller schools, the divers are also swimmers, right Rachel?

  11. Polette Amezquita

    I like the article. It was so funny ?? I think I could never be able to do that ☝?️??

  12. Aaron Hyde

    I hate to say this, but the only thing the swimmers on the high school team are thinking is, “can’t this be done already”.

  13. Emily Allanson

    Alyssa Andrews when we were watching the diving that time ??

  14. Christina Sosnowski Lowry

    My little guy is 10. At the last meet there were several diving boards and his coach dared him to go up. NO FEAR! And after seeing everything was blocked off, asked, “well how am I supposed to get up there?”

  15. Brady Gould

    My first thought is “oooooooh are they going to do a fancy backflip this time?”

    • Laurie J Alioto

      Are you kidding me? Every dive meet I end up swearing and burying my head in the lap of the person next to me who I usually have never met. Then there is uncomfortable laughter but a quiet acceptance of the terrors and anxiety of watching a diving competition. The kid was a double winner at the Luther Invite last week and the UW-Oshkosh dual meet yesterday. Last week was lots of records for her!

  16. avatar

    Scott Richadson…what a ass holes thing to say….

  17. Kerry Nelson

    I always got mad watching them “goofing around” in deep end while we worked our butts off.

    • avatar

      You’re right, doing 3 flips from 10 feet in the air is just messing around and doesn’t require any hard work

  18. avatar

    I never could stand it when the girls’ diving team was practicing when we were. I kept expecting someone to smack their head against the board. Didn’t help that the captain of the dive team had busted an ear drum the year before I joined the swim team. She never got back into the pool but stayed on as captain her senior year.

  19. avatar
    David Kaufman

    I think that it is so cool how the actual dive into the water is exactly the opposite of how a swimmer does a racing start. The diver has to stop themselves once they enter the water, otherwise they will go too deep and possibly hit the bottom. They create drag with their hands to literally stop their motion. While the swimmer is diving in and trying to maximize their distance underwater. That is what I am thinking while swimming and watching the divers at the Nassau county aquatic center in new york.

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