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This is your Frequently Asked Questions Page. It's a great opportunity to understand how our year-round diving club works with some added facts about our sport and how United States Diving-sanctioned clubs like us operate in general.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Before you join

Program Levels

How to Register

Monthly Fees

Disadvantaged Youth


Practices & Scheduling

Coaching at CDC

Parent Involvement

Codes of Conduct



High School Teams

Additional Facts About Diving



Before you join


What is Cornerstone Diving Club (CDC)?


CDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing world-class coaching in the sport of springboard diving and to a lesser degree in the fundamentals of platform diving. Our mission is to create athletes with the skills and passion necessary to advance to national-level Junior Olympic events and Division 1 college readiness on the one-meter and three-meter levels. We also provide lesson programs for beginners. Similar to a year-round gymnastics training facility, our advanced divers train throughout the year. Training consists of conditioning, dryland safety-belt spotting using a trampoline, and in-pool workouts on the one and three-meter boards.


We operate year-round at Cornerstone Aquatics Center and have different session schedules on a seasonal basis:

  • Spring Season: April 1 – June 19

  • Summer Season: June 20 – August 15

  • Fall & Winter Seasons: September 1 – March 31


Goals of Cornerstone Diving Club


  • Produce Olympic-caliber divers

  • World-class training equipment

  • Achieve College Scholarships for Members

  • Top CT USA Diving Club

  • Produce Junior Olympic Champions

What are the best traits to have to be a good diver?


Diving competitors possess many of the same characteristics as gymnasts, cheerleaders, and ballet dancers, including body flexibilities, overall strength, height, vertical jump, and hyper-extension capabilities of shoulders, elbows, knees, toe point, and a kinaesthetic awareness (as in a cat always being able to land on its feet). Many world-class divers were originally gymnasts because the skills in gymnastics are very closely aligned to diving. Additionally, coachability is defined as the ability to listen carefully and have the fearlessness to be able to try new things and have fun experimenting with new dives.


What is a good age to start diving?


Age is not as important as readiness. Readiness includes confidence swimming in deep water, enjoyment in jumping off diving boards, and being unafraid to try new things. We’ve coached children as young as 5-years-old and have had much success coaching ex-gymnasts who join us as old as 15. Ages six to ten are ideal. In AAU and USA Diving competitions, the youngest age-group is the 9 and under. We will conduct an initial assessment during the free Try-It-Out session and communicate our findings to the parents.


What are Cornerstone Diving Club’s Program Levels?


We cater to the diving skill sets of each diver and provide teaching at three levels: the beginner level, the novice level, and the advanced level. There is no specific qualification or age that demands one level over another. The coach will make an assessment but suffice it to say that divers typically know where they are in comparison to other levels.


Our advanced level is the JO Team: these are divers at any age ready to compete at the regional, zone, or national level. The novice level is called the Pre – JO Team. These divers may be ready to compete in high school or at invitational diving meets and are working hard to develop their skills to an advanced level. We call our beginners program TinyRips who are testing their interest in diving and enjoying the fundamental skills being learned. Beginners typically enjoy training with other beginners.

JO Travel Team


The JO Travel Team is comprised of divers who are ready to compete at the USA Diving Regional Championships or AAU National Qualifying meets with a chance to qualify to go to Zones and to the Junior National Championships. The JO Team requires an annual membership and a strong desire to maximize performance in the sport of diving. Most JO Team members are pursuing a college scholarship with a Division 1 school in a strong diving conference.


JO Team members compete in any one of the following age-group categories:


  • 9 and under

  • 10/11

  • 12/13

  • 14/15

  • 16/18


A diver's age-group is determined by the age the diver will be on December 31 of the current year. For example, at a meet on July 10th, the current 11-year-old who is turning 12 on December 14th of that year will dive in the 12/13 age group.

Cornerstone Diving Club Registration


I want to join Cornerstone Diving; how do I register?


To sign up, please visit our Registration page to complete and submit the following documents. These two online forms can be found on this website. They are online forms that do not need to be brought to the pool. Helpful hint: Sign up for your child's USA Diving membership first as the member ID number is asked for in the registration form.


  • Registration Form

  • Release of Liability Form

  • Travel Release Form (only when travel is involved)

Because we compete in both AAU and USA Diving meets, all divers must be registered with both United States Diving and the AAU.

Why do divers need to register at United States Diving and AAU?


Every participant must have a current United States Diving and AAU Membership number on file. Both AAU and USD offer significant insurance to individual divers and diving clubs both during practice and meet situations throughout the country.


USA Diving


Please register your diver at United States Diving Membership page as an “Athlete Member” if your diver is not yet competing in USA Diving Regionals. Please register as a “Competition Athlete” if he/she is competing at Regionals and beyond. Please save your membership number and add it to the Cornerstone Diving Club’s Registration Form.




Please register your diver as an AAU member on the AAU Membership page. Our Club Code is W349T3. Please save your membership number and add it to the Cornerstone Diving Club’s Registration Form.


Monthly Fees


How are your monthly membership fees structured?


No one in the field of coaching diving is in it for the money. It is a passion for most coaches. Fees are determined by the pool's monthly rental fees and a reasonable hourly rate for the head coach and any assistant coaches. This is then divided by the average number of divers on the team to create a monthly fee.

Current fees for each program are not posted here due to seasonal fluctuations. Please call Coach Scott to discuss the right program for your diver and the current pricing. Scott can be reached at 203-952-6442 or

Payment Options


There are two payment options available: online bank payments or credit card payments via our Quickbook invoicing. All payments are due on the day of the invoice with a one-week grace period. A late fee will be assessed if necessary upon the following schedule at the conclusion of the grace period:


  • 10 Days $15

  • 11 - 20 Days $30

  • 21 - 30 Days $60

  • 31+ Days  $90

Please note. If members ever find themselves in a special financial situation that requires some assistance, please reach out to Scott to discuss your situation and a possible temporary solution.



Program for the Disadvantaged

Do you have assistance for disadvantaged families?

Yes. Families with proof of benefits from the CT Department of Social Services may qualify for a reduced or no-cost membership. Details on this program may be found on our Disadvantaged Youth Program page.



How do I get info on schedule changes, meet announcements, program updates, news, and more?


Once you are registered, you will be invited, via email, to use our Pumble account. Pumble is the place to find everything you should know about our club and the sport of diving. You can ask questions, send messages to friends or groups, check our calendar, post funny videos, and so much more! Pumble is basically two things: 1. A list of topics about diving called Channels, and 2. a way to send messages to each other or to groups. 


Pumble is a work in progress. New Channels will arrive and current channels will be updated. If a channel is BOLD, it means there is new information for you. If a Direct Message is BOLD, it means someone has sent you a message. Channels include #diver-education, #college-bound, #calendar #inspiration, #meets, #usadiving-news, and more.


New to Pumble? Here are some training videos.


Practices & Scheduling


Can we make up missed classes?


Yes. Since all programs run on a frequency schedule, any missed classes during the month can be made up by choosing any other available day at your allotted time. No need to communicate with Scott. Just show up.


The weather outside is frightful... Is practice canceled?


If a practice is canceled or changed in any way, you will be notified via text, email, and/or Pumble. If the facility is closed, we cannot hold practice; but if schools are closed, do not assume that practice is canceled. We make our decision by noon each day.


It's a holiday. Is practice canceled?


We cancel practice for holidays observed by the public school system including New Year’s Eve & Day, Martin Luther King Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. Be sure to always check our Pumble #calendar for cancelations and practice updates.


Can I join Cornerstone Diving Club in the middle of the month?


Yes. Please contact Coach Scott to receive a prorated first-month rate.


Does Cornerstone Diving offer a Trial Class?


Yes. New divers interested in membership may have one free day to determine if it is something they want to do at no charge. Please book a convenient day and time on our Try-it-Out Booking page.


What type of team outfitting is available?


Currently, we have logoed swimsuits available from Soon we will have additional outfitting such as backpacks, team sweats, t-shirts, winter jackets, and shorts. Divers attending meets are required to wear team outfitting on the pool deck and award stand. We will announce the availability of additional outfitting as it becomes available.


What should I bring to practice?


Bring a swimsuit, a dry towel or “Shammy”, and hair ties if you have long hair. A swimsuit for girls can be found at any local sporting goods store; please be sure to buy/use a one-piece swimsuit. For boys, a speedo brief is highly recommended. Goggles are not allowed during diving practice unless required by an ophthalmologist. Shammies are easily found on Amazon.



Coaching at Cornerstone Diving Club


What are your teaching techniques?


The best diving coaches for children follow something called progressions. Progressions are the many baby steps done in a proper order that lead to perfecting a skill and are at the heart of our curriculum. What we see at a diving meet is the result of many skills that are worked on separately such as the hurdle, the take-off, pointed toes in a tuck or pike position, etc. Each diver is always at a skill level of dozens of critical skills that a good coach must recognize.


What are the benefits of learning dives in the safety spotting belt?


Spotting belts can shorten the learning curve of all dives in a safe and pleasant manner when the ropes are in the hands of a well-trained and experienced coach. Individual parts of each dive can be simulated in the belt allowing the diver to specifically focus on that part without the knowledge that the water is quickly approaching. This is a critical aspect because “perfect practice” can be achieved much sooner in the belt than on the diving board. The belt also has quantitative benefits. Multiple repetitions of this “perfect practice” can be done in a very short period of time which adds to the reduction of the learning curve. Lastly, once the confidence in a particular dive or piece of a dive is acquired in the belt, performing it the very first time on the diving board has an extremely high chance of injury-free success. Throughout the world, there is a very high correlation between safe diving success and time in the belt with a qualified coach.  


My child fears a dive and does not want to go to practice. What do I do?


Fear in diving can be real, but this is most likely a reflection of poor coaching than anything else. No diver should ever be requested to perform a new dive without adequate “progressions” in the belt, and on the board, that lead up to a high level of confidence in performing the dive for the first time. Accidents do happen but can be quickly remedied by more belt work and set-ups using the progression checklist. No Cornerstone diver is ever demanded to do a difficult new dive before performing it correctly many times in the comfort of the safety belt. As I have experienced, this process is not dissimilar to a novice pilot taking his/her first solo flight. Both the coach and the student know when it is time. Keeping the lines of communication open is key to a healthy coach-diver relationship.


Will my child have to dive from the 3-meter?


Unless your child has a documented medical condition that prohibits diving from the 3-meter, selected team members are expected to learn competitive lists on 3-meter. We will, however, take each diver at his or her own pace. We will not allow divers to perform a skill if they do not consistently demonstrate safe set-ups and techniques on the one-meter or in the belt.


In the beginner program, my child is doing many front jumps, back jumps, and fall-in dives – Why is that?


These are all “progressions.” To safely enjoy the sport of diving, certain fundamental skills must be taught to beginning divers. Even as these divers improve and excel, they continue to revisit and refine these basic skills. Jumps and basic entries are critical to learning more complex skills and every diver must demonstrate competency in this area before they can move on to more advanced skills. These jumps, entries, and line-ups are foundational prerequisites to becoming a good diver.


Progress Reports – how does a diver know that progress is being made?


Divers should be familiar with Cornerstone Diving’s Skill Checklist as a guideline of the dives and skills that are taught at Cornerstone Diving Club. Appropriate goals should be discussed with Coach Scott to determine the importance and readiness for each dive or skill. Periodic Progress Reports will be submitted to parents on an annual basis or at the parent’s request.


Parent Involvement


Can parents be on the pool deck?


During normal, non-Covid times, parents are allowed on the pool deck during practice; however, it is especially important to observe only and leave the coaching of the athletes to the coaches. Interfering with your athlete’s practice session can result in being asked to leave by the coaching staff.


What can parents do if they would like to volunteer?


Advisory Board

To be one of the best clubs in the country,  help is always needed and appreciated. As an Advisory Board member your involvement may be as little as being an available mentor. Or, it may help our non-profit raise funding, or promote our organization in the community. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, we can use your help. Please DM me if you would like to play a role or have any questions.

Home Meets

Hosting a meet is a large undertaking and requires the coordinated efforts of all Cornerstone Diving families. All Parents will be invited to donate a few hours each day during the meet. If you will not be in town, you can sign up for a job that can be done before the meet.



What are your Codes of Conduct?


Below you will find current best practices we expect from coaches, parents, & athletes.


Coaches Codes of Conduct


  • Maintain club membership in USA Diving and AAU Diving to ensure safety and insurance coverage.

  • Adhere to all Covid-19 requirements.

  • Adhere to Cornerstone Diving Club's Youth Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy & Procedures.

  • Adhere to all diving training certifications including United State’s Diving’s Dive Safety Training, Safe Sport Training, Concussion Training, Red Cross/CPR Training, and Mandated Reporter Training.

  • Design and implement a diving program for conditioning, correct diving techniques, and a perfect practice strategy via progressions and mental preparation for each athlete.

  • Maintain professional membership and certifications and stay informed of new developments and advances in the sport.

  • Assure compliance with all applicable rules, including USA Diving, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), NCAA, and relevant high school associations.

  • Head Coach will serve as primary contact for team parents.

  • Support athletes on all levels towards their individual goals and achievements.

  • Aid athletes who are interested in diving at the collegiate level; include mentorship, contacting collegiate coaches, and aiding athletes with recruiting materials.


Athletes Codes of Conduct


  • Manage your time to ensure all school assignments are completed. Academics are more important than diving!

  • Review performance level requirements and set goals on your personal skills checklist.

  • Maintain a regular schedule of attendance for practice.

  • Arrive promptly, and timely, for practices, meets, and away meet departures. Remember the adage – if you are early, you are on time, if you are on time, you are late, and if you are late, you are fired!

  • Treat every member of our team – coaches, athletes, parents, administrators – with kindness and respect.

  • At meets, athletes will treat officials, parents, coaches, and athletes of other teams with the same level of kindness and respect.

  • Always perform the required warm-up and conditioning exercises posted.

  • Work cooperatively and respectfully with coaches and teammates.

  • Live as the athlete you are. Refrain from all drug and alcohol use.

  • Help gather and return any equipment before leaving the pool deck at practices and meets.

  • Inform coaches about any pain, soreness, illness, or injuries you may have.

  • Practice good sportsmanship by reacting to teammates’ disappointments and keeping in mind disappointed athletes when celebrating your success.

  • Always try to be coachable. Try new things! Have fun experimenting! Overcorrect on the hard fixes. This will improve your diving.

  • Adhere to all Covid-19 requirements.


Parents Codes of Conduct (this may go without saying...)


  • At Cornerstone Diving, parents play a vital role: motivating their athlete(s), providing numerous volunteer services, and lending a helping hand whenever needed. The coaching staff appreciates all support from parent volunteers.

  • Practice teamwork with all parents, athletes, and coaches by supporting all athletes on the team.

  • Be real but err on the side of positive and enthusiastic with your diver. Try refraining from comments that show any doubt.

  • Honor the game. Demonstrate good sportsmanship by behaving in a manner that earns the respect of athletes, parents, officials, and coaches at meets and practices.

  • Direct questions or concerns regarding decisions made by meet officials to a member of the coaching staff.

  • Encourage athletes to participate by focusing on their accomplishments, no matter how small.

  • Ensure timely pickup and departure of your athlete(s).





What are the different types of diving meets?


There are two types of diving meets that are sanctioned by the AAU and United States Diving, Inc.  - Invitational Meets and Qualifying Meets:


Invitational Meets are usually local meets hosted by other diving clubs at their pool. A Greenwich YMCA Marlins Diving Team meet would be an example. These meets are typically held anytime between November and August.


USA Diving Qualifying meets are Regional Championships, Zone Championships, and Junior National Championships. AAU qualifying meets are mainly meets that qualify divers for AAU National Championships.





Cornerstone Diving Club competes in Region #1 and Zone A.


When are the USA Diving Meets?


2024 Dates & Locations:


  • 2024 Region 1 Championships - Apr 20, 2024 - Apr 21, 2024 | Purchase, NY

  • 2024 Zone A Championships - Jun 27, 2024 - Jun 30, 2024 | Christiansburg, VA

  • 2024 USA Diving Junior National Championships - Jul 29, 2024 - Aug 7, 2024 | Morgantown, WV

How do divers qualify to go to Zone Championships?


At the Regional events, divers qualify for Zones in one of two ways. The top 10 divers in each springboard event who are not prequalified automatically qualify for Zones. Then, following the conclusion of all 12 region meets, a 2nd method is used to determine additional qualifiers.


How do divers advance to Junior Nationals at the Zone Meet?


In the junior events, divers who place in the top three at zones will qualify directly to the semifinals for that event at the national championships. Divers who place 4-8 on the platform and 4-10 on the springboard in the junior events at zones will qualify for the preliminaries in that event at nationals.


What are the Age-Groups for Competition?


  • Girls & Boys 9/Under

  • Girls & Boys 10/11 

  • Girls & Boys 12-13

  • Girls & Boys 14-15

  • Girls & Boys 16-18

What are the events all Age-Groups may compete in?


One Meter Springboard

Three-Meter Springboard

Platform (5-, 7.5-, or 10-Meter heights)


To see the required dives necessary for competition in each age group, please refer to USADiving101/Competing.


How much travel will we do?


No diver will be expected to perform in a meet unless she/he has a “list” of dives that can be performed with a positive outcome. Typically, travel meets occur in the months of December through August. While summers can be intense when you reach higher levels, the amount of meets we go to depends on how far athletes’ progress. We will go to as many meets as the team’s schedule and athletes allow.


Are divers required to go to every meet?


We encourage divers to get as much competitive experience as possible when invited to do so. These meets offer a great opportunity for athletes to practice their competitive mindset as well as enhance their reputation and make new friends.





What is DiveMeets? When should I register?


DiveMeets is the place to register for meets listed on the DiveMeets calendar. DiveMeets is also a website for divers and teams that records our diver’s progress and meet results that can be viewed by potential college coaches. Each diver’s meet history is kept chronologically from as young as a 10 and Under competitor. Once registered as a diver on, diver results are automatically added to the diver’s profile. Please register on DiveMeets once you begin to attend meets with Cornerstone Diving Club, even local invitational meets.


How do I register for


Go to Hover over login on the top right corner and click “Get a DiveMeets ID.” Complete the registration questions and check USA Diving and AAU as your organizational memberships. Select Coach Scott Pierson. For USA Diving enter our USA Diving ID 7573. For AAU, Enter our Club Code W349T3 and your Athlete Code. Review your information and click continue to end the registration. Please make a record of your DiveMeets Login ID and password and store it safely.


Your registration will allow you to see upcoming USA Diving and AAU meets, allow you to register for them, and will show meets in which you are currently signed up.


High School Teams


Should my child dive for his/her high school?


I would not recommend high school diving to the pure non-athlete beginner. Unless the student has had many years of gymnastics or dance, diving can be a difficult sport to pull off in a 12- week high school season. Diving is on par with pole-vaulting. It is a sport that takes years, not weeks, to achieve a competitive level and confidence. In the typical 12-week season of high school sports, diving as a beginner can be dangerous. For example, it takes years of diving to master the kinaesthetic awareness necessary to know how to maintain a safe distance from the diving board. Additionally, there are dives that are required to perform in meets that can be very dangerous to beginners. There are much safer high school sports for beginning athletes to enjoy.


If my child dives for their high school team, can they still practice with Cornerstone Diving?


Yes. In normal times, high school diving can be a wonderful experience especially if your diver has been diving with CDC on an annual basis. It is not uncommon for many of our divers to hold high school/pool records and All-Star rankings. Coach Scott currently coaches diving for two high schools. He knows that diver’s practice sessions at the high school can interfere with our CDC practice times and offers a High School Absentee Credit for our members. Most high school divers manage to come to CDC once or twice on weekdays and once or twice on the weekends.


More on High School Diving here.




Other Facts About Diving


What are dives scored on?


The main parts of each dive that influence a judge’s score are the approach, the take-off, the height and execution of the dive, the distance from the board, the form* of the diver, and the entry into the water.


*Form is a combination of overall tidiness and beauty of the dive such as pointed toes, legs staying together, hyperextended knees and shoulders, the elimination of unnecessary angles such as bent knees, elbows, or fingers, and the elimination of unnecessary movement – some dives should include a pose, a perfect stillness for the eye to enjoy. Other things include straight lines like not having an arched back, the cadence or tempo of a dive, and the tightness and angle of the entry. The ultimate entry is called a rip entry and has a certain sound to it like a quick blast of air.


How does a diving meet work?


Divers compete against each other in diving “events.” An example of an event is the Boy’s 12-13 One Meter Event, a seven-dive event comprised of three voluntary dives and four optional dives.  Points are earned by adding the three judges' scores on each dive (in some cases five or seven judges) and multiplying those scores by the Degree of Difficulty (DD) of the dive performed. A hypothetical example of one dive’s score: Let’s say Tom performed a 104C – a forward 2 somersaults in the tuck position with a degree of difficulty 2.0. He received 8, 7, 8.5 equaling 23.5 times 2.0 DD = 47 points for that dive. The points of each of Tom’s dives are tallied to create a final score. The diver with the highest final score wins that event.


Depending on the kind of meet, divers may be required to perform between six and eleven dives. The dives completed in a meet are referred to as each diver’s “List” on a particular board or platform. Beginner divers can dive in meets now. Jumps and Line-ups have been added to the diving Degree of Difficulty table. Information about upcoming meets will be provided well ahead of the starting date. If you have additional questions about how meets are managed, please talk with Coach Scott.


Dive Groups


There are six groups of dives. The first four are classified by the direction the diver rotates.

  1. Forward group: The diver faces the front of the board and rotates toward the water. Dives in this group vary from simple front dives to difficult forward, four- and one-half somersaults.

  2. Backward group: Dives in the backward group begin with the diver on the end of the board, with his or her back to the water, so as to rotate away from the board.

  3. Reverse group: Formerly called “gainers,” these dives begin with the diver facing the front of the board but then rotates back toward the board.

  4. Inward group: The diver stands on the end of the board with his or her back to the water and rotates forward toward the board.

  5. Twisting group: Any dive that uses a twist (excluding arm stands) is included in this group. There are four types of twists: forward, backward, reverse, and inward.

  6. Armstand group: The diver assumes a handstand position (facing forward or backward) on the edge of the platform before the dive. Armstand positions are not used on the springboard in competition.






USA Diving


Learning Slack

Swimming World




I have a question. Whom do I contact?


If you have not found the answer here, please contact Coach Scott at 203-952-6442.

Before you join
Program Levels
How to Register
Monthly Fees
Practices and Scheduling
Coaching at CDC
Parent Involvement
Codes of Conduct
High School
Other Facts
Disadvantaged Youth
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