Ava Lee: PHS swim and dive’s sole girl diver

Humanities junior and long-time former gymnast Ava Lee made the transition to diving this year, competing as the only girl diver for the PHS swim and dive team. Given the team’s recent success at states, The Pulse decided to reach out to Lee, and hear about her first year diving. 

How long have you been diving?

I have been diving for only about 3 months.

Do you plan on continuing diving or gymnastics through college? 

I actually quit gymnastics back in November due to injuries, which is why I took up diving. Since I just started the sport though, I’m not entirely sure what the future will hold and I haven’t made any plans yet. I have only previously known about the college process in relation to gymnastics, but since that doesn’t apply to me anymore I have a lot I still need to figure out. However, I do know that if I become good enough within the next year I would absolutely love to dive in college. 

How do you find the right balance between your athletic and academic responsibilities?

Finding the right balance between my athletic and academic responsibilities took me a long time, and I am still by no means perfect at it. Back when I was a gymnast, I would practice 20+ hours a week, making it difficult to find time to complete schoolwork. However, I found that communication with teachers is extremely important; every teacher I explained my situation to has understood and been flexible with due dates, as long as I was consistently communicating and getting the work done when I said I would. Another component aside from communication is, of course, time management. I usually write things down in a planner to keep track of my to-do list, and this helps me plan which assignments I will do each day, according to how much time I have that day. While I am no longer practicing so many hours a week, the time management skills come in handy, especially so I don’t fill up all my extra time procrastinating or taking too long to finish an assignment that can be finished quickly. Finally, it is also always important for me to remember that I believe academic responsibilities should always come before athletic ones, so I shouldn’t need to sacrifice something academic-related for something athletic-related.

What’s something you’ve loved about this diving season?

The thing I loved most about diving this season was simply being part of the Poolesville team and representing my school. I have never been involved in a school sport or even a school club before because I was so busy when I did gymnastics, but I’m so glad I had the time this year to turn to diving! I truly enjoyed being part of such a light-hearted and high-spirited team, and can’t wait to compete for the high school again next year!

What are some personal goals that you have set for yourself for the upcoming season?

My biggest goal from now until next season is to simply improve my technique and expand my dive list. Refining my form and having a wider array of dives I am capable of will certainly help me in the coming year. After this, another big goal I’ve set is to qualify for states again! I think after a full year of practice—as opposed to the couple of months I had leading up to this past state meet—I can definitely improve my standing and place higher.

Do you have any post-meet rituals? If so, what does that look like?

I actually don’t have any post-meet ritual, but maybe I’ll develop one once I improve my dives and start competing more!