Lovejoy Sisters are Diving into Success
Lucas residents and Lovejoy students, Ana Laura Faoro and Maria Carolina Faoro, both qualified to go to the USA Diving Junior Nationals which are held in Tennessee in Aug.
Ana is 17 years old and will be a junior at Lovejoy High School in the fall. While representing Lovejoy last year, she was district champion, earned silver medals at TISCA and at Regionals and placed 4th at State. Her mother, Marcia Faoro said, “Qualifying for the USA Nationals this year means she is even more prepared for the high school diving State competition and will be able to help the high school swing and diving team.” Last year, she was awarded “Newcomer of the Year” on her high school team.
Maria will be in the seventh-grade next year and will be competing for Willow Springs Middle School. She is an all-around diver who competes in the one- and three-meter tower categories. She took first place on tower at the AAU Diving Nationals.
Ana was 14 years old when she started diving. “My friend invited me to go to a diving camp with her and I ended up falling in love with the sport,” said Ana. Maria was 11 years old when she followed in her sister’s footsteps, “I was in gymnastics for quite a while, but I started to lose interest and I was looking for something new. Then, I saw my sister doing diving and it seemed like a lot of fun.”
Regarding their favorite thing about this sport, Ana said, “My favorite thing about this sport is the energy and environment it brings. I leave practice every day feeling great and pumped for the next. Everyone in this sport is very supportive and friendly, even during the toughest competitions you will find someone from one team encouraging one from another.” Maria said, “My favorite thing about diving is that it’s very dynamic, unlike gymnastics where you had the same routine for three years. In diving, I get to do the skills I feel comfortable with and the ones that are more challenging. Workouts and practice in diving changes every practice.”
They both point to mental aspects of the sport as the most challenging component. Ana said, “Diving is a very mental sport, if you don’t have the right mindset, then you won’t be able to get to that next level or do the new dive your coach wants you to do. The clear mindset is what leads you to success in this sport.” Maria said, “The most challenging part of diving is getting past the fear in your mind that tells you “you can’t do it”, the one that doesn’t want you to go for the new dive, but you have to learn how to get past it which sometimes takes a while.”
While climbing the ladder to the dive platform, they have differing thought processes. Ana said, “I try to have a clear mind and only focus on the correction my coach gave me. Because if I think too much about what I am about to do on the board, I start to question myself.” Maria said, “I always think about the dive that I’m about to do, going over the basics and what to go through in order to get the higher scores.”
They describe when they feel successful: “I feel successful when I make the corrections my coach has given me. It makes me happy to see the progressions I make because I know that it will benefit me during the competitions,” Ana said. “I feel successful when I am at practice and I get a new dive, it makes me feel so good inside. Competitions are run by DD, Dive Difficulty. So, it is important to always be learning new dives with higher DDs,” said Maria.
They practice six times a week for 2.5 hours. They do dryland workouts (trampoline, dryboard and conditioning) for about an hour. They train an additional hour and a half in the water. Some days they dive on all the boards and platforms, whereas other days they work on one board specifically. They train in a facility that offers one- and three-meter springboards as well as 1-3-5-7- and 10-meter platforms.
Ana provided specific parameters as to who will enjoy the sport of diving, “Diving is such a fun sport to watch. However, the people interested in starting diving need to consider if they are afraid of heights, the fact that you will be wet and cold all practice, and if they have the persistence and determination to do corrections and dives over and over again until it has been corrected. Every practice is fun, but some days the struggle is real.” In contrast, Maria provides a looser description, “Anybody can enjoy this sport because you can move at your own pace and have a fun time while your diving!”
The sisters are members of National Charity League (NCL). Ana was inducted into the National Honor Society (NHS) and invited to the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). She is currently being recruited by colleges.