Head Coach Belinda Wolf, a five-time All-American in diving, has been coaching diving at Andover since 1991.
“[Diving season] is literally the best part of my life… When diving season is approaching, I start getting an anxiety attack and I can’t sleep because I love it so much. It almost feels like I’m going to Disney World. I coach with passion, I coach with personality, and I coach with my heart and soul. [Diving] pumps through my blood… ” said Coach Wolf.
Coach Wolf has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in diving, both as a competitor and as a coach.
“I trained [at Harvard] every night after high school for three hours. I dove on that team, and I got a full scholarship for a college in Pennsylvania, where the diving coach was the president of US Diving, and that’s literally the reason why I went [to that college]. We did an hour of trampoline practice a day and three hours of diving practice a day. In my life, I have [earned] five All-American [honors],” said Coach Wolf.
Coach Wolf uses the tips, tricks, and knowledge she has accumulated from her years of personal experience in coaching her athletes.
“She’ll understand the ways of thinking as an athlete and as a coach, so she has both perspectives in order to cooperate them together,” said Zack Peng ’21.
“She definitely likes us to start off every practice with lineups, which is basically when you stand on the end of the board and dive straight in, which is what her coaches had her do,” said Reese Pelletier ’20.
Coach Wolf uses video analysis to effectively coach her divers, according to her athletes.
“Typically, if we’re learning a new dive, she’ll teach it to us on the side and then someone will demonstrate it before we go. We’ll get on the board and try it, come out of the water, and she’ll give us feedback. Then we’ll watch a TV that records our dives, so we’ll hear the critique and then see it,” said Captain Emelie Eldracher ’18.
In addition to offering insightful diving tips to the team, Coach Wolf guides her athletes in their day-to-day lives, according to Eldracher.
Eldracher said, “She’s taught me that, even if someone’s a stranger, go up to them and say something nice. Belinda does this so often, and she makes people’s days by doing it. I just hope and aspire to do so as well — to make strangers feel happy.”
Coach Wolf said, “I hope to teach them to become better divers and great adults… My favorite line every single day is, ‘you need to make a difference in a child’s life today.’ ”
Coach Wolf will lead the team at a home meet against Hopkins on Saturday, February 10.