MOULTRIE – The United States Olympic Committee. The International Olympic Committee. Both wanted to hear from Moss Farms head diving coach John Fox.
To be part of a process that went back to August, 2018, Fox was chosen for the International Coaching Enrichment Certification Program (ICECP) class of 2019. In its 11th year, ICECP is a coaching education program developed by the USOC, the IOC and the University of Delaware. Fox was the only diving coach selected for this class, which covered 26 nations in all and 14 summer and winter Olympic sports.
Fox’s work concluded at a ceremony held May 2 at the Association of National Olympic Committees headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The program actually began on-line in August. It eventually led Fox on a trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“You had to be selected through Olympic Solidarity, your national governing body which (for me) is USA Diving, and your international Olympic (board), which is the USOC,” said Fox. “It’s extensive coach’s education, and you have to do a project. I partnered with USA Diving on a project, and the project is going to impact athletes for years and years to come. Same with coaches.
“(USA Diving) asked me to produce content for some on-line courses that are going to be launched on USA Diving’s web page. The content I created is specifically targeted at USA Diving’s mentor program. USA Diving believes that mentoring both coaches and athletes truly accelerates their learning process. The courses I created are buy-in courses for both coaches and athletes participating in the program to understand the importance of mentoring … to become whatever kind of coach or athlete they want to become.”
The two-week visit to Colorado was about coach’s education by the USOC on topics like nutrition, strength and conditioning, sports psychology and administration.
“We continued the education through the University of Delaware on-line,” said Fox. “When we were in Lausanne, I gave a presentation to the stakeholders out there, the USOC, the IOC and FINA, the international federation for aquatic sports. They endorsed what I’m doing with USA Diving. I had to present three different times, to a small group of people, to FINA and to the body of coaches. It was an unbelievable experience.
“It was a lot like being back up on the diving board. I just had to be very prepared with what I was delivering. It was pretty serious. Everything I learned as a diver helped prepare me to be able to speak like that. Diving, you are up on the board in front of a crowd, and it’s just you. That’s pretty intimidating because all eyes are on you. It’s the same as public speaking.
“I think the USA Diving mentoring program’s going to have a legacy for the Olympic Games in 2020, 2024 and 2028.”
MOOSE MOSS AWARD
Perhaps it was more intimidating – certainly more humbling – for Fox when, at the YMCA national diving championships held April 11-14 in Coral Springs, Fla., he received the Moose Moss Coach of the Year Award. Yes, that’s the same Moose Moss who’s name is on the diving well in Moultrie Fox reports to on a daily basis to prepare the Moss Farms Diving Tigers for championship-level performances.
And the male Diving Tigers gave just that at the YMCA meet, taking their division championship with 295 points.
“I think that’s the first time we’ve done that in a very long time, since early 2000s,” said Fox. “Our guys were the highlight of the meet. They felt comfortable in that environment. They seemed very ready to compete.”
The Diving Tiger boys won nine individual events led by Jet Geovanni, who was the highest scoring male with 60 points. Bo Bridges tied for second with 57 points, and Sky Geovanni was fourth with 55. Sky won the 16-21 1-meter running away with a 526 score, the 3-meter at 514.3 and the junior Olympic platform at 473.25. Jet won the 12-13 boys 1-meter at 279.9, the 3-meter at 311.65 and the junior Olympic platform at 239.35. Bridges was second in the 14-15 boys 1-meter, first in the 3-meter (393.45) and first in the platform at 307.15.
Timothy Fagan, Hunter Kebler and Nolan Lewis also made up the Diving Tiger contingent and all made the podium. Fagan came in fifth in the 16-18 3-meter, Kebler sixth in the 16-21 3-meter and Lewis third in the 16-21 3-meter and junior Olympic platform.
Through nominations from his peers, Fox won the Moose Moss Coach of the Year Award.
“He was really involved and active in the Y,” said Fox about the Diving Tigers founder. “It was very special for me. I feel really honored to be able to work in his facility. I really respect the tradition and the man he was. Everything he left behind has really changed my life. I feel almost like I owe him something. When I got the award, it was very humbling.”
Fox joined the Moss Farms diving program as an assistant coach in 2015 and was named head coach in 2018.
On the girls side of YMCA nationals, Shannon Icard won three silver medals in 12-13 girls. Annabelle Brooks made podium for the first time in 11 & under 1-meter placing fourth as did Kendall Deloach.