Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 17, 2007

HS DIVING: NF's Ferrerio finds niche with driving

NIAGARA FALLS — Alyssa Ferrerio started swimming when she was 8 years old with the Whitewater Swim Club. But it was diving that always seemed to catch her attention.

She recalled times when she’d beg the Niagara Falls coaches for a chance to get up on the board and take a splash during her middle school days.

“I did gymnastics and it looked really interesting and fun,” she said of diving.

Finally after a few years, the coaches relented — needing a diver to fill its lineup — and allowed the then-freshman to take a shot.

“We put her up on the board and she took to it right away,” NFHS diving coach Kim Maynard said. “She was a natural.”

Ferrerio had a much different interpretation of her initial experiences on the board.

“It was a lot different than what I expected,” she said. “I thought it’d be easy. It tuned out that it was a lot more mentally challenging than I thought it would be.”

For the NFHS senior, the mental aspect of the sport is still the most difficult task to master whether it’s your first time or your 1,000th time.

“You really have to believe in yourself and not think too much about the dive,” Ferrerio said. “If you don’t believe you can do a certain dive, you probably won’t do it.”

According to Maynard, Ferrerio’s improvements within the mental side of the sport have made her a better diver.

“She has confidence in herself and she’s got a willingness to start trying the harder dives and improve on them,” the coach said of the team captain.

And Ferrerio knows that if she wants to improve on last year’s second-round sectional appearance, she’ll need to work towards mastering the higher degree of difficulty dives.

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