Beginning with the 2012 summer season, we folded the former "dive pups" into the 8 and under age group and making our youngest divers full-fledged members of the team. The only requirements for any candidate to join the team are that the individual be able to swim across the pool ("earn a patch") and be willing to jump off the diving board. We will teach them the rest.
The youngest members of the team will still receive the same amount of attention from the coaches as they did in previous years as pups. Participating in a regular practice means they will feel a part of the team instead of being separated from their older team mates. They will be able to see what some of the older kids are working on, show off what they are learning, and get to participate in more of the social aspects of the dive team.
No member of the team will be put into competition before they meet the requirements or before they feel ready.