When One Door Closes, Another Opens

New dive coach, Emma Roush, shares her story.

Katie Hiebl, Reporter

  • What made you start diving?

So, I was a gymnast before, (diving) and I got hurt pretty bad when I was in my freshman year of high school. My best friend was on the swim team, and so the day I got released from my back brace and could do activities again, she was like come join the dive team. I didn’t want to and she literally carried me in on her back to practice. So that is how I got into diving!

  • Did you think about, or go professional?

For a while when I was in college, I went to a couple national USA diving meets. I did qualify for Grand Pre-trials and all that, but I want to be a physical therapist (PT) so I figured that is more important than being a diver.  

  • Why did you become a coach?

I just really love the sport of diving so much and I just love sharing everything I know with other people. I love watching the girls grow as divers and learn more and just get excited to do new things.

  • Have you coached anywhere else?

Yes, I coached for the City of Lenexa, the Lenexa Lazers. I have coached for Indian Hills Country Club and the Olathe Cyclones summer team. Right now I also coach for Kansas Diving Club.

  • Do you have a favorite diver you look up to?

Sort of, my college coach is Mandy Hickson and her son is Michael Hickson, who got a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics for diving. It was cool training under his mom because she trained him up until he left for college, so every once and a while he would come back and practice with us. I got to hold his medal, and he is a really nice guy so that’s who I would say I look up to.

  • What made you want to coach at South?

Well when I was looking for high schools, a lot of the Shawnee Mission Schools needed new coaches. I kinda talked to all of them and this one had the biggest team. It just seemed like a lot of fun, and I know coach Berg because he coached Blue Valley North when I was in High school. It just seems like a good fit.


  • Why do you like diving?

I like it because it gives me an adrenaline rush, and it’s challenging but it is also a beautiful sport.


  • What is some advice you have for people that want to start diving?

Don’t be scared of the diving board. Pretty much most of the time people are scared to dive because the idea of jumping off an object into water is freaky, but I think that they should just go for it and give it a try because it is more fun than it looks.


  • What is the scariest thing about diving?

I would say the scariest thing is trying to make a change when you are comfortable with something that you do. Especially when you could hit your head or something could go drastically wrong. I would say that’s scary not even new dives are that bad compared to trying to make your body do something it doesn’t want to do.


  • Have you ever gotten injured from diving?

A couple times. When I was in gymnastics I broke my back, so a couple times in diving my back would go into spasms. So I wouldn’t be able to walk for a couple minutes, but it’s fine they weren’t like severe injuries it just didn’t feel great.


  • Do you miss diving? Do you ever go diving for fun?

I do. I mean it’s been a full year now since I really dove so a couple of times this year I got in with the girls and that was fun, but I am glad I am done, but I also miss it.