Bradly Bickle Talks Breaking Six-Dive Record

Writer / Julie Yates
Photography Provided

When Bradly Bickle broke the Rochester High School record in a six-dive meet held during senior night in February of 2022, it was not only the outcome of hours of practice, but also the result of conquering self-doubt and fear. These days he attends Ivy Tech in Kokomo, but remains involved by helping to coach his former team. He hopes to aid other divers by sharing the lessons he learned.Bradly Bickle

“Diving is such a mental sport,” Bickle says. “You are battling yourself, and the biggest hurdle is tackling your state of mind and your fear. The issue is believing in yourself.”

Bickle’s story is also about friendship. He still holds the record he broke, which was set in 2021 by his friend and teammate Kadin Kelly. Through the years the two encouraged and cheered each other on, and Kelly currently holds the school’s 11-dive record.

“Some divers come to the sport after being trained in gymnastics,” Bickle says. “For me it was the trampoline. In elementary school I had one in my yard, and Kadin and I would jump on it for hours, all day long. I liked doing flips on it and I remember thinking it might lead to something. When we were in middle school we joined the diving club at Oak Hill. It was about an hour drive away. Then in high school, Rochester had a team.”

In a six-dive meet, three judges evaluate each dive, giving it a score of one to 10. They consider approach, takeoff, elevation, execution and entry into the water. Then the scores are added together and multiplied by a predetermined number assigned to the difficulty of the dive. Then, the scores of all the dives an individual attempted during the meet are added together. Bickle’s score was 255.15 when he broke the existing record.

“You want to try to do the most difficult dive you can do, but it’s hard to do it flawless,” Bickle says. “You might sacrifice points, so maybe you do an easier dive to get better scores. It’s possible to try to calculate it out and see what the better way is to go. Plus, some meets have assigned dives that must be done, and only a certain number of each kind of dive. There are forward, back, reverse, inward and twisting dives.”

Bradly BickleBickle shares that he didn’t reach his full potential as a diver until his junior year. He needed to get his confidence up. When Carmen Reeves became his coach, he stepped up.

“Carmen Reeves kicked us into gear,” Bickle says. “She oversaw so much improvement with me and my teammates. She knew what we were capable of. She could be strict at times but she knew I could break a record.”

“A pivotal moment was when one of the coaches sat me down and said, ‘Has anyone ever told you that you can break a record, and that we believe in you?’” Bickle continues. “I realized that skill comes with practice, but it’s all about what you decide what you are going to do when you get up on that board. Your body will hesitate, but you have to take a deep breath and be sure of yourself.”

Bickle enjoys lending a hand as a coach to his old team. He plans on continuing if his schedule allows it. He is taking welding classes and has been able to be available. Recently he helped a diver prepare for sectionals, and even alternated dives with him after not being on the board for a year. When there is only one person diving over and over, it can be exhausting for them, so Bickle helped by diving with him.

“Breaking the six-dive record on senior night was a great time to do it,” he says. “A bunch of classmates showed up and cheered me on. It was close to the end of the season. Then, Kadin re-broke his 11-dive record on the last meet. The coolest thing about the whole experience is the friendship between me and Kadin. We encouraged and pushed each other on, and we still are in touch.”

When asked what advice he would give a high school diver, Bickle says, “This stuff is scary. Maybe you don’t feel like doing a double flip, but make yourself do it. The biggest hurdle is tackling your mental state.”Bradly Bickle

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