Student athlete profile

Name: Kayla Teuscher

Year: senior

Hometown: Hinsdale

When did you start diving?

I started diving about 6 years ago, but I didn't really become competitive until a few years ago. I decided that it was something that I really wanted to be good at and make a big part of my life.

How have you improved since freshman year?

Freshman year I was average. I started lifting a couple years ago, so that helped. I averaged about 150 points freshman year but now I average 230 points every meet, so I've definitely improved my skills and can do a lot of more difficult dives.

What does it take to be a successful diver?

It takes a lot of dedication. A coach once told me that diving is 80 percent mental. You have to go into practice with an open mind and put away your fears and frustrations, which is not easy. It's mentally draining, but once you get a dive off, you feel so good that you did it.

How would your teammates describe you?

I'm a really supportive teammate. At the meets I'm always the loudest one cheering. We have 20 on the team, so it's hard to get individual time with the coach, so a lot of the girls come to me for advice and to ask about technique. As a team co-captain I've definitely learned a lot about leadership this year.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals?

I'm a very superstitious diver. I have to do just OK dives in warm-up so I save the best ones for competition, and I have to always do an even number of dives.

What's your goal for the season?

I want to final in state.

Where are you headed next?

I'm committed to the United States Military Academy West Point.

Why does diving coach Steve Miller like having Teuscher on the squad?

As a captain of the team, Kayla has been a leader through her voice and actions for both swimmers and divers. She has been the person that teammates turn to first for information, encouragement and support throughout the season. She is not afraid to meet difficult situations head on and work through them for a positive outcome, and she can also teach the newer divers how to overcome fears and teach them what it is to be a good diver.

- profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean