How Canadian Coach César keeps calm and carries on

With his eyes on his divers as they get ready to make their next splash into the pool in London, Canadian synchronised diving coach César Henderson can get understandably tense.

However, it’s nothing a split-finger fastball grip can’t fix.

Henderson coaches Jennifer Abel and Émilie Heymans – Canada’s first medallists for the London Games in women’s Synchronized Diving 3m Springboard.

“(Holding the baseball) takes me away from the situation,” Henderson said about holding the baseball between dives. “Tower diving is fast. In Synchro, and Springboard, they take a lot of time so I have nothing to do.”

The 52-year-old, originally from the Dominican Republic, has been coaching up-and-coming Canadian divers. Henderson is an Olympian himself having represented his native county at the 1980 Games in Moscow and at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

During competition he says he never shifts his gaze to look at the judges.

“It’s all about the girls … They’re already good individually, so that allows more time for synchro.”

Abel and Heymans’ dive again in the 3m individual springboard event on Aug. 3.