DIVING: World Wide Sam - Tucson News Now

DIVING: World Wide Sam

By Nick Nollenberger

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -- In a sport like diving, experience and confidence equal good results.  Technique is born from repetition but its confidence that breeds success. For University of Arizona diver Samantha Pickens confidence seems to be no issue as of late.

Early in the year Pickens claimed a national title in the 1-meter dive. The first Wildcat woman to ever to do so.

Last month Pickens made the U.S. National team for the upcoming World Aquatics Championships by winning the 1-meter and synchronized 3-meter events along with finishing fourth on the 3-meter at the USA Diving World Championship Trials.

Pickens believe its the repetition that has sparked the confidence that has led to her success in 2013.

"A lot of it comes down to confidence, since the end of the school year, since nationals… I've done my dives so many times I really feel comfortable now," said the UA senior-to-be.

Teaching Technique is the main focus for head coach Omar Ojeda in terms of preparing his divers for tournaments but in the case of the national champion Pickens, Ojeda emphasized he's more focused on calming Pickens and making her relax.

"She's always go-go-go, I have to tell her to calm down and relax," said Ojeda. "It's not all about diving you have to enjoy everything around you."

Pickens statements mirrored her coach, before a big dive "I just have to remember to have fun."

Pickens left in July 1st to compete internationally at The World University Games (July 5-12) in Kazan, Russia and before joining many of her UA Swimming teammates at the FINA World  Championships (July 20-28) in Barcelona, Spain.

She got a taste of International competition in May when she finished fourth on the 3-meter board at the FINA Grand Prix Canada Cup.

If Samantha Pickens plans on making a statement internationally she'll need to be both confident and relaxed.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.

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