Diving Deeper

Junior diver Louie Malott acts as a leader on and off of the board in team’s recent success


Addelyn Wachter

TAKING A DIVE: Malott executes a challenging dive during a meet. The junior brightens the squad’s spirits with his energy that is often contagious for everyone around him. This also is noticeable in the style of Malott’s leadership and personality.

Chlorine lingers in the air as junior Louie Malott struts intently across the diving board. His teammates follow his precise choreographed movements with anticipation, waiting for his dive. Moments leading up to it, Malott focuses on nothing and nobody, only visualizing what he needs to do to best execute it.

With diving, as with any sport, there are numerous stereotypes following it’s athletes. Yet, most divers do not feel defined by these schemas. There is no better example of that than Malott.

Malott is all too familiar with the juvenile comments and can safely say the trivial flips and spins are not equivalent to the mental and physical battle every diver overcomes.

“It is hard,” Malott said. “It’s one of the hardest sports I’ve ever played and I play a lot of sports. It’s mentally challenging.”

It’s no surprise that Malott has become one of the biggest names currently on the Grand Haven diving team, however, becoming a diver was a surprise to him. Before the sport even crossed his radar, Malott as had a deep infatuation with tricks and flips.

Whether it’s been on the trampoline or down at the ski bowl, Malott has loved to push the boundaries of what he’s capable of doing. So, when a family friend recruited him to try diving Malott couldn’t turn away the challenge.

“[The sport] just took things from there,” Malott said. “So when I’m skiing and doing flips and stuff it makes it a lot easier for me to land things and I’m a lot more aware of my body because of [dive].”

Most on the team can unanimously agree Malott is the “Energizer Bunny”; he just keeps on going. His hyped nature and humorous personality never fade through the grueling hours of training or at the prolong meets.

In fact, Malott is always laughing with his teammates, giving them constant encouragement to help lessen the nerves. He also recruits others to share a sport that as quickly become one of his passions.

“[Louie is] a great diver and [he provides] fantastic encouragement,” junior Carter Jones-Hirr said.
Malott is a complex individual. With numerous sports in his arsenal, a dash of questionable decision making, and a boatload of nerve, Malott is a Grand Haven modern day Philippe Petit, the famous French high wire artist.

“Everyone should experience Louie,” junior Jack Stork said. “I notice everyone is a little more happier when he’s around. He raises morale.”

With this season closing and states looming, it leaves Malott’s last season on the horizon and his future up for grabs. However, the junior knows he wants diving to be a hobby he carries over from high school to college, preferably Northern Michigan University or another destination.

Yet, it’s safe to say that whatever Malott decides to do, his love for pushing the limits whether that be gravity or anything else will be in his pocket for the ride.

“Diving is like a mental battle with yourself.; you want to perform for others around you. You have to overcome your fear and yourself,” Malott said. “It’s easier for me to overcome fear now because I’ve been overcoming it ever since I started diving.”