10 Things I Learned from Playing Water Polo

10 Things I Learned from Playing Water Polo

Last but not least, the game will change you.
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I have been playing water polo since I was in the seventh grade. I started playing when my CYO basketball team was cut because not enough girls signed up. I was looking for a sport to play during the fall season.

I had never heard about water polo until a family friend said, "You're a strong swimmer, you should try water polo."

I was excited, but nervous when agreeing to try water polo. This is something new to me, and I did not want to make a fool of myself. I had some classmates who were playing, as well. But for the most part, I had no friends on the team.

I show up to practice and hop in the water. I did a little “head up” swimming and some warm up laps. Afterward, I learned a sliding maneuver. This practice was the beginning of many of practices and the beginning of a love story — the love story of water polo and I.

While watching the women's USA team take the gold this Olympics, I started to think what lessons I learned from water polo over the years. Lessons learned:

1. It's mental just as much as physical.

I started playing in a field player position originally, before I switched to playing goalie. What makes or breaks an athlete is their mental ability to either remain calm or have the confidence to take a shot — the ability to bounce back after making a mistake on a play, missing that block or shot.

2. It takes time for tan lines to go away.

Water polo suits and caps leave the worst tan lines, especially around the hips. These tan lines take forever to go away. The cap tan can be minimized if a player moves the cap towards the top of their hairline, but trying to avoid a water polo cap tan is a lost cause.

3. A player has to put in the effort.

With any sport, the players who spend the extra 15 minutes after practice to do an extra set are the ones who are the most successful. They are putting in the effort to becoming the best player they can be. Also, this shows a teammate and coach that as a player they are willing to go the extra mile to become a better player. People take notice, even in practice, when a player isn't giving their best effort forward.

4. You will make friends that will last a lifetime.

All the friends that you make in sports are usually like-minded people with a common interest. Water polo brought people to me who are hard working, but don’t necessarily have the same interests. I learned a lot about people skills. Also, a person bonds over counting how many scratches or bruises one player gave or received from other players. A teammates bond is like nothing else, and meeting friends along the way in such a small community is always great.

5. Have confidence in your abilities.

The players that come knowing their abilities are usually some of the better players. Players who are over confident and showy tend to be players that are not well respected by their teammates.

6. Go to every water polo clinic.

Water polo clinics are hard to come by so whenever a player gets the chance to do one take the chance. It is great exposure and sometimes you may learn some new tricks of the trade.

7. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

My coaches started to get annoyed with how many questions I would ask because I wanted to know every detail on how to drill, because I truly believe in a player practices how they play. A player needs to know those details that sometimes coaches glaze over.

8. Traveling.

I got to learn things about different parts of the countries and see things while I traveled for water polo. I've been to different museums and

9. Have fun.

Sports are suppose to be a stress release so if a player is not having fun or being somewhat passionate about the sport they are playing.

10. The sport will change you.
















Water polo is a different kind of sport that requires a different kind of skill set. It requires a person to do five things at once. I learned to mature while playing this sport because a person has to be level headed especially when being a goalie while doing all these things. I learned a lot about myself with my relationships with other people. I never knew I could love or care for something just as much as person. I learned to be selfless and when to be selfish. The sport makes a player control its temper and congratulate someone even when an athlete does not feel like doing so.

Cover Image Credit: Catie Berry

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

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The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Possible Landing Spots For Antonio Brown In 2019

The seven-time Pro Bowl wideout looks to be on his way out of Pittsburgh.

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According to several reports, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown requested a trade from his team of nine years after their 2018 season ended without a postseason berth. Brown thanked the Steelers fan base for their support and said it was "time to move on and forward" in a tweet in February. Ever since the reports came out, speculation has run rampant about his next possible landing spot. Brown has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, posting the most receptions and receiving yards of any player since he entered the league. There are several potential suitors for the veteran wideout.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco has a wealth of cap space in the near future. Their tight end George Kittle seems to have reached out to Brown and has received an eye-raising response from him. In addition, Brown liked a Photoshop image of himself in a 49ers uniform and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice has stated that Brown wants to play for the team. San Francisco could use another dynamic offensive threat to complement Kittle and Brown certainly fits that bill.

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Another team with a significant amount of cap space, Oakland is in desperate need of playmakers after trading Amari Cooper. They are staring a steep rebuild directly in the face and could look to start it up by trading for Brown. The Raiders also have five first-round draft picks in the next two years, so they possess the capital necessary to execute such a trade.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers offense struggled last season without many viable receiving options besides Davante Adams. They could use a second weapon and possess two first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Playing with two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be tempting to Brown, and the Packers could be serious Super Bowl contenders if they acquire him.

Pittsburgh could keep Brown for the 2019 season and beyond, as he is signed through 2021, but it is clear that he wants out of the Steel City. He could end up on one of these teams sooner rather than later.

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