When thinking of physically demanding and rigorous sports, swimming and diving may not be at the top of everyone’s list. The amount of effort put into each kick and reach in order to have the body move like a well-oiled machine is actually tremendous. The divers have a whole different skill set—they stand high above the pool staring down into a water-filled pit, trying to run every move and motion of the dive through their head. With every stroke, tumble and turn of the head, the diver’s fate can be determined. Seconds are divided into milliseconds––it will all determine personal success and ultimately the success of the team.
Both the men’s and the women’s teams had success on Saturday Nov. 8 against SUNY Fredonia. Freshman Jeff Doser won three individual events for the men and senior Abigail Max took two individual events to lead the Blue Wave.
The effort must be unrelenting until the race is officially over—with hearts pounding and heavy breathing. There is no exception to this physical rigor both in the practices and meets of the Geneseo Blue Wave. Led by 15-year veteran head coach Paul Dotterweich, the swimming and diving teams practice strenuously. With a demanding six-day schedule, the athletes have to constantly push themselves to new physical and mental extremes. In fact a large portion of physical training––and sports as a whole––is mental toughness. How far is an athlete willing to go for their team or even themselves? That question depends on the individual—whether or not they have the ability to propel themselves to victory.
A sport is a game in itself; a game of sacrifice. With essentially every sport, every athlete has to sacrifice something. Whether it is a physical sacrifice or personal sacrifice, to achieve the common goal of a championship, athletes have to be selflessly devoted.
“You have to give something to get something” holds especially true in sports—to get the gold you have to give something up, whether it be a tangible object or the body. Nothing can stand in the way of a devoted athlete and their goal. This is why more programs are becoming available to assist athletes when the mental or physical toll is too much, and stress becomes unmanageable.
The length an athlete is willing to go to achieve greatness depends on who they are as a person and if they’re willing to “have a moment of pain for a lifetime of glory.”
The teams take to the pool next against SUNY Cortland on Saturday Nov. 15.