Today is the day before the big day. I have senior day tomorrow. Senior day if you are not familiar with, is a when all of the seniors get recognized for their final home competition at their home pool. This Saturday we will be going against the University of Georgia and the University of Indiana in a tri meet. We are ranked 10th, Georgia is ranked11th and Indiana is ranked 12th so it will be a close competition. When it’s your time to be recognized you walk across the pool deck and take a picture with your parents and they show old baby pictures to give everyone a laugh and show how much you have grown.
This season in general has been good. In the first few meets I got my personal best on both the one and three meter spring board events. About half way through the season a back injury came back got in my way. I was working on my 207c on ten meter (Back three and a half flips in the tuck position) when I landed short and crunched my back. Now if you don’t understand diving the ten meter is the highest platform to dive from. The ten meter is 33 feet in the air and when you hit the water you are at 30 MPH. So if you land wrong you can hurt yourself as I did. This put me out for about 3 weeks. I had to do a lot of stretching and rehab to strengthen my back before I could get back in the water. Luckily it was not as bad as last year. Last year I had to sit out the NCAA season because I hurt my back learning another dive off of ten meter.
After the put back for a few weeks I was ready to go again. Conditioning the body is what keeps me strong, getting rest is what keeps me alert during dives and having the courage to break down every wall that stands in my way... that keeps me at the top. Everyone will get knocked down at some point in their sport. Sometimes you feel as if you are not getting better, as if you hit a flat line. That all normal though. What makes me who I am today is that first I have fun with my sport and try to always stay positive and second I don’t hold back even if I think I might fail.
Always staying positive is a hard thing to do. If it was always fun they would call it football haha, no I’m joking. On a serious note though I have practices where I get to the pool and all day everything has gone wrong, school, girlfriend, money issues but one thing I do is "leave it at the door". My coach use to tell me when you are in the pool you can’t make money, work on talking it out with your girlfriend or get your homework done so don’t think about it. When you’re at practice focus 100% on practice. When you leave then you can deal with it. So when every I get down on myself and I need to train or its time to compete It’s not a issue for me because I have my head set on being the best I can be in that hr or two.
Now never holding back even if I might fail is just who I am. Over the years of competition and practice I have trained with many teams. What I gained from watching teammates and coaches is that people don’t want to fail. Everyone always what’s to be on top and win, as do I. But it’s not all about winning every day. When I feel like I’m getting good and things are starting to fall in line I know it’s time to strive for something new. Now consistency is one of the biggest factors of diving because it’s all about who can do their best 6 dives in a competition and hit every one. When you miss one or two dives its hard to be on top. A quote I live by is "If you’re happy with where you are in life you’re not trying hard enough". I live by that because if you don’t always strive to be better then your best, you will never know how much better you could be. When I go after goals I set them higher then what I think I can reach. I do this because if I fail at my goal I have a chance to learn what mistakes I made to keep me from reaching the goal. You read in the paper about all the victories but how many people do you know have never lost ever? Getting better means you’re learning more and you’re using what you learned to go farther then you have before.
Ok so I kind of went all over the place with today’s blog, but I hope you got a little insight on what’s going through my head. Well tomorrow is the meet so it’s time to get some rest. No I don’t do any rituals I just plan on winning no matter who I’m up against and then give my all for Tennessee.
Shout out to Jayson Jackson for getting me to write this blog!
Ill post results tomorrow, good night