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A Stroke of Hard Work

Adrineh Smith: JV Water Polo player shares a part of her life while playing water polo

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What sacrifices have you had to make for water polo?

I have had to sacrifice a lot of my time, time which I could be spending with friends or family. Even my personal time, where I could be doing homework or watching Netflix.

Especially on Fridays, when I have all day tournaments. The school  doesn’t excuse my absence and I have to do a lot of makeup work. I am even going to be missing the Homecoming rally because of Waterpolo, which is a bummer but you do what you have to do.

 

What is your take on water polo not being a very appreciated sport compared to football or cheerleading?

Sometimes it bugs me, but it’s the same with every other sport. Unless you play football or are a cheerleader you don’t get much recognition.

Also, football games are a huge schoolwide things where hundreds of people attend and everyone talks about it. However when you attend a Water Polo game, the only people there are the players, coaches, occasionally parents and maybe a supportive friend.

This question truly hits home when people are talking and boasting about what sport they do and you say, “Hey, I play Water Polo!” and people say “What’s that? I have never heard of it,” Even some of my friends have asked if its water volleyball or water badminton with rackets. I mean I am glad they are curious but it stings a little

 

Because you’re a freshman, do you think you feel more pressure then if you were an upperclassman?

My team helps out with the pressure, but when we go to a big tournament and I am still freaking out and asking myself, “Why am I here? I’m not good enough, I suck at this,” I feel like the weakest link in the chain, especially on a team with really good sophomores.

Although the greatest feeling is when the coach actually puts you in the game and then you can hear your teammates cheer you on from the sidelines…It’s like having 17 other sisters that help me forget everything. My adrenaline kicks in and I am able to focus on the game itself.

 

How do your friends and your family play a role in your sports career?

My parents especially have a big part. I had been doing swim for a few years,before I joined the team, but never felt like the right fit until my dad mentioned Water Polo. I did a camp over the summer and realized it was like the greatest thing ever and needed to keep doing it so I joined. My dad also helps drive me to all my practices and tournaments on the weekends. Although my mom can’t make it to all my games I still know she is sending her support my way and always makes sure I have all the equipment I need.

 

What advice would you give to younger athletes?

In the end, the blood, sweat and tears are so worth it. Sometimes you are going to feel like giving up. Like when you come last in sprints or you don’t do something right. You feel like you’re dragging the team down. But when that all passes and you know you have gotten stronger and feel like you are benefiting the team.

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