1. What high school and college did you attend, and what grad years?
Palo Alto High ’05
UC Berkeley ’09
2. Did you play water polo in college? What was that like and what advice would you give or what was something you wish you knew before playing collegiately?
Yes! It was so fun. Such a unique and special experience–not that many people get to play their favorite sport in college. When I think back to my college memories water polo is usually connected somehow, but they are all great memories! Except the hellish swim sets hahah. 100 100’s anyone? I would advise finding a way to be motivated during swim sets 🙂 Everyone is much faster in college! Also get all the fundamentals down before college–you want all those to be automatic. You don’t want to be thinking about getting your hips on the surface for defense when you’re guarding Kami Craig in set!
3. When did you start water polo, and how did you get into it?
I started water polo when I was 10. I was an avid swimmer before so it was logical for me to try it. But I had NO desire to try it. My mom had to bribe me to go to water polo practices. I got a beanie baby each time I went to practice 🙂 We had practice once or twice a week though and it was a short season. Eventually I fell in love with water polo!
4. Who was your rival when you played for Stanford club?
A few years I think it was Santa Barbara, a few other years it was Socal and some other teams from LA area. I forget all their names. But man did we all hate playing against Socal.
5. What was your favorite memory of the club?
Definitely all Speedo Cup!! Throwing my coaches into the pool after our last game even though we didn’t win. Van rides getting pumped up before games. Going off the high dives there. Also eating french fries at every fast food place possible!
6. What was the best advice you ever received for water polo, or do you remember any advice from your club coaches?
I think the best advice was getting self-motivated to help me get better at water polo, build mental toughness, and set goals.
Also–the most important thing in life is INSIDE WATER!
7. Where do you live now?
8. What hobbies do you enjoy?
Traveling all over the world! Also anything active, hiking, surfing, paddleboarding. Lots of water activities…but life is better when water is involved.
9. Do you still play water polo?
On and off with club and masters teams.
10. Any life milestones you’d like to share?
One of my current life goals is to travel to 30 different countries before I turn 30. I’m at 27 at the moment! 1.5 years to go.
11. How do you stay motivated? And what do you do to be on your best game and stay consistent no matter the environment?
There were a few things that helped me stay motivated. One thing was having a desire to play water polo in college at a higher level. That definitely pushed me. Watching water polo at a high level–people much better than me–really motivated me as well. Seeing someone be really good at water polo (Olympics, national team games, college games, etc.) and execute everything I had been practicing made me more motivated to want to do it really well, just like them.
Also, I think setting goals really helped me, even just small goals like not getting kicked out at all a certain game or practice, or making great passes to teammates, etc. It might even relate to a certain game, or tournament. I really really wanted my high school team to win CCS, and that really kept me going. Sharing this motivation and reminding the team too of our goal really helped everyone stay motivated. Even if you don’t reach them, it helps you focus a little bit more and helps you push yourself a little bit. And then if you do reach them–that’s awesome! Hard work paid off.
To be on my best game and stay consistent no matter the environment really goes back to your training. Once you’ve reached game time, you have to trust that you’ve put everything into your training that you possibly could. You have to trust your coaches, and trust your teammates too. If you consistently work hard and learn in practices, push yourself, train smart and train POSITIVE, and positively encourage your teammates, that trust comes much more easily. You can then mentally relax and know that you’ll be able to take on whatever is thrown at you during the game. You can’t control how the game goes, what the refs do, etc., but you can control your training and your positive attitude!