My literacy sponsor is when I was first introduced to the sport of water polo when I was 14 years old. Starting water polo was a significant event for me because water polo is one of my biggest interests right now in my life.  I have been playing water polo for five years now, and throughout my years of playing it, I have always been pushed to work harder, which has helped me in life because it taught me how to be more responsible, and how to be a better team player.  I also got the opportunity to meet some great friends and just have a great time overall with the sport.

Throughout my five years of playing water polo, I have played under several different coaches.  One of the most memorable coaches I played for was Coach Mike, who was my coach through the majority of my high school years.  Coach Mike always pushed me and encouraged me to go that extra mile, and this has helped me out in life because it has helped me work harder in life.  Another amazing coach I played for during high school was Coach Tim.  He was also an amazing coach because he also encouraged me and always gave me tips on how to be a better goalie, which was always helpful to me and it has helped me get to where I am today in water polo.  Now that I am playing water polo in college, I am currently playing for Coach Carlson, who is another fantastic coach and possibly the most memorable.  He has pushed me harder than anyone else has ever pushed me.  Coach Carlson will have us condition an excessive amount sometimes, but it is helpful to our team because we are able to get into better shape, as well as to train us to keep going and never give up.  The conditioning has greatly helped us out in games too because our team is almost never as exhausted as our opponents, which is a huge advantage for our team during a game, and it has helped us defeat some teams that nobody really expected our team to beat.  He is also encouraging when he is pushing our team.  He has also taught our team life tips, like how “you should always think positively and you should never allow the negative thoughts to overcome the positives.”  Coach Carlson has also taught our team to “always stay in the fight no matter how hopeless it may seem, because you never know what is going to happen.”  These are some truly helpful life tips that everybody should think about.  He has also helped me become a great team player by teaching me to go out of my comfort-zone and sacrifice something in order to help the team out, which is also useful for me.  These three coaches have really taught me many things and have helped me get better at not just water polo, but as a person in general.

In my five years of playing water polo, I have also been able to make great new friends.  Water polo has helped me socialize with people since I started playing, which has helped me make some new friends.  One of the major parts of a goalie’s job is to communicate with your teammates, and communicating was something that I struggled the most with.  However, as said before, Coach Carlson helped push me out of my comfort-zone so I was able to communicate more effectively with my teammates, and it has also helped me communicate more effectively in general.  This has allowed me to socialize with people, which has helped me make some of the best friends I have right now, some of which I still am in touch and hang out with ever since I started playing water polo when I was in eighth grade.

Playing water polo for the past few years has also just been a fun experience for me overall.  We have also all hung out as a team and have taken team trips.  Last season, we all went to San Diego for a tournament we had, and it was awesome hanging out with everybody for the weekend.  Another team trip I took was one in high school, when we all went up to Washington State for a tournament.  That was the farthest I have ever traveled for a sport, and it was amazing that I got the opportunity to be able to go up there with a bunch of friends, especially since I have never been to Seattle or Portland.  I also went to a water polo camp Summer of 2014 in Santa Barbara with three of my friends, where we stayed in dorms together and hung out.  We also played games in a local arcade near our dorms, which was enjoyable for us.  We have also gone places as a team before to hang out rather than on trips, like the movies and kayaking.  Those kinds of activities were always exciting to do as a team.  I have gone and done many different activities with my teams in the five years I have been playing water polo, and I have always had a great time when doing activities together with my team.

Water polo has been an amazing experience for me for the last five years.  Over the past few years, I have been able to work harder, be a team player, and make many new friends to hang out and have a great time with.  The team activities we always did were always a great time too.  It has also taught me some very valuable and useful life lessons, which has also helped me as a person.  This upcoming season will probably be my last year playing the sport, but water polo will always be memorable to me throughout my entire life, because not only was the sport enjoyable for me to play, it was also my teammates and coaches that made it such an amazing experience overall.