The Siena swimming and diving team has an interesting way to prepare for the MAAC Championships. A different inspirational quote every day, is written on the board to increase the confidence for the squad. Just a simple saying. But it goes a long way.
“It helps a lot just to get the positive thinking going,” freshman diver Hailey Beers said. “If you have positive thinking then you can go out there, give your best and do what you can.”
Staying positive is the most important aspect for the young Saints. The average age of the 18-player roster is just 19.1, so others may think youthful traits might bring disadvantage. But it is those unpredictable, exciting characteristics that have formed a bond on this team.
“We’re all pretty energetic, pretty crazy,” sophomore Shannon Love said. “I am sure the freshmen are nervous but the way they get over that is the energy [on the team]. We will probably be the loudest team on deck.”
Especially in the sport of swimming, where your teammates encouragements can be heard throughout the small pool center, giving the extra push needed to touch the wall.
“We always reinforce everyone and make sure they stay positive,” Beers said. “It is a lot of help to know that everyone is out there and has your back.”
“Swimming is so mental,” Love said. “It is really good to know that you have an entire team behind you in the blocks cheering for you.”
Love, who describes herself as the ‘quote person’, has taken to heart a few of those simple sayings.
“My favorite one is by Muhammad Ali, ‘I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” Love said.
That is what the Saints will try and do as they search for the program’s first title.
“We are really swimming for each other,” Love said. “You’re swimming because you have the word ‘Siena’ across your cap, and you want to do your school proud, your team proud, and your coaches.”