5 lessons from the dive team

Posted by Rebecca Moore - 31 May, 2016

2X0A6156Coleman Martinson '17, SGA President Elect, delivered these closing remarks at Upper School Awards Day.

The seniors are about to go off to college: Some to the West Coast (to Pepperdine)—others to the East Coast (to Tufts in Boston), and 45 schools in between. Your class—the Class of 2016—has set the standards high. Nearly a tenth of you will be playing sports next year in college. Fourteen of you are National Merit Finalists or National Merit Commended scholars. And your class was the first class in the history of the School to lead the varsity football team to the state playoffs. This class has raised the bar for not only my class, but for every class to follow in the coming years.

I have learned a few valuable lessons in my life so far that I would like to share with you all today.

IMG_7916rLesson Number 1: Don’t quit something you haven't finished. Everyone in here has wanted to quit something at one point in their lives. For me, it was diving in 7th grade. For four years, I was a member of the Randolph Dive team, and for three of those years, I was the only member. When I was seven, my mom asked me if I wanted to do swim team or dive team at Greenwyche pool. My immediate response to her—whichever one required less effort. In 7th grade, my mom and Coach Marvin Chou made me join the School’s dive team. There was one problem. I was missing almost half of the dives needed to compete. At Greenwyche, I had to do only five or six dives. At Randolph, I had to do 11. So—without any hesitation—I asked to quit. My parents said no, that it is important to finish what you’ve started. I said fine and on Tuesday and Thursday nights that fall—if I didn’t find an excuse—I was forced against my will to go and practice. Rather than actually trying to learn the missing dives, I just showed up to the Natatorium and hid in the bathroom. I regret doing this now that I look back on it. I wasted my time, as well as my parents’ time—who I thank today—which brings me to...

Lesson Number 2: You probably spend more time and effort trying to avoid something rather than doing it right the first time. If you put more time in doing the homework, you will spend less time later studying for the test. Rather than trying to learn the dives, I spent more time and effort trying to avoid them. Shockingly, I didn’t qualify for state. The next season, I still had the “I don’t care attitude”; however, I decided to learn the missing dives. I finished in 20th place out of 23 overall at the state meet. For some reason, I was saddened by the results. I put little effort into diving and I somehow expected to do better than I did. I learned...

Lesson Number 3: Just like in school, if you don’t put any effort into something, you aren't going to get anything out it. If you don’t study for a test, don’t expect a perfect score. My freshman year I showed up to more practices than ever, and—at state—my score increased by more than 100 points and I placed 15th. The year after that—my sophomore year—I placed 9th in the state. Not only did my scores improve throughout the year, but so did my confidence level, which leads me to...

Lesson Number 4: Don’t be afraid to do something different. Join a new sport or club; take a class in a subject that challenges you; or audition for the school play. I had become more confident being that kid who was the entire dive team. Rather than trying to hide my love/hate relationship for the sport, I decided to embrace it. It’s not about winning a dive meet, or—using today as an example—winning an award, it’s about trying something new and making personal goals to challenge yourself. It’s also about putting in your best effort and never giving up, whether you’re in the middle of a dive meet in last place or in the middle of a semester where you don’t have a satisfying grade. Finally,

Lesson Number 5: Hard work pays off. The students being recognized today all worked hard to achieve these awards. If we all work hard, each of us will achieve our own level of success.

I hope that everyone has a great summer and I cannot wait to hear about the successes that the Class of 2016 will have in the future.

Topics: Academics, advice to graduates, Athletics, awards, character, High Expectations, swim & dive team, training, People

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