“The majority of you won’t be able to make the last interval.” That’s reassuring, I thought.
My swim coach told us this before our Monday afternoon workout last week. As a Junior on the swim team at Davidson, I’m used to my coaches style. He didn’t say this to intimidate us, he said this to motivate us. Whether we were going to make the interval or not, he wanted us to try. Failure was not going to be missing the interval, he already new most of us would do that. Failure was going to be if you didn’t try.
Some of the team at Conference last year - we love DCSD!
Swimming is hard, as is any sport. We practice everyday, twice a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you’re ever driving around the Davidson campus at 5:45 AM you’ll see me and the rest of the team making our way over to the pool for our 6 AM practice. Everyday I’m shocked I’m able to get up, get dressed, and get to the pool. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. You see I LOVE to swim. Swimming is an intricate part of who I am. And that’s why I love the Davidson College Swim Team (DCSD as we like to refer to ourselves). Everyone on DCSD LOVES to swim. It sounds obvious, but when I think back to club swimming in high school my teammates didn’t love it. They moaned and groaned all throughout the three hours we were stuck together in a lane. At Davidson that doesn’t happen. Not that we don’t complain (I’m the biggest complainer on the team, ask anybody), but the attitude of everyone towards their sport is much different. They want to be at practice. They want to get better. I know that when I jump in that pool 40 other people are going to be working just as hard as I am. Forty other people are going to be leaving on time, not pulling on the lane line, and not cutting yardage. That never happened on my club team. I love that everyone wants to be the best they can be at their sport.
overall, being a student-athlete at Davidson is challenging. Between school and club commitments every Davidson student spreads himself too thin. Add a sport on top of that and…well, we’re spread extremely thin. It is hard to balance school, practice, and social commitments. But it’s completely possible. I love that I am able to be both a student and an athlete at Davidson. I am able to take the courses I want to take without much concern over whether they will conflict with practice. Davidson has “Division of the day” where classes end at 4:20 and athletic practices start after that in an attempt to reduce conflicts. Additionally, I can be extremely involved in other organizations and still be on the swim team. I’m able to be more that just “an athlete”.
Freshmen year supporting the basketball girls on our hall!
I also love that we have a school that understands how important athletics is to the student body. Even if students aren’t playing at the varsity level, many students are playing sports whether club or intramural. They’re also supporting one another. For such a small school, we have quite a crowd at athletic events. Freshmen halls can always be seen at a fellow hall-mates game cheering them on. Professors can be found in the stands supporting their students. Being a Davidson student-athlete is certainly a challenge, but it’s definitely not one I would ever have thought to turn down.