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The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

10 things I have learned from swimming

Senior+Morgen+Dozier+is+a+three-time+state+qualifier.+She+will+be+among+the+seniors+honored+at+Senior+Night+on+Jan.+12.
Maya Ortiz
Senior Morgen Dozier is a three-time state qualifier. She will be among the seniors honored at Senior Night on Jan. 12.
  • No matter how individual swimming might seem, you are a part of a bigger picture. As much as swimming is an individual sport, it is also a team sport. There are so many times where I’ve forgotten I’m a part of a team and that I don’t have to keep to myself. I have people who want to hear about my thoughts and feelings. It only took me three years to fully understand that I’m not a one-man band.
  • If you know someone is faster than you… then move! Too many times I’ve seen someone being swam over when coach John Dissinger decides to switch up the stroke. Most of the time I get a good laugh out and other times I’m the one getting dragged under the water by my feet as someone swims over me. Normally I’m really good at moving out of the way before the person behind me grabs my feet, but sometimes I get lost in my head and instinctively start to slow down my strokes. By the time I realize what’s going on, I’m getting dragged through the water by my ankles as my teammate speeds ahead. 
  • Always congratulate a teammate. Telling a teammate “good job!” is always a good way to make a new friend. Just letting them know that you were watching their race is always a nice way to say that you care about them.
  • It’s OK to be emotional. Too many times have I cried in the locker room, either over a botched race or a hard day. You have every right to be upset about a race, but never dwell on it. 
  • Always have a good hype playlist. I always try to have my earbuds in my ears when I’m behind the blocks. It’s super easy to get inside your head and get yourself down. Having hype music playing in the background always seems to get my blood flowing. I’m then able to just focus on my technique without getting down on myself.
  • When your coach tells you to warm down, warm down. Every morning when I wake up sore, I curse at myself. Most of the time it’s because I didn’t warm down my body properly, even when Coach Dissinger tells us to. A lot of the time it’s easier to just get out of the water and be done with it, but after a while your body begins to feel the fatigue. Take care of your body and remember to listen to your coaches.
  • There are going to be times when you don’t improve. For a long time, I didn’t see any progress in my swims. I was lost. I had no idea what to do or where to begin. That was when I began to get very technical with my strokes. If I wasn’t getting any faster, then I would make my strokes as close to perfect as possible. And that worked. For the first time in a very long time I saw improvement in my times. When you feel like you aren’t improving, try to focus on something else.
  • Someone is always going to be better than you. There are people who are bound to be better than you at certain things. Don’t try to compare yourself to them. Instead, work on improving yourself. They might be good at one thing, but learn to become better at many things. Be able to fit into the mold of what your team needs.
  • You need to nurture your mental health. I always thought I needed to be physically well to swim. And, of course, you need to be. However, once you feel yourself getting burnt out, you lose all desire to swim. I was burned out for two years. I had no idea what was happening to me or why I felt that way. I ultimately decided to take a break and move to a new swim club. For the first time in what felt like forever, I was rejuvenated and happy. I came back to the sport with passion; and I can ultimately say that I still have that passion.
  • Be a good teammate. At the State Meet last year, I remember screaming and crying at my teammates to swim faster. I was filled with adrenaline and joy. Being able to cheer for my teammates feels like a superpower sometimes. Watching them overtake another swimmer makes me so happy. Hugging them as they came back from the blocks, we found out we placed 5th as a team. I was ecstatic and so proud of their progress and accomplishments. I remembered how they swam at the beginning of the year, and I compared it to how they swam at State. I was filled with pride, and I was excited to see what else they would accomplish.

Four  years of high school swimming is certainly not for the faint of heart. Waking up daily at 5 a.m. was always miserable, especially when my bed was calling for me to go back to sleep. I cannot count the amount of times I have cried on my teammates’ shoulders as I realized that they had just swam for the last time. It seems surreal that come February I will be wrapping up my senior swim season. Many tears will be shared between me and my friends, I’m grateful for the girls I have met and got to know. It is such a blessing to be able to call them my teammates and sisters. 

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  • N

    Nancy DoehringJan 28, 2024 at 5:14 pm

    Great article! You revealed the heart of a competitive swimmer and great teammate!

    Reply
  • C

    Carmen RamirezJan 12, 2024 at 10:24 am

    Senior night tonight!! Love ya!!

    Reply
  • M

    Marisa ChinenJan 5, 2024 at 10:16 am

    AWWWWW I LOVE YOU MORGEN
    IM GONNA MISS YOU 🙁

    Reply