March 19, 2013
By Layne Herdt (Seminoles.com)-To make the NCAA Championships as a diver takes precision, perfection and patience so when Kelsey Goodman qualified last week, it was the highlight of her career.
"When I realized I qualified I was so excited," diver Kelsey Goodman said. "I've always wanted to qualify for NCAA's and to finally reach that goal just felt really great."
Having the qualifying process rest entirely on one meet can be nerve wracking for any athlete, that is why experience was the biggest difference maker for the junior.
"I think when you go into the Zone Championships as a freshman you see all the upperclassmen that have been diving well for years you feel a little intimidated," FSU diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. "But when you become one of the upperclassmen and you look at the divers that are younger than you and you can tell they are nervous and are struggling with the process, you get there and you say I've got this, I can do this."
Now in the meet, Goodman says the pressure is off and she if free to compete at her best.
"All the pressure to make it is gone now," Goodman said. "There's nothing to lose now, you've reached the ultimate goal and now you can just have fun."
"I saw it the minute she did her last dive," Jeffrey said. "She just lit up in a way I hadn't seen her in a few weeks because I think she was really stressed out about the whole thing."
Earning her berth to the biggest meet of the year also makes all the trials from her first two years worth it.
"All the training and the hard work finally paid off and it was so worth it," Goodman said. "That feeling of excitement and accomplishment after qualifying was like, yeah, this is why I do all this hard work."
Now with one more weekend of precision, perfection and patience can lead to All-American honors and a new favorite memory for Goodman.