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Q&A with Florida State Freshman Swimmers and Divers

Nov. 5, 2004

A quarter of the way through their first collegiate season at Florida State University, six freshman swimmers and divers sat down to talk about their transition. So far this year the freshman have had a big impact, producing 22 individual victories with 15 more swims on winning relays as only one winning FSU relay this year has not contained at least one rookie. Here's what they have to say about making the transition.

Billy Jamerson:
How would you assess your first few months on the team?
It's going well. There were a lot of things I wasn't use to, but I'm starting to get use to them, like the way we train. I've never trained this much breaststroke before, but I think it's going to be good in the long run because I get to work on my technique a lot more than I have.

What has been the biggest adjustment?
I think it's been the mixture of school and the swimming. They're both very different.

Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen?
A lot of the upperclassmen have told me that when they first got here they thought the training was different, but they got used to it so that's a light at the end of the tunnel for me.

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
It's amazing. I've never had this many resources. We have tutors, and the athletic trainers are excellent. They are there to help you stretch or they may find an injury you're not aware of. It's good to have all of that at hand.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
The Georgia Tech meet was pretty cool. Having everyone at the side of the pool, rooting for everyone else was pretty cool.

Lindsay Kenney:
How would you assess your first few months on the team?
At first I was kind of nervous, it was kind of rough getting use to the weights, swimming, school and everything like that. But once I got the hang of it I love it

What has been the biggest adjustment?
Probably just time, organizing my time. There's so much to do and there doesn't seem like there is enough time during the day to get it done.

Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen?
Take it all one day at a time. Get everything done as best as you can, but don't stress over it.

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
Oh my gosh, It's so helpful. Most of the freshmen can't get over how many people there are to help us. They have a person to help you with just about anything.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
We had a lot of fun in California. It was fun traveling all together, our first big travel meet for the whole team.

Kristin Oxford:
How would you assess your first few months on the team?
It's getting better. I didn't really like it at first. I'm getting use to doing dryland in the morning instead of just getting into the pool.

What has been the biggest adjustment?
Getting up at 5:30 in the morning everyday instead of just two or three days a week.

Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen?
Not really. A lot of times they just give advice where it's needed.

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
That's cool. I don't think I would be able to be a normal student. I don't how I do my schedule. I don't know what classes to take, all the Y's and W's, I'd be so confused. Also it's fun having a trainer. You feel important, like your injuries really matter.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
Getting all of our free stuff. That was exciting.

Ian Powell:
How would you assess your first few months on the team?
Well I think they've been good. I've had a few problems with my heart, but now I'm totally cleared which is great. I'm loving it.

What has been the biggest adjustment?
Probably moving across a big ocean and all of the American culture. Neil has made it easy. He's British and he's helped me settle in and having Ed Denton here as well has made it easier.

Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen?
I've asked them a bit about which major to study and academic questions mostly. They've definitely been helpful.

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
It's brilliant. Back home they've got one coach for everything with Kylie (Amato) in academics keeps you on top of the ball. The strength and conditioning coaches know what they're doing, it works well.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
Probably my 200 backstroke against California. That was my best swim so far, so that sticks out, but hopefully there is many more to come.

Stacy Rademacher:
How would you assess your first few months on the team?
It was big adjustment from home, a different atmosphere, but everyone on the team has been incredibly nice so it's been an easy transition.

What has been the biggest adjustment?
The training. Doing a lot more dryland than normal.

Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen?
To have fun. You can swim fast and have fun at the same time, you don't have to be so serious

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
It helps a lot. Even just as a freshman coming in and studying, I didn't know when I was going to find time to do that. Even though you don't like it some times - the required study hall times - they help to get your work done.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
The first meet. How much the team was involved. There was so much spirit there and everything that it wasn't like club.

Alex Tilbrook:
How would you asses your first few months on the team?
It's going pretty good. It was a little rough getting back into things.

What has been the biggest adjustment?
The conditioning. I never did that before. Have you gotten any advice from the upperclassmen? Mostly about school work. Going to class, doing the work.

How much does it help to have support services like academics, strength & conditioning and athletic training?
It helps out a lot with academics, most definitely with study hall. The trainers have been great. I had an injured wrist before I came here so they've been working with me on that.

Has there been anything in particular that has stuck out in your mind so far?
Not particularly.

Head Coach Neil Harper:
How would you assess how the freshmen are performing so far this season?
They're doing great, they've been up to the challenge. I think they are excited about competing for the Seminoles, they've been embraced well by the upperclassmen and I really feel that they feel that they're contributing to the team week in and week out. I'm really happy with their improvement and enthusiasm.

How do you incorporate them into the workouts?
Do you throw them right in with everyone else? With swimming it's not like we have a depth chart or a certain number of reps. Once you're divided into your three or four groups with your specialty area, everyone needs to do the same work and everyone needs to push each other and gain by being pushed by everyone else. They're immersed right away so they're used to racing each other and competing with each other in practice so it gets them ready for competition.

How much of a help have they been to the team so far?
Across the board, there are not many freshmen that haven't contributed. Obviously some of them have stepped up a bit more than others, but find me one that hasn't so that's great, that's always what you want out of a signing class. They're really stepping up and enjoying it.

Is there something you stress to them when they first get here?
The balance of everything, being able to study and put in enough time to make good grades. At the same time they're not under their parent's roof anymore so basically I don't live with them at the dorms so they have to decide when they are going to go to bed, when they do their homework, when to eat, how healthy they stay so a lot of that is just preaching and hoping that they listen to advice and that they will follow through.

Is there any advice that the coaches give to them, thinking back to when you were freshmen?
The advice is that four years goes by real quick. Every year at the end of the year, the seniors stand up and say `God I can't believe that I came here for years ago and it's gone by so quick.' Just to make the most of every opportunity. People get injured, medically disqualified, things happen. Just like this afternoon's practice. We're here for two hours and there will only be a Thursday, fourth of November 2004 one time so make the most of it and make sure when you go home and lay your head on the pillow tonight that you made the most of school, swimming and every opportunity you had.


 

 

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