The Wittenberg Swimming and Diving team took a trip down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for their annual training trip. Seniors Ward McNulty and Katie Reed have taken the time to reflect on this team tradition.
My Florida Reflection by Ward McNulty ’13
My final WSD Florida training trip was a whirlwind of emotions: excitement, exhaustion and satisfaction. After pulling out of the Buccaneer parking lot for the final time, I left Deerfield Beach with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. As the sentimental thoughts set in of my last WSD training trip, my last flying W sandcastle, my last trip to the Whale’s Rib, I acknowledged the fact that I will truly never again be in such pristine physical shape in my life; at no other point in my life do I plan on exercising 6 hours a day for a week straight…. We did it!
The grueling practices pushed our bodies to the limit and put our mental strength to the test, but the team remained physically and mentally tough for the entirety of the training trip. The practices were challenging and brutal- but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When we were not putting our bodies to the test, we enjoyed the sunshine, the beach and copious amounts of ice cream. Our muscles and minds are fueled up and ready to go. I am excited to see the result of all of our hard work pay off at conference this year! Tiger UP!
My Florida Reflection by Katie Reed ’13
We were supposed to leave for Florida at 1pm however our two buses arrived late. While we were waiting for the buses to arrive the team bonded in the lobby of the HPER center and a few of us took advantage of the facilities by watching the women’s basketball game, playing racquetball, or attempting play volleyball on an empty racquetball court.
Bus # 1 is definitely the cool bus. We didn’t have WI-Fi or any outlets but we had Pitch Perfect (which was hilarious) and Modern Family which we watched a majority of the bus ride (also hilarious). Commentary and other conversations with teammates made the ride enjoyable and the boy’s attempt at singing 100 bottles of coke on the wall was funny too.
We were still on the bus most of the morning and continued to watch Modern Family. We arrived at the Buccaneer mid afternoon and we all split up into our different rooms. Two members from each room were designated to go grocery shopping before we left for night practice. Grocery shopping was definitely an interesting experience. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of people buy so much food in my entire life. When looking into each room’s grocery carts you could tell which rooms had experience cooking and who did not. I have a feeling a majority of the boys plan on trying fancy grilling techniques.
On the way to practice as we were crossing the bridge from Deerfield to Boca Raton, looking out into the water we could see Iguanas sunbathing on the docks. This is definitely something you don’t see in Ohio.
After grocery shopping we left for night practice which is from 6-8pm. The first night the diving team practiced all our voluntary dives. Jim’s plane was delayed so we coached each other and got use to the new set-up the first night. The water was warm and the boards were smooth. I feel like I could get use to this.
December 30th – January 4th
Diving has been going well. We have morning practice from 7-9am and night practice from 6-8pm. Sometimes we leave earlier or stay later to do dry land or lifting. One day during the trip we had a non scoring meet against Allegheny. It was a fun experience to bond with another team and just have fun doing what we love best.
Overall, all the divers have been improving little by little and it’s evident that the swimmers have too. The first day I learned 2 new dives and I’ve been working on improving all of my optional dives. Eric has been working on his inwards fronts and approaches and is doing really well at fixing a few technical errors. Megan and Kevin have been working on all of their voluntary and optional dives. Both of them have come a long way since the beginning of the season. Kevin and Eric seem to have really enjoyed the hot tub, and Megan and I attempted Synchronize diving (its good thing we don’t compete it). Everyone has been improving since day one of Florida. Of course there have been a few smacks here and there and a little butting heads towards the end. But, for two-a-day practices, weight lifting, cardio, abs and lunges into oblivion- we’ve been working our butts off so we’re bound to get a little cranky.
It’s a good thing we get a long break in between practices it gives us time to explore Deerfield, shop, eat sleep, tan at the pool, go to the beach, swim in the ocean, or play volleyball. Volleyball was always a fun time however, finding an open court was always tricky. As a team we’ve improved our volleyball techniques and have had a few good volleys’ here and there. Unfortunately, we didn’t live up to the Universities volleyball team’s standards. I think we’ll stick to water instead of land.
During the trip we spent New Year’s on the beach. A bunch of us went to the beach with the sparkling apple cider the Buccaneer provided us with and watched other teammates set off fireworks and count down to the new year. Good thing it’s been warm outside and in the 80’s. We couldn’t do this in Ohio with blizzard and all (Thank goodness for warm weather!).
Living with members on the team has also been interesting. Everyone has their own dietary needs and living styles. It’s been a great bonding experience all around and I feel like I know my teammates much better. Unfortunately we leave after AM practice on the 4th and have to venture back into cold snowy Ohio.
We traveled all night on the bus and have continued to watch modern family and the batman trilogy (bus #1 is still the coolest bus). While Florida has been a great experience and all of us have come back a little bit tanner and buffer, I’m sure everyone is excited to get off and sleep in their own beds and relax tonight.