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Amanda Nguyen: turning water polo’s tide

As a Junior Olympics competitor and captain of Northwood’s Girls Varsity Water Polo, senior Amanda Nguyen was destined to swim from the very beginning. According to Nguyen, water polo has had an immense influence on her life through the valuable lessons she has learned and the life-long friends she has made. In an interview with The Howler, Nguyen shares her water polo journey and memorable experiences from the kiddie pool to the Junior Olympics.

Jahnvi Mehta: “When did you first start water polo and why?”

Amanda Nguyen: “I first started water polo when I was in fourth grade, and I was really bad at soccer and gymnastics. I liked the pool but I hated swimming, so I didn’t do that. Water polo is an aggressive mix of soccer and basketball which I liked.”

JM: “What was your training like for the Junior Olympics?”

AN: “Every year, training for Junior Olympics with my club team is fun and very physically challenging as well because our coach usually makes us swim a lot during the two-hour pool practices. After, we go to the weight room and lift for an hour. Although tedious and tiring, training is fun for the most part because everyone on the team is friends and the girls make it a lot more exciting.”

JM: “What was the Junior Olympics like and how did you feel?”

AN: “Junior Olympics this past summer was probably the most stressful tournament I’ve ever played in because there were always a lot of college coaches watching. There was always a ton of pressure to not mess up as every game was a fight to stay in the top bracket.”

JM: “How does it feel to represent Northwood?”

AN: “I feel unique representing Northwood High School, because I am the only high school player from Northwood on the club team that I play with.”

JM: “What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your water polo journey?”

AN: “I’ve learned how to manage time with school, work, practice, family and friends. My schedule is pretty packed year round so having the skill to organize myself and make time for everything is very useful now and for future use as well.”

JM: “What are some setbacks you have faced?”

AN: “There were a lot of times where I wanted to quit water polo because the time commitment was too much and going to practices and games made me feel miserable and really unhappy.”

JM: “How did you overcome them?”

AN: “I continued playing water polo because of the really important friendships I’ve made with my teammates at club and high school. I couldn’t imagine my life without those people in it.”

JM: “What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Northwood?”

AN: “My favorite part of playing at Northwood is the amazing people I have met and being part of the Timberwolf team.”

JM: “What are your plans for the future?”

AN: “I plan on going to college, maybe with water polo but I’m not sure yet.”