Allie Crenshaw was named SSC Swimmer of the Week.
“It was exciting, especially since it was so early in the season. I have actually swam a lot better earlier in the season than I did last year,” Crenshaw said.
Having the experience of freshman year has helped her to improve this year.
“Freshman year, there were a lot of nerves and I think this year, I know what to expect,” Crenshaw said.
For Crenshaw, having experience swimming makes a big difference.
While being recognized as Swimmer of the Week is an honor, it also creates pressure for Crenshaw.
“It is a lot of pressure, especially coming out of last year [as the two-time national champion],” Crenshaw said. “So coming in this year, I definitely felt a lot of pressure, but I know I go out there and I just tell myself that do the best you can do and hope for the best.”
Crenshaw motivates her team to reach their goals like she has been doing so far.
“I think that every day in practice, just having those girls there is a big motivator, and I think that feeding off each other’s energies helps a lot,” Crenshaw said. “Just coming into the college setting is a lot different from club swimming, so seeing someone that came from that and seeing how well they do helps a lot.”
Crenshaw believes that every girl on the team has the same chance as her to be named Swimmer of the Week
“I see a lot of potential. I can see us winning conference this year and placing a lot higher in nationals,” Crenshaw said.
According to Crenshaw, a mix of hard work and dedication is what it takes to be a national champion.
“Swimming is very mental, so I think you just have to be really focused on your goals. If you go to practice every day having that goal in the back of your mind, it makes practices easier and it helps you prepare your future races,” Crenshaw said.
Athletes like Crenshaw clear their minds in meets and focus only on strategies.
“I tell myself it is just another race and try not to think about who I am racing or what times they have been in,” Crenshaw said.
There are some times that athletes need to separate emotions from the competition.
“Actually, this year it has been kind of high emotions. I think is just because knowing how successful my freshman year was, it’s definitely a lot of pressure to come back and try to repeat as a national champion,” Crenshaw said. “For swimming, you need to be emotionally tough. I really just try not to think about anything but practice and doing the best that I can do in that practice.”
If she starts thinking in school or social life during practice, Crenshaw says this can be a distraction.
Balancing school, a social life and sports is challenging.
“We practice three mornings a week and every single afternoon. I think Saturday nights are really our only social time to have,”Crenshaw said.
According to Crenshaw, having study hall helps her in the academic aspect to get school work done.
“I try to take Sundays to study, but balancing it, I feel that is something that you figure out how to do it,” Crenshaw said.
Sometimes she has doubts of whether to continue or not in swimming since she is in college now, and especially because she is planning on getting into the nursing program.
“I am here to get an education and swimming is something that happen to come along,” Crenshaw said.
According to Crenshaw, she was very lucky to come to Florida Southern College for swimming.
“I always tell myself if there comes a time when I need to just focus on academics, it is obviously what I am going to do,” Crenshaw said.
Photo courtesy of fscmocs.com