Junior Luis Rojas is selected swimmer of the week for the second time this season.
The Venezuelan Moccasin has qualified for Nationals this year.
“It feels good to be selected swimmer of the week because I trained hard for a reason. It feels good that someone gives you recognition,” Rojas said.
According to Rojas, in order to win this award the athlete needs to work hard.
“Swim hard and work your a** off,” Rojas said.
As with any athlete, most of the time a break is needed, but those types of recognitions are the ones who push the athlete to be better.
“I always need a break but is worth it because those are mini achievements that they give you during season before Nationals and it means that you are on the right track,” Rojas said.
Even though he has an award Rojas does not feel pressure. Handling pressure in a Conference is easier to Rojas.
“In Conference you get to know your rivals at the meets, but in Nationals you don’t know at what level or how well prepared the other teams are,” Rojas said.
The key to manage pressure and stress according to Rojas is giving the best you can in the pool.
“Just don’t get too stressed about it. Just swim as hard as you can and don’t let the other people intimidate you. You have been working as hard or harder than them so you shouldn’t be worrying about it,” Rojas said.
Rojas has been in situations where the mental part has influenced his performance in the pool.
“It has happen to me, but I learn from it and try that it doesn’t affect me as much,” Rojas said
Rojas believes that he is a role model for his team because his experiences have helped him and shaped him into the person that he is now.
“I have overcome things in my life that are really stressful. I work as hard as I can and I feel that every year I have a roadblock that I always have to overcome and I usually overcome it,” Rojas said.
Rojas wants the best for his team. He encourages them to be better every year sharing his advice with them.
“Don’t be scared, don’t think too much about it. Just do your best and trust in yourself. A lot it comes from it,” Rojas said.
According to Rojas, if an athlete doesn’t trust in himself or herself they will not going to get anywhere.
“To work on trusting yourself you just need experience and knowing ourselves. Know what is right and what is wrong. What is best for you and what is not,” Rojas said.
There have been times that Rojas doubted himself.
“I have my doubts, but at the end I have to make a decision and I take it so I can be successful, because if not, I can’t have that success. If you stay with your doubts you fail,” Rojas said.
Rojas believes that he has experience because he has been swimming for a long time. Therefore he helps anyone on the team that is confused, does not know what point to reach in their career or any personal thing.
“I feel that my teammates can ask me because I feel that I have been through things and learned from them a lot,” Rojas said.
Swimming has played an important role in Rojas’ life.
“Whether I want it or not, it has been an influence in my life, but for good. It has made me a passionate person, determined, honest, good player, good loser, humble. If you are not humble you are not going to enjoy success,” Rojas said.
Photo courtesy of Carlos Puche