Here’s a look into the hours belonging to the varsity athlete: extra reps; weekday and weekend games; trips to the weight room before practice; double days; and some dedicated time to completing homework. For many Bellarmine athletes, it is often a dream to play varsity and requires an immense amount of hard-work and dedication to make the team. Few have both the athletic ability and the necessary commitment to play multiple varsity sports. Most will say the hardest part about playing two sports is the transition between seasons. Nicky Fontes ’19 is one of those athletes currently experiencing the transition from varsity water polo to varsity basketball. I spoke to Nicky about the seasons changing and and the challenges he faces from going to the pool to the hardwood.
Varsity water polo may not be one of the most watched sports on campus, but it is without a doubt one of the most rigorous. The early morning workouts three days a week, and practices that include two hours in the pool followed by one in the weight room can wear down any athlete. When asking Nicky about the transition from junior varsity to varsity he said “it wasn’t that bad, over the summer we trained for three hours a day.” Although the training was three long hours, Nicky had some help along the way, “the seniors would help the younger [water polo players] learn everything so it came a lot easier.” Water polo may seem to many as having no correlation with basketball, but Nicky had some insight to how water polo prepares him for the upcoming basketball season, “varsity water polo has prepared me pretty well, we worked really hard in the weight room and the swimming conditioning correlates with the running [conditioning].” Transition from varsity water polo to varsity basketball this year will be a lot different than going from j.v. water polo to freshman basketball last year. Nicky says he doesn’t plan to change anything in his preparation. I asked Nicky if one sport gives him an advantage in the other and he said both impact each other positively. “In water polo we hit the weight room pretty hard which helps me get stronger” and “reflexes get quicker, legs are stronger [for water polo].” Nicky is an example of someone who has the drive and athleticism to compete in two sports When Nicky hits the hardwood this upcoming season, he will get to showcase not only his hoops talent, but the strength he built up over the water polo season.