Diving In With Dani Milligan

Dec. 13, 2010

The Bruin swimmers and divers have been training hard, traveling, and getting their schoolwork done this holiday season. As a team we have been reading over some of Coach Wooden's thoughts and comments on his famous Pyramid of Success. We started with the two cornerstones, and since then have moved on to what Coach Wooden calls his people blocks: friendship, loyalty and cooperation. These past two months gave us many opportunities to work on these blocks as challenging weeks of tesst, meets, and training all came to a head and we really needed the support of our family away from home.

The team headed to Belmont Plaza Pool to participate in the Arena Cup the week before Thanksgiving. For many seniors this pool holds a special place, because as Southern California swimmers it is where so many memories were made. Everyone on the team got in the pool ready to race and our teams friendship and cooperation shined as we all cheered each other on and learned from each other's swims. I am so impressed with the positive attitude that this team brings to the deck. Whether good swims or bad everyone was supportive, ready to keep learning, and open to making changes to be better the next time around. One of the highlights of the meet was an addition to our team, a men's team! The Bruins sat next to the Air Force boys for the entire meet and on the last night of the meet we paired up for cheers. It was hilarious hearing the boys sing "pump it up WHOO" with a little flick of the wrist, and I'm sure that they enjoyed seeing as all grab each others shoulders to try their "manly cheer". There were so many fast swims, season-bests, and lifetime-bests at the meet, and I feel that as our first travel meet it helped bond and motivate our team.

The week of Thanksgiving was a maintenance week, getting in and getting work done. Then it was off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends for a few short days. When we returned it was time to get ready for finals and some more fast swimming at our next meet. The team headed to the state of orange, longhorns, and dry grass for the Texas Invitational. When we started driving away from the airport we were all so thankful for the beautiful green and trees that we have in Westwood, it was all so brown and dry! Thankfully we spent most of our time inside the newly renovated Texas pool that just recently purchased humongous ceiling fans that are literally called "Big Ass Fans". They aren't joking around when they say that everything is bigger in Texas. The meet was pretty small, which I think helped our team to just get out their and race without putting so much pressure on ourselves or creating too much nervous energy. It was so fun to see people giving it all that they had for this point in the season. I know it is just the beginning, and we are just going to keep getting faster! To reward ourselves after some fast swimming we went multiple times to the original Whole Foods (which of course is huge) where we made our own granola, peanut butter, sandwiches and anything else you can think of. We flew home early Sunday morning and the plane ride was used for some much needed studying for finals week. When we dragged our tired bodies and studied out brains to baggage claim, Santa was there! Southwest was having a promotion and we all got to take a picture on Santa's lap together (you can bet that we all told Santa we want A's on our exams for Christmas).

This past week was all about training with a partner, as everyone's schedules were so different with finals. The team was getting its work done both in and out of the pool. Saturday brought our first week of Holiday Training, and our first week all back together in quiet a while. I know that we are going to keep working on John Wooden's people blocks of friendship, loyalty, and cooperation as we push each other through some challenging sets in these coming weeks. HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE BRUINS!

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
vs. USA Diving Olympic ...
Indianapolis, IN
Sunday, Jun 26 - All Day PST
vs. USA Swimming Olympic ...
Omaha, NE