Monthly Awards

Athlete of the Month - November 2011 John Baker - Windy City Water Polo Club

John (JB) played both football and basketball his freshman year of high school and intended to try and play college football. He didn't have a spring sport in mind so agreed to attend the first day of water polo tryouts after meeting one of the captains in the weight room.

By sophomore year, JB dropped basketball in favor of swimming. Although he had never swam in an organized setting before, he decided to do the varsity training regimen to get faster in support of his water polo game. In spring, he was put on the varsity water polo team and started every game. He realized that water polo, rather than football, was his future and he needed to do everything he could to get better. John also realized that he had to fast-track his training as most college water polo players aren't from Illinois and start well before they're 15. So a lot of research had to be done because he didn't know anyone who could help him plan next steps.

He went to the Malibu Water Polo Camp in June as well as the MAC3 clinic at Fenwick High School. He joined Northern Illinois Polo Club and went with them to the JO's. He found out about ODP, went to the midwest tryout in September, was invited to participate, and has attended all three of the fall St. Louis training camps. And also in the fall, he transferred to Windy City Water Polo, a more competitive club, which means driving an hour each way. John is hardworking, disciplined, and highly motivated.

JB is now a junior and has been named one of the team captains for the upcoming 2012 season. And although water polo season doesn't start until spring, John would like his team to do well. He set up a group on facebook in order to communicate with those likely to be on the roster as well as some prospects. He often lets them know that he will be at "open swim" on Friday nights should anyone want to train or shoot with him. He had the idea to secure some pool time from the high school and lead technique drills in an effort to teach his teammates some of what he's learned outside the high-school environment. He was able to make this happen earlier this month.

In closing I think he would make for a great selection for Athlete of the Month!

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