Her Campus Stanford sits down with sophomore Kelsey Suggs when she's not killing it in the pool, hitting the HumBio books or raging with her Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters!
How did you end up at Stanford?
JT, my coach here at Stanford, used to coach my old club team's coach. When I was in high school, JT contacted Brad (my old club team's coach) and ever since I found out JT was interested in having me play for him, I worked really hard to get the grades and test scores I needed for Stanford. I fell in love with the campus the first time I visited and never looked back.
What is your favorite part about Stanford Water Polo?
The girls on the team are so supportive in everything each one of us does. I know that I will always have 16 people to fall back on no matter what happens. These girls truly are my best friends on top of being some of the best players in the country.
How do you balance athletics and academics?
It's definitely tough, but one of the reasons I was able to even be accepted into Stanford was because of my time management skills. I've been juggling athletics and academics for a lot of my life, and it's almost second nature now. One thing that never changes though is that academics always come first. If a class conflicts with practice, or finals week is looming, the coaches are always really understanding and encouraging. The most important thing is to use all the spare time you can to stay on top of your work. No half-hour break in between classes is too short for a little cramming session! Collaboration is really helpful too, and so many people at Stanford are ready and willing to help anyone who asks.
If you weren’t playing water polo, what would you be doing?
Recently I've started running in my spare time. It's a nice change of pace from the pool and I love the endorphin rush after a work out. I'm also a big time beach bum, so if it’s a nice day out, chances are you'll catch me somewhere on the coast line with a few friends.
Do you have a specific game day routine?
Before a big game, the team meets to go over strategy and specifics. I do a lot of visualization on my own to stay mentally prepared and confident that I can handle whatever the other team throws at me. After that, I head to the training room to make sure everything is working right and that my body is ready to go. I've blast my pump up playlist on my iPod, lather up in sunscreen, rally with my team and jump in the pool!
Why should everyone come to the Big Splash this Saturday?
The rivalry that Stanford has with Cal is something that goes back for decades. It’s an integral part of this campus's school spirit. Cal Water Polo never fails to play their best when they visit Avery Aquatic Center and this Saturday will be no exception. We need to show those Bears what the Cardinal is all about, and we can't do that without our fans!
What is your favorite part about Stanford?
I love that the Stanford athletic community is so integrated with the rest of the student population. Some of my best friends have never played a competitive sport, but we still have so much in common and relate to each other so well. No one should ever feel like the odd man out at Stanford because we truly are a tight knit community.
What’s something about you that people wouldn’t expect?
Despite my choice in sports and my love of the beach, I have a HUGE fear of drowning and an even bigger fear of sharks. I hate holding my breath under water and get really anxious when I go out too far in the ocean or stay in for too long.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully I will be in medical school, preferably somewhere on the west coast -- Southern California would be the dream! Aside from that, I don't really know... and don't really want to know either. Life is a journey, and the fun part is finding out where you are going! Who would want to spoil the surprise?