Written By 2017-18 DREAM Program and Miami University Senior Varsity Synchronized Skating Team Member, Lindsey Maynard
Every athlete in the sport of synchronized skating dreams of representing our country and becoming a member of Team USA. There is no better feeling than knowing you represent something so much bigger than yourself; especially representing a country as incredible as the United States. Being a member of Team USA has been the biggest honor of my life and I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities it has given me.
So what does it take to be a part of Team USA?
To be committed is key to success in the sport of synchronized skating. To me, this means doing everything you can be to be the best version of yourself. It means sacrificing other things, things that maybe a normal kid your age gets to do, to be better at your sport. It means putting your team first. To be 100% dedicated to your teammates is so important as a member of Team USA.
A member of Team USA has the drive to push past their comfort zone. A driven person finds the motivation within themselves to push even harder at the end of a tough practice or a double run through of the program. A driven person does what it is necessary to reach their goals. I truly believe that having this drive is what sets a part an excellent athlete from the ordinary.
We get up. No matter how many times we fall or fail, we get up. When it feels like you just can’t skate any longer, you keep going anyways. When your legs are burning, and you don’t know if you can finish that last element of the freeskate, you remember why you started. To me, being resilient means fighting for everything. It means fighting to keep your line up in the no hold. It’s fighting to stretch your leg even higher on that spiral. It’s fighting to keep your teammate above your head in the group lift. It’s giving a full performance even if its 6:00 AM and the stands are empty. Being resilient is what makes us synchronized skaters; it’s what makes us our best selves.
You must love what you do. I believe the love for the sport is what carries Team USA athletes through the ups and the downs. This doesn’t mean you have to love every second of training; there are times when I question why we do what we do as synchronized skaters. But when you hit your ending pose after an incredible skate, you remember that everything is worth it. When you are surrounded by your teammates and feel as though you have found your 19 best friends, you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. To be a part of Team USA, you must love the sport and your teammates through every failure, every setback, and every hardship. A great athlete’s purpose is the love of their sport. This passion is what drives Team USA athletes to be better every single day.
A successful athlete capitalizes on the opportunities they’re given. As Team USA athletes at Miami University, it is so important that we take advantage of our resources. Meaning, we go to our athletic trainer if our spread eagle isn’t where it needs to be to work on hip flexibility. We see a sports psychologist to up our mental toughness. It means we spend an extra hour with a student-athlete tutor to ensure we make up for what we missed when we traveled. Having the ability to ask for help from coaches, teammates, trainers, etc. is critical to success as a Team USA athlete. Using the resources provided is how elite athletes can overcome adversity. Team USA athletes are never afraid to ask for help!
Undoubtedly, there are countless other attributes that Team USA athletes possess; but I believe these characteristics are at the core of any elite athlete. Representing Team USA has exceeded all my expectations and means more to me than I could ever put into words. The opportunities I’ve had as a Team USA athlete have shaped me into who I am today.
To any skater that someday wants to be a part of Team USA, dream big and never give up. Chase after your dreams and don’t stop until you get there. Hard work and dedication always pay off in the end.
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” -Tom Hanks
Best of luck to every team at the 2018 National Championships this upcoming week! Love each and every moment! Don’t be afraid to stop by and say hi to all the DREAM skaters.