Welcome to our new weekly feature: Blake Athlete of the Week! We’ll be focusing on a standout Bengal Athlete every week. This week’s athlete is swimmer Andrea Dworak.
Andrea is a freshman and has already set records, holding the fastest girls 100 backstroke in Blake history. Andrea on a regular day wakes up at 4 am to go to practice. Combined with school then practice after school, she usually gets home at 7:30. That leaves her with minimal time to complete assignments and spend time with family and friends.
She further explains this, saying, “As soon as I get home from practice, I take a shower and then get started on my homework right away. On nights that I have a lot of homework I typically don’t get to bed until 11:30- 12 at night. Running on 6-7 hours of sleep is not ideal during the school day because it prevents me from performing my best at school.” This isn’t for nothing, though, as she says competing at Blake has given her a lot. She says, “I have had the opportunity to qualify for meets including Metros… This meet is one of the most competitive meets in the state.”
Enduring 6-7 hours of sleep, grueling practices, weight training, adding on physical and mental fatigue, Andrea still manages to get up every day, work harder, keep up with school work and maintain good grades. This is a common routine for star high school athletes, but when it comes down to game time, it’s all about your mental attitude.
Andrea adds to this by saying, “Swimming is 50% a mental game with yourself. I have had to push past my bad races, my bad practices, and think, what can I do next time to make that race or practice better, and show up the next day and do it better.” Mental health is still an unappreciated element of sports. With preparation and practice consistently, Andrea sets herself up for nothing but success.
A huge part of her success has been the people around her. Andrea says, “Having a support system around me is definitely a major contributor to my successes in swimming. Having friends and family that lift me up and give me advice is extremely beneficial. I think most of all what has contributed to my success in swimming is that I love swimming. If I didn’t enjoy coming to practice everyday and racing in meets, I would never be at the point I am now in swimming.” A student-athlete balance is difficult but having the right people around you makes everything much easier. No one can succeed without help. Especially as a freshman, advice from family and friends is valuable.
We are thrilled to have such a talented athlete here swimming at Blake. Andrea embodies the work-hard mentality: “If you show up to practice, work hard, and put your heart and soul in, you are inevitably going to get rewarded. One of the best feelings in swimming is finishing a race and looking up at the clock and realizing your dropped time. Not only is it satisfactory to know that you dropped time, but for me it feels like I have proved to myself and to other people that I work hard, and it pays off in the pool.” It’s great to see a healthy environment for student-athletes here at Blake. When one person strives for greatness it uplifts the people around them. A big thank you to Andrea for helping us create this story.