Congratulations to University of Indiana's Amanda Redfern on becoming KAP 7 International's Big 10 Sportsmanship Award Winner for 2014!!!
We asked Amanda a few questions about her approach to the sport of water polo, college athlete life, and sportsmanship.
What were your thoughts when you learned you would be the recipient of the Big 10 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award?
- When I learned that I was going to be the recipient of the Big 10 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award I was very honored. My mother had instilled in me at a young age to treat everyone with the same kindness and respect that you hope to receive, and I was very happy to know that her lessons had taken root in my life.
What in particular do you think made you stand out as an example of sportsmanship this year?
- This year I think that my enthusiasm and positive attitude is what made me stand out as an example of sportsmanship. At every practice and match I always made it my responsibility to remain positive and lift up those around me no matter what my mood was. Throughout my four years I have had an understanding that win or lose we are a team, and the friendships that we have created with each other over the past few years are the most important thing.
What are some tips you could give student-athletes on balancing schoolwork and competition/training as an NCAA athlete?
- Balancing school work and training/competition is not an easy thing at the beginning, but once you get the hang of it its second nature. This balancing act takes time management and preparedness. It has always benefited me to plan both on a small scale, each day to each week, and also on the large scale, the entire semester. Knowing what is coming up has allowed me to see when I need to hunker down and study with a crap ton of coffee and mountains of snacks, or when I can take a day off and just enjoy the company of my friends.
What made you choose Indiana University?
- I choose Indiana University because I knew that I wanted to leave California and play water polo. Once I got to Indiana University (IU) I was in complete awe of how beautiful the campus was and how much school spirit everyone has. Just stepping on campus I instantly fell in love with the location, natural beauty, people, and spirit of IU.
What is your favorite part about attending Indiana University?
- That's a tough one, my absolute favorite thing about IU would have to be the comradery between all of the students, staff, and alumni of IU. No matter where we travel across the United States a fellow Hoosier will always come up and talk to us and shout "Go Hoosiers!" As the Indiana University fight song states "Indiana, we're all for you!"
As a California native, did you experience any culture shock when you moved to Indiana?
- Going to every college throughout the United States, even California, you are going to have the "shock" of all the of how large the campus is and how many different types of people there are throughout the world. However, specifically for IU the largest shock I had was the weather. Coming from a place where it is high 60's and low 70's all the time, -15 degrees did not seem real, and took some serious layers to get used to.
What is your favorite Kap7 product?
- My favorite Kap 7 product is the water polo ball. They always seem so new and fresh, with a good grip, which makes them the first things that my teammates trap when we get on the pool deck.
How does water polo in the Midwest differ from water polo on the west coast?
- Water polo in the Midwest differs from water polo on the west coast, because we focus a lot more on cross training during our preseason. Many of our practices include different types of cardio and weights. Indiana University was blessed with a fantastic weight coach who wanted to improve our overall fitness both on land and in the water.
What is your fondest memory as an IU Hoosier?
- My fondest memory as an Indiana University Hoosier was winning the CWPA championship my senior year. It felt incredible to know that all of our hard work had paid off, and that I had the opportunity to end my college career the same way I had started it, by being CWPA Champions and going to the NCAA tournament.
What is your favorite local Indiana meal?
- Indiana University is located in a town with many diverse cultures and cuisines. My favorite local Bloomington meal would have to be thai, specifically a restaurant called My Thai. My friend and I would frequent there so often, that they knew us by name and knew our order once we sat down.
What plans do you have after Indiana undergrad?
- After undergrad I am going to finish my Master's Degree at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, with a Master's Degree in Public Affairs. After that I will hopefully be able to travel Europe, and then find a career in the environmental sector.
Any words to family, friends, teammates, coaches?
- To my parents, thank you for supporting my passion for water polo even when it meant waking up before the crack of dawn and enduring an entire weekend sitting in the sweltering heat of a pool deck. Without you I would not be on the path I am today, and I am eternally grateful. To my coaches thank you for teaching me both in and out of the water. You have been mentors to me through my life and I will always remember your lessons of dedication, handwork, and friendship between teammates. Finally to my fellow teammates throughout my entire water polo career, thank you for being there to help me grow both as a player and as a person. Your friendship in those early morning practices and long travel days will never be forgotten. Never forget the friend you have made, the lessons you have learned, and the love you have for water polo!