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Winter Sports at MIT (Part 1) by Emiko P. '25

a sneak peek of: swim and dive, squash, and men's basketball

As it gets colder and colder in Boston, things are heating up on the court and in the pool as MIT Winter sports continue to ramp up. Here are four student-athletes, from the Swimming, Diving, Squash, and Men’s Basketball teams and their experiences as an athlete, teammate, and MIT student! The next blog will feature even more winter teams, so stay tuned :)

How has your experience been as a student-athlete at MIT so far?

Swimming student-athlete: “Being a student athlete at MIT has been an incredible experience. I like… genuinely love swimming so I’ve had so much fun being a part of the team here. Some of my closest friends are on the swim team and it makes coming to practice each day something I look forward to. The team is also an amazing support system if you need help with classes, life advice, or just want someone to talk to.”

Diving student-athlete: “Being a student athlete at MIT is definitely worthwhile. It’s nice to be able to take a break from academics and train with my friends. Outside of practice, not only do we hang out together, but we also work on problem sets with each other. Whenever I’m stuck on a problem, I always have someone I can talk to for help.”

Squash student-athlete: “Being a student athlete has been great. You get really good at time management since MIT is so work-heavy, which can obviously be used later in life. Also the community athletes have at MIT is pretty vast, especially because Greek life is made up of a ton of athletes.”

Men’s basketball student-athlete: “I have enjoyed being a student-athlete at MIT because it has given me the opportunity to continue to play the game I love at the next level and has helped me make so many life-long friends. Being able to hang out with my teammates and hoop after a long day of classes is definitely something I will never take for granted.”

Favorite sport-related memory?

Swimming student-athlete: “My favorite memory with the swim team was the training trip we went on last year! We spent a week in Mission Viejo during IAP. In between our two practices each day, I had so much fun surfing, playing beach volleyball, and just goofing around with the team with 30 of us packed into one hotel room. Oh, and eating snacks. SO MANY pretzels and SO MUCH peanut butter was consumed that week.”

Diving student-athlete: “My freshman year, NCAA Diving Regionals was held at Smith College. After practice, our coach drove us there. On the car ride there, we played music, talked, made a pit stop (where we bought some candy), and even called our coach’s grandma on the speaker. Her grandma sounded so proud of our coach and so proud of us for making it to Regionals.”

Squash student-athlete: “During my freshman year, we finished 15th in the country, which is the highest ranking of MIT squash in recent history!”

Men’s basketball student-athlete: “The basketball team comes back early on December 26th to get ready for conference play, and because we’re usually the only people on campus, we literally spend the entire day together… One of my favorite memories during this time was going to Fogo de Chao (a Brazilian Steakhouse) with the team during New Years Eve after a hard week of two practices a day.”

Tips for athletes getting recruited right now? 

Swimming student-athlete: “If you want to get recruited to swim for MIT you should email the coaches and fill out the recruit questionnaire that you can find online! For me personally, I mostly remember having a lot of phone and zoom calls with lots of coaches. I think recruit trips are also a really valuable experience to get a feel for the team and what the students are like. The team is a group of people who you inevitably end up spending a ton of time with so it’s important that you vibe with them and feel like they are people you could look up to and be supported by.”

Diving student-athlete: “The process was a series of conversations with the coaches. For me, it was important to communicate with them and make sure that we were on the same page.”

Squash student-athlete: “If I could give any advice to a prospective MIT applicant, I would say: make sure you have a solid GPA, a good SAT/ACT score, and something to differentiate yourself from everyone else with high scores. My process was a little bit special because I was originally committed to an Ivy League school until they cut the squash team (from varsity to club). I had to take a gap year and apply Early Action like everyone else in my year.”

Men’s basketball student-athlete: “My biggest tip for athletes who want to be recruited is to get in contact with the coaching staff as soon as possible and show them the values you bring to the team and school. Being a strong student is as important as being a talented athlete, so it definitely is important to maintain strong grades and also write killer essays that make you stand out in the application process.”

What is an example of a day in your life? 

Swimming student-athlete: “My day starts around 7:30 am with a morning swim or lift depending on the day of the week. Then I go back to my sorority, Theta, and make breakfast. I am majoring in Course 20 (biological engineering) and could not have survived 20.32001 Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems and many other Course 20 classes without my Course 20 friends (Shoutout to Lauren D. on the soccer team and Sydney H. on the lacrosse team :)) I am also minoring in German and really enjoyed taking 21G.420, which is a German film class where we watched German movies. After my classes are over for the day, I head to the Z center for 5-7 pm swim practice. I usually cook dinner in Theta after practice and eat and talk with the other girls on my floor. After dinner, I probably will be studying, psetting, or doing work for my UROP02 Undergraduate Research Opportunity either in my room or at the Student Center.”

Diving student-athlete: “On a typical day, I wake up around 8:30 and go to class. I’m double majoring in 6-303 Computer Science and Engineering and 21M04 Music and Theatre Arts , so some of the classes I have taken include 21M.30305 Harmony and Counterpoint III and 6.04606 Design and Analysis of Algorithms . I do some homework and then go back to campus for 5-7 pm practice. After practice, I grab a quick dinner with my teammates at the dining hall and then head to a 2-hour long Syncopasian07 East Asian Interest A Cappella Group rehearsal. Now it’s around 10 pm. Sometimes I have Asian Dance Team practice for an hour. But if not, then I go back home to pset. I go to bed at around 12:30 am.”

Squash student-athlete: “I would wake up around 8:30 am to go swim at the Z, then I would go work for a couple of hours. Then I would go to a couple of classes ( 3.09108 Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry , 6.122009 Design and Analysis of Algorithms , 6.39010 Introduction to Machine Learning , and Bodies in Motion). After class ended I would either have practice or Pleasure educator training from 5-7 pm. Pleasure is MIT’s sexual and relationship health group that gives presentations to student organizations about sexual assault prevention and healthy relationships, and I was trained to give those presentations. Next, I would go to a club meeting if I had one that day for Scholars of Finance, a club devoted to following a stringent code of ethics in financial institutions. After that, I would eat dinner and do some work.”

Men’s basketball student-athlete: “Here is a recent day in the life. I woke up at 9am and checked my investment portfolio and saw that one of my stocks skyrocketed 60% after releasing their earnings report! I hustled to the Saferide station to catch a ride across the bridge to campus. I stopped by Dunkin’ to get some breakfast and then walked over to the Sloan Business School for my first class, the Analytics Edge, from 10-11:30am. After my class, I walked over to the Stud, our student center, to meet up with my friends and eat lunch (my favorite part of my day). After that, I trekked all the way back to Sloan to finish off the day with three back-to-back-to-back classes: Communicating with Data, Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives, and a recitation for the Analytics Edge. Within those four hours, I learned different ways to present data using graphical representations, expanded my knowledge in the money market funds and the bond market, and gained new skills in programming in R and developing predictive models. Today’s basketball practice was a little lighter after a hard fought and earned win against Emerson yesterday night. We ended practice at 7 pm, and I went back across the bridge to Sigma Chi to eat an amazing dinner cooked by our Chef Andre. I did homework until around 1am and then slept.”

How has the season been going so far?

Swimming student-athlete: “This season has been going well so far! Swim season is getting close to the end, so I am super excited for NEWMACs, our conference meet as well as NCAAs! It’s always fun to see the work we put in all season pay off at our championship meets.”

Diving student-athlete: “This season has been fun because I have seen improvement in my dives, due to consistent effort and practice. Also my sister is a diver on the Williams team, so last weekend, I got to compete against her at our double dual meet against Williams and NYU! The energy on deck was amazing. I’m excited to compete at NEWMACS and Regionals.”

Squash student-athlete: “I currently have a herniated disc in my spine, so I haven’t been able to play at all this season. Right now, I’m mainly looking forward to finishing physical therapy and being able to play again next season!”

Men’s basketball student-athlete: “We are currently fighting for a spot in the NEWMAC playoffs and it’s getting down to the wire! We have won four of our last five games and have all the momentum we need to finish the regular season off strong. I am looking forward to our last home game this Saturday against the top team in our conference. It probably is the most important game this season and we have all the motivation we need to win this game. We’re going to have to execute on everything we have worked on all season long and play our hearts out for a full forty minutes. I’m really excited for this game and the great potential we have as a team.”

Good luck to all our Winter sports as they wrap up their seasons! Keep swimming fast, having a ball, flipping out, and squash-ing opponents (lol)! As always, here are some wholesome pics, and don’t forget to roll tech :)

  1. Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems back to text
  2. Undergraduate Research Opportunity back to text
  3. Computer Science and Engineering back to text
  4. Music and Theatre Arts back to text
  5. Harmony and Counterpoint III back to text
  6. Design and Analysis of Algorithms back to text
  7. East Asian Interest A Cappella Group back to text
  8. Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry back to text
  9. Design and Analysis of Algorithms back to text
  10. Introduction to Machine Learning back to text