Olympians Bring Technique and Wisdom to Water Polo Players


Dr. Glenn Cassidy

SBP’s Water Polo Team is treated to some Olympian expertise during a training clinic. (From left) Olympics Coach Dejan Udovicic and U.S. Water Polo Olympians Thomas Dunstan, John Mann, and Kami Craig talk technique and winning attitude to the Gray Bees.

Three Olympians joined the Gray Bees Water Polo Team Sunday at the SBP pool for a training clinic.

U.S. Olympians Thomas Dunstan, John Mann, Kami Craig, and their coach Dejan Udovicic, visited the team at the request of History Department Chair Spencer Vespole and Vox Institute Executive Director Glenn Cassidy. Mr. Vespole is also the head coach of the team. 

The chance for the water polo team to train with Olympians was viewed by team members as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “It was a great experience to guard two Olympians,” said KyRon Parker UDII, a forward and one of the top scorers on the team.

Other team members agreed. “I learned so much,” said Justin James UD1.

Team members praised the Olympians for teaching them new arm and leg movements, and breathing techniques to employ to advantage during matches.“They taught me ways to shoot at the top corners and to fix my stance when I shoot,” Parker said.

Olympian water polo players teach swimming and breathing techniques to Gray Bee water polo players.

After practice, the Olympians gave advice to the water polo team. “There’s always days to improve and get better and that’s what practice is for,” said Ms. Craig, who won two Gold Medals for the U.S. Team in 2012 and 2016. It’s important, she added, to always be “going 100 percent all the time to become the best you can be.”

Practice is key, the Olympians said. “It’s a great rush and feeling when you know you made it to where you want to be and you’re prepared because of all the hard work and practice you dedicated to the game,” Mr. Mann said. He earned two Gold Medals at the Pan American Games in 2007 and 2015. He played on the U.S. Team in London and Rio.  

SBP’s Water Polo team placed second in states at Lawrenceville Academy last month. They ended the season with a record of 8-18-1.