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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The 2018 Senior Perspectives is the 13th in a series of annual collections by the Harvard University Office of Athletics Communications. Senior captains and representatives of teams at Harvard are invited to contribute viewpoints based on personal experience from both their senior seasons and full varsity careers at Harvard.

Colin Chiapello, Men’s Water Polo
Hometown: Danville, Calif.
Concentration: Applied Mathematics
House Affiliation: Eliot

Harry Tafur, Men’s Water Polo
Hometown: Coral Gables, Fla.
Concentration: Quantitative Finance
House Affiliation: Eliot

Partnerships. From a tactical standpoint, working in partnerships and groups is critical to a successful team. Individual stars are always welcome and appreciated, but ensuring you have a championship caliber team revolves around being just that, a team. The success that we had over our four years of transforming a good program into a great one was largely done outside of the pool. Rather, from our experience, a successful team is built in dorm rooms, dining halls, and classes. After a disappointing end to our 2015 season, we all came together as a group and had a complete mental turnaround. Everything from then on out was not about the individual, but for the collective unit. We challenged each other in the weight room and the pool which fed our relationships beyond our countless hours of practice.

You would be hard-pressed to find one of our teammates walking around campus without at least another member. While these relationships helped our success in the pool, it’s not the victories that I think the alumnus of Harvard water polo remembers. Rather, the most incredible memories of our tenure are the partnerships. For example, one of the best summers we can remember was going into our senior year. Six of us from the team were living and training on campus and spent almost every hour of the day together. The memories we made that summer were far greater than any victory we achieved during the season, while at the time our sole focus was on winning another championship. Reminiscing on the time that we spent at Harvard, you have the ability to meet so many different and unique people. While these relationships may or may not last, I have no doubt that the bonds formed amongst teammates will last forever. That, in our opinion, is the most rewarding part of being a Harvard student-athlete.

Release courtesy Harvard University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association