Oct. 13, 2010
By Sarah Thomsen
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Colorado State Rams are constantly pushing themselves to practice and fight harder and accomplish their ambitious goals.
The swimmers and divers of this season’s team are always in the pool. They come to optional practices, and are always giving their full effort. With a group of girls that are so entirely dedicated to the sport and the team, Head Coach John Mattos has great optimism for the 2010-11 season, which starts with a home dual against conference rival Utah Friday at 5 p.m. Admission to Moby Pool is free.
During the summer, Mattos asked his athletes to think about how they were going to improve this year.
“I want them to know what kind of long-term vision, commitment to excellence, discipline, enthusiasm, responsibility, sacrifice, humility, influence and perseverance it is going to take to enhance our collective potential as a team,” said Mattos, entering his 31st year at the reins of the CSU program.
The 2009-10 season brought many triumphs and much excitement. At the 2010 Mountain West Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, Breann Fuller won first place in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Seven swimmers were awarded all-Mountain West Conference honors.
The team finished third out of eight teams in the final 2009-10 MWC dual meet standings, with a record of 8-2. However, the Rams’ final standing in the MWC championship was sixth out of nine teams. Mattos has set a higher standard for his team.
“We’re out to improve our place within the hierarchy of the Mountain West Conference,” he said.
Mattos also has emphasized team beyond everything else.
“True high-performance teamwork requires an extraordinary amount of trust, faith, and belief among team members that collectively put the team first,” he said. “This means sharing our unique strengths and differences to move the team forward.”
In order to move CSU up the MWC and Division I NCAA ladder of success, Mattos asked his athletes to do three things:
- Establish goals for the season as a team and write them down;
- Ace the rate at which they want to achieve these goals and list everything they need to do to achieve those targets, and prioritize the most important marks.
- Lastly, he asked everyone to be committed to working toward their goals every day, in some way, all 192 days of the 2010-11 season.
Out of the pool, the team holds itself to a high standard, and that bar was placed fairly high by last year’s team. The most prestigious academic award given by the Mountain West Conference, the Scholar Athlete Award, was awarded to 11 of CSU’s swimming and diving athletes this past spring. What’s more, 23 Rams athletes were awarded academic all-conference honors. Fuller was honored with the NCAA Division I Academic All-America distinction, and as a team, CSU was rewarded for its hard work by being honored with a rating on its academic performance of “excellent” by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.