Flight takes flight!

Russell Mathews


Fellow Alligator, Andrew Flight, is headed to the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at UT Austin to compete at the 2021 Winter Junior Championships. A fantastic opportunity for a fantastic swimmer who started like many of us once did. Flight joined Alligators in the summer of 2016 after a few years with the local park district team, the Arlington Muskies. Although success was distant, as a young swimmer Flight saw many of the senior Alligators as "well respected, honored, and appreciated" members of our team. From there, the true spark began. "I always wanted to be in their position" he states. At age 11, Flight swam 1:44.32 100 Breastroke; today, he swims a 57.96 (converted). That's a 47-second drop. The takeaway: anything is possible. As Coach Stacy Cassiday puts it, "If you put in the work—and of course, do it right, anything is possible." As we wish him luck with his swims, he had a few words of encouragement and advice he would like to share. Here's what he had to say: 

When asked "What's your biggest challenge?" he responded with, 

"Having a good mentality. It can be hard during long sets or rough meets to keep yourself going. You have to have things in the back of your mind to turn to when you hit those moments. You have to have a contingency plan, you have to know why you are doing what you’re doing. That way, when hit a rough moment you can simply remember what you’re trying to do and to keep going, and stay away from quitting. You may not always be laughing and smiling, but if I can go back to what I’m trying to achieve and focus on that, I’ll end up doing better."

Do you have any words of wisdom you would like to share with our younger swimmers? 

"Always work your hardest. You never know how things are going to turn out or what you’re going to want to do, but you should set yourself up for whatever you might want to do in the future." 
Are there any pieces of literature or people that have inspired your doing?
"One book that really inspired me was CAN’T HURT ME by David Goggins. I read the book a few of years ago and was immediately fascinated with the story. I realized that anything was possible after learning about the hardships that others have endured. One thing from that book that I remember vividly was the analogy of the mirror. The idea is that you can go around telling people how hard you work and what you will do, but when you look in the mirror you are what you are. I realized reading this that I could say I did things I could do, but it wouldn’t matter unless I did them. I realized I wanted the reputation of being someone who does everything in their power to get better while also being always working for what they want. I didn’t want to be a big talker, I wanted to do. Walk the walk, don't talk the talk."