Kayla Kollin


2021 Kate Brown Scholarship Winner




     Swimming and Dolphins have been a huge part of my life for the past nine years. It has influenced my high school job and my outlook on life.  Dolphins season is one of my favorite times of the year. I have learned so much from the coaches and my teammates. After my first season on Dolphins, I told my mom that I was never going to stop swimming on Dolphins and that when I was older I wanted to coach. Last year I was in the process of applying to become a coach when we, unfortunately, were not able to have a season. Hopefully this year I will be able to complete that goal. Swimming on Atlantic has shown me how important team spirit is. I learned that winning as an individual was not always as important as people think. While it is nice to win; having your teammates cheering you on is so much more rewarding. I always swim my best when I can hear my teammates cheering; which is why I cheer for everyone during the meets. When at a meet it is so much more rewarding to win as a team rather than just by yourself. I try to help out wherever I can. I have helped out with the younger kids during practices since the summer of 2016. I loved helping them at practice whether it was helping with their strokes, making sure that they are ok in the pool and following instructions. When looking for a job in high school I thought back to all the fun I had helping the kids and decided to become a swim teacher. Dolphins also showed me how important it is to be kind to others. No matter how good you are at swimming it ultimately is not as important as supporting your teammates. The people I have been able to swim with these past couple of years are an amazing group of people. While I have always found it hard to get up to go to 7:30 practice I always look forward to just sitting on the pool deck by the baby pool and just talking. While I and several other high schoolers used it as a way to avoid getting into the cold pool,  these early morning talks made my day even better. Everyone I have swam with is so kind and friendly. I love going out to eat after meets with them and just celebrating whether we won or lost, for Atlantic taught us we should celebrate our wins and our losses.  This mindset of team work and kindness made me not want to skip meets or practices. The atmosphere makes me want to be there as much as possible. I have learned so much from the team and I will continue to use the lessons I learned for the rest of my life. I hope to keep swimming in college just for fun and possibly come back and coach.