Graduating Class of 2015-2016
Johnathan Andrew Buonauro
Manteca Aquatics founding swimmer, Ellis Aquatics 2015-2016
College: Modesto Junior College. Nursing Program
"The day you stop pushing is the day you gave up on being the best. My speech to you is if you ever give up you will never be where you want to be. Stop being negative and just do it."
2 years with Ellis Aquatics
College: MJC - Fire Science
Swimming is a sport where you have to love it in order to go far in it. I know at times it can feel like "do I REALLY want to do this to myself???, I MEAN COME ON 400 IMs SUCK!!"
I know how you guys feel when Pat or Clay yell at us and say "start the set over!!" We think they do it to be mean, but they do because they want us to swim a certain way or to fix our work ethic or ya they do just to be mean. The best advice i can give is, If you are having problems getting faster or a certain swimming technique, don't get mad at the coaches for being bad or not helping you more or yourself because you're not good or you hit your "peak" in your swimming career (unless you don't go to practice then the coaches can say "Maybe if went to practice you get the time you wanted.").
Everybody that is considered a success didn't just get "the Success Ball" thrown at them, they hit points in their life where they are not going where they want to go. All you have to do is keep trying and let the people around help in what you want to achieve your goals both in swimming and in your life, because believe you me you will need it.
And lastly a little story about success for those who want to the best of the best. A man seeks to learn the ways to success. He hears of a man that teaches people ways of success. He finds him and asks "What do i need to do to a success in life." The Master says "Put on your swimsuit and meet me by the lake in 20 minutes." So the man does so and is waiting by the lake for an hour.
Once The Master shows the man starts yell at him about being late and all The Master says " True success doesn't happen overnight. You must learn to wait or you make a decisions that will make your trip longer." The man apologies and says he won't question him again. The Master says let's walk in to about waist deep and so they do. They stand there for a while then like lighting, The Master forces the man's head underwater. The man fights to get air, trying to get away from The Master.
After what felt like 30 minutes to the man The Master lets him come up. The man asked him what was the lesson in that. The Master said "If you want succeed as badly as you want to breathe then there is nothing in this world that will stop you."
The lesson in this story is waiting is not a bad thing for your dreams and you have put 200% into what you do in order to live a life you want to live.
Swimming with Ellis Aquatics for 5 years.
College: Oregon State University. Major - Animal Science
"To all the coaches,Thank you for doing what you do, without you I wouldn't be as successful as I am in this sport . You train us to work hard, and have taught me that having straight talent isn't going to get you through this sport. You have to have heart and you have to be completely dedicated, even if that means getting up at 5:30 in the morning to drive to a swim meet or enduring practices six days a week. Candy, thank you for being an amazing teacher and mentor to me, and thank you for always believing in me, even when I don't believe in my swimming. Clay, thank you for handling all my break downs at meets and keeping me calm and thank you for being an amazing coach because I am grateful for everything you have taught me. Julie, thank you for keeping me sane and keeping me company on deck, and thank you for being a great high school coach. Pat, thank you for telling me just to have fun with this sport because it has made me a happier and better swimmer and I am very grateful to have you as my coach. Erin, thank you for being my first swim coach and for telling me that I would definitely be a breaststroker. You all have an important impact on my swim abilities and I thank you so much for everything you have taught me.
To all the parents,
Thank you for being crazy swim parents and for putting up with us as your kids. I know how difficult we can be, so it means a lot that you don't give up on us. I know that we throw tantrums, argue, and get mad at you for what sometimes seems like no reason. I know we cry and throw our goggles and caps and make a huge scene, but you still put up with us, and love us. And no matter how poorly we do, you still love us and want us to succeed. To my parents, thank you for teaching me that I can do anything I put my mind to, thank you for being the loudest swim parents I have ever met, and thank you for always believing in me.
To the younger and age group swimmers,
The best advice I can give you is to love this sport, it sucks half the time, but love it still. Another bit of advice I can give you is that you need to work hard. No matter how naturally gifted you are at this sport, one day you will hit a wall and will have to work hard or even harder. Trust me, hitting that wall sucks and it's going to test how you feel about this sport. You will want to quit, you will probably cry, and you will definitely have some break downs here and there. Your times may plateau and you may even add. This is the thing you need to remember, you will get through it. One of my favorite quotes is, "You can't cross the sea by merely standing and staring at the water." This is the same with swimming, you cant just show up at practice, not work hard, and expect grand and elaborate results, you have to work for what you want. So swim fast, work hard, and keep doing your best.
To the senior group swimmers/ my teammates,
I don't really know where to start or how to end this, but I'm going to attempt to do both. We all know what it takes to be a good swimmer, work hard, so I'm not going to give the same speech as the younger kids because you should know it. What I will do, is tell you the most important things I've learned over the past five years on this team. Number one, never give up. I know that seems like a clique quote, and don't get me wrong it is, but it's also very important to remember. Once you give up on yourself in this sport, it is a long road and not a very happy one. Number two, trust your coaches and your training, if you're working hard then you can do anything. And, yes the coaches can seem like butts sometimes, but they do care about you and your swimming. Number three, do this sport because you love it, not because you're forced to be here. This may sound harsh, but if you don't like swimming, as in you hate it and you want to see this sport crash and burn, then quit. It's not fair to your teammates or your coaches if you hate doing this sport, and it's definitely not fair to you. The only reason I've been swimming for the last seven years is because I love this sport, I really do, not matter how much I say I hate it. Swimming makes me happy and fills me with joy and confidence.
Side note, I will never forget the time I had a break down in front of Clay and asked him if I should quit and he flat out said, "Why do you swim?" As I stood there mildly sobbing in the middle of a practice, I said, "Because I love it." That is when you truly know you've found your sport. When your standing and sobbing next to your coach and you don't know if you should quit, when it dawns upon you that you love it and can't picture yourself being happy anywhere else.
Number four, have fun. I know this is a competitive and intense sport but don't forget to have fun, and you will regret if you don't enjoy this sport. Number five, believe in yourself, once you start doing that everything becomes clearer and easier to understand. Number six, have swim etiquette, thank you competition and your timers, it's a polite thing to do. Number seven, don't put so much pressure on yourself because if you do, the pressure will start to consume you and you will mess up very badly.
Example, my first year at the Husky Invitational, pretty much bombed all my races but one and cried for two hours straight. Don't do that.
Remember that sometimes you have to climb the mountain to see the view from the top. It's going to be rocky, and tough, and it's going to suck, but when you get to the top it's so worth it. And yes, you will have to go back down the mountain and start all over again, but that's kind of the point.
Thank you all for being wonderful teammates, we are a big weird family. Thank you for keeping me smiling and for cheering me on. I hope you all know that I believe in every single one of you. I love all of you (awwww) and I will miss you while I'm away at college. Please believe in yourselves because I know one day you will all be even more amazing than you already are. Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you will be doing the impossible.
And lastly wherever you go, go with all your heart.
So goodbye swim family, I'm headed to the beaver nation."