An Olympian’s Advice to Strake Jesuit Athletes

Andrew Carrere ‘19

Former Olympian Water Polo player Genai Kerr played with the United States Men’s National Water Polo team for 12 years, competed in multiple world championships, and was named MVP of the 2012 US Open. He recently visited Strake Jesuit for a two-day clinic. Here’s what he had to say about what it takes to be a great athlete.

“An important thing for you to remember, as a student athlete, is to not only follow your coach’s direction, but also figure out what you need to work on your own,” he said. He emphasized the importance of a personalized workout regimen and effort to become a better athlete.

To give this advice more perspective, Genai used an analogy, saying, “In school, you’ll have a teacher running a lesson plan and things like that, but people learn in different styles. You might need to watch a video, you might need to take more notes, you might need to create a study group, whatever it might be.” Relating athletic success to academic success, Genai asserted that personalized training is important for superior results in either field.

In addition to advocating for individual effort and personalization of workouts, Genai Kerr attested that the most important thing in athletics is making specific, periodic goals and following through with them. “My advice for you guys as student athletes,” he explained, “is to make a plan and stick with it—not by making things happen magically overnight, but by making decisions every single day to help you get that much closer to your goals and dreams.”

Acknowledging the overall importance of athletic consistency, perseverance, and proficiency, Genai stressed that the most important thing is motivation—what ultimately made him a world-class athlete and Olympian.

“I think that at this school and in these teams,” he said, “you guys are all around super- motivated people, and there’s no reason you can’t achieve anything you want to do.”