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Making a Splash

January 18, 2012

Name: John Leistner III
College/University: University of the Cumberlands (Ky.)
Year: Senior
Major: History
Sport: Swimming

1. What is one thing you didn't know as a freshman coming into college that you wish someone would have told you?
I wish someone would have told me to not get too stressed with the little things and that I'd make good friends that would (and did) help me when I needed it most.

2. What do you like most about competing in college sports?
I really enjoy meeting all the different people from all over the nation.

3. What do you like in your teammates? 
I like teammates who can help push me that extra mile day in and day out.

4. What do you like most about your college team?
I just like how well we get along and help each other out either in the pool or in classes.

5. Do you have a mentor? If so, who and what is the best piece of advice he/she has ever given you?
My mentor is Eric Wake, the chair of the history department. The best advice he has given to me was to stop procrastinating. It's helped not only in school but in practice, relationships with others and life.

6. What is a unique strength you bring to your team?
I think my unique strength is that I'm a friendly and charismatic person and I can get along with everyone and help the team pull together when we really need it most.

7. What is one thing you do in practice that helps you reach your goals?
I make sure I'm always prepared for practice, by stretching and getting focused, so I can give my best effort in each practice.

8. How do you get focused / pumped up before a big meet?
The first thing I like to do is get the entire team together for a cheer before our swim meet starts and getting the team fired up. It gets me pumped to see everyone else so excited.

9. What are your plans after graduation? Do you feel that being a student-athlete has helped guide you in that direction?
I am currently applying to graduate schools in history and political science. After that I plan to attend law school. Being a student-athlete has helped because it has made me organized, punctual and responsible for my classes.

10. What has been the greatest moment in your college sports career?
My greatest moment in college swimming was getting my first national cut freshman year. It was exciting after swimming 1650 yards to know I'd be traveling with the rest of the team to St. Louis, Mo. for our national meet.

11. Talk a little about your character. What skill sets have you learned by competing in college sports?
I've learned that there may be people faster than me and that there are people slower than me, but I know we've all trained hard and we should all respect each other in and out of the pool. And it is not limited to my teammates, but also my competition.

12. How will that help you later in your future career or in a leadership role?
I'll know, as a lawyer (or whatever I end up doing), that I need to respect the people I work with, the people I work for, and the people that work for me, because we are all striving for the same goal and it's easier to achieve if we are working in the same direction.