AquaMobile’s Athlete Spotlight: Nikolina Mihajlovik
Name: Nikolina Mihajlovik
School: Hartwick College, Nursing
Sport: Women’s Water Polo – Ranked 15th of Division 1 NCAA League
Motto: “If it was easy, anyone could do it”
Welcome to AquaMobile’s Athlete Spotlight! We got a chance to interview Nikolina, a young water polo player and nursing student at Hartwick College in New York. Currently, she represents the Hartwick Hawks as a center on the women’s Water Polo team. Mihajlovik received the title of leading goal scorer in 2015 and ranked 3rd on the team with 82 points in 2016. Read on to learn more about how swimming inspires her to succeed at everything she does!
What Are Some of Your First Memories When it Comes to Swimming?
Some earliest memories of swimming are when I was young. I remember going for a swim in the apartment building we used to live in. One year my grandparents came to visit us in Canada. I would make my grandpa take me swimming every day after school. Those days were my favourite and made me happy. I have always loved swimming and it became a big part of my life. It helped me cope with moving to a different country when I was so young.
Joining a Team
Joining a water polo team introduced me to new friends and opened a new world for me. The team helped give me a purpose. It has taught me to love the highs and lows of life and has given me the confidence to push through anything that comes my way.
Swimming & Water Polo: A Pool of Opportunities
Playing water polo competitively allows me to see the world and other cultures through travelling with my team. I am studying at Hartwick College on an athletic scholarship. I get the benefit of competing in a highly competitive sport and getting an education at the same time. Dealing with school and sport can be overwhelming. However, when one loves two things equally, they make time to do both and be successful.
How Do You Balance School & Competitive Sports?
I give equal time to both because I’m not just a nursing student, but a student of the game. When I’m on the pool deck, I focus on water polo and nothing else matters. When in class, I focus on that class only. The skills and drive from both parts of my life work together to help me be as successful as I can be. It can be overwhelming at times, but I wouldn’t change anything.
What Has Being On A Competitive Sports Team Taught You?
I have had an amazing time experiencing the world through water polo, but not everything is all good. There are difficult times and times where you feel you have given your all, but it’s just too hard. During these times, being part of a team has kept me pushing through. I have become stronger and more confident in my ability to succeed as a result. Pushing through those times helped me learn that even though it’s rough, it’s worth it. Tough times build character and help develop an individual as a person. This mentality is how I approach everything I face now.
If You Could Give Advice to Young Water Polo Athletes What Would It Be?
My advice for other water polo players is to keep going. There is a rainbow at the end. Water polo will drag you through the mud. You will feel thankful looking back on the experiences, friends and memories acquired through your time as a water polo player. Plus it’s cool to say that you have played the world’s toughest sport!
If You Could Give Advice To Young Swimmers That Want To Play Water Polo What Would It Be?
The transition from swimming to water polo is not that difficult or different. Major differences are in swimming head up front crawling a lot and focussing on treading water a strong eggbeater kick. Water polo is also a very high contact sport. You’re going to have to get used to being tackled in the water as opposed to playing wall tag.