SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Jeffrey Silverberg
Shahar Syed: Hi and welcome to our weekly spotlight podcast where we take time to feature a different athlete on campus. My name is Shahar Syed and I’m glad you can join us. Today we’ll be getting to know Jeffrey Silverberg, who’s one of the captains of the boys varsity water polo team. Hey Jeff, thanks for coming today.
Jeffrey Silverberg: Thank you for letting me come.
Shahar Syed: How long have you been playing water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Freshman year.
Shahar Syed: What got you into water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: My brother was in it and I watched him play a few times, and I thought it was really cool, so I joined.
Shahar Syed: What was going through your head when you first decided to try out?
Jeffrey Silverberg: I thought it was a really cool sport, I was really scared because there were a bunch of bigger guys there. I knew my brother was still a senior when I was a freshman, so I was like, “Oh he’s right there he’s encouraging me too”, but it was really fun.
Shahar Syed: Was that the first time you played water polo, at the tryouts?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Yes.
Shahar Syed: Was that the first time you wore a speedo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Yes, I had a bad tan.
Shahar Syed: How was that experience?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Well there were others, but mine was pretty bad.
Shahar Syed: You play for a club outside of school right?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Yeah.
Shahar Syed: What club?
Jeffrey Silverberg: CHAWP: Chino Hills Area Water Polo.
Shahar Syed: How long have you been playing there for?
Jeffrey Silverberg: I started right after season, freshman year.
Shahar Syed: What are the differences between club and high school water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Club water polo is actually a lot more. It’s probably harder, but it’s really good because you learn a lot more. They really try working on individuals there because they’re trying to get you better for high school. But then again when you’re there you play together more as a team.
Shahar Syed: Why’s that?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Because everyone there is knowledgeable of the sport, everyone knows what they are doing, and you know you can trust everyone so everyone’s playing together and everyone’s really cool.
Shahar Syed: What position do you play for water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: For high school I kind of play utility, I do pretty much what coach tells me to do, or whatever I can to help the team.
Shahar Syed: Can you go into specifics about what utility does during a game?
Jeffrey Silverberg: They try doing anything to help the team, so if I see someone struggling at a certain position, I try going over and fix it myself, do it better.
Shahar Syed: So you help maintain the flow of the team?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Yeah.
Shahar Syed: How important is team chemistry in water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Chemistry is pretty important like I said about club earlier, if the team works together and you can trust everyone, like I said it flows well and all that stuff.
Shahar Syed: Do you think Walnut High School’s varsity water polo team has good chemistry?
Jeffrey Silverberg: We have decent chemistry because most of the people on the team are seniors, so we’ve been playing with each other for awhile, and we know how each other plays so we can react together.
Shahar Syed: How do you guys improve on your chemistry?
Jeffrey Silverberg: We try to help each other on our flaws and stuff that we aren’t good on, so our chemistry can get better, so say, “Oh I know this person is not good at shooting”, we’ll help them with their shooting so we can give them the ball to shoot or pass next time.
Shahar Syed: What does it mean to be part of a team?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Just being someone that can help the team, you know. You’re there to make the team great, and also to have a good time too. I joined sports to have fun and to excel.
Shahar Syed: How much do you care about winning?
Jeffrey Silverberg: I care about winning of course, winning is a lot more fun than losing, but if I’m in a great game with another team and we lose, but if we played our best and they played their best I’m not that upset. I believe it gives us reason to work on stuff.
Shahar Syed: What’s the best time you’ve ever had with a loss?
Jeffrey Silverberg: I wouldn’t say the best game because I don’t remember every game I’ve played, but last year at semi finals for CIF we lost by four points but we weren’t too upset about it because we played weak in the first quarter but in the second third and fourth we played hard and they played hard and we came out and thought they were better than us. We could’ve came to beat them but that day they were better than us and they tried their best.
Shahar Syed: What’s the most important to a team for water polo?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Definitely the mentality, because you can be an amazing player, but have a terrible mentality, and go out to the game unprepared and just play not as good as your supposed to.
Shahar Syed: As one of the more senior members how do you make sure everyone’s mentality is where it should be?
Jeffrey Silverberg: Being one of the captains, if I see someone mess up, I usually do get pretty negative, but then I tell them how to fix it and usually I give reinforcement like positive reinforcement, ”you can do this so you can do that.”
Shahar Syed: Before a big game take me into your shoes — what’s going on in your head?
Jeffrey Silverberg: I’d say before a big game I’m like you guys want to stretch, I try to make sure that we’re doing everything the right way, that we’re not messing around too much so we’re mentally prepared like I said mentality is really important, and I have to make sure I don’t break down because being one of the top ones, I need to make sure they can see me and go, “Oh Jeffrey’s ready I need to be ready”, or Scott — one of our other captains, Scott’s always ready — so they say, “Oh I can’t let down Scott.”
Shahar Syed: That’s all the questions I have for you. Thanks Jeff!