Hi, my name is Hannah Heinrich, and I am a rising senior at Bridgeland High School. For as long as I can remember, my father has been an inspiration and role model to me. Whether it be from athletics to academics, his journey to become a professional athlete showed me that if you embody hard work and dedication, you can overcome whatever obstacles that are in your way. As a result, ever since I started playing sports, I knew that I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a collegiate athlete.
For years, I tried to find the sport that I was truly in love with; I played softball and then swam for several years, but then in high school I was introduced to water polo by the seniors on the swim team and instantly fell in love. It was everything I wanted to experience in a sport; team based, fast gameplay, always changing, challenging, and competitive. I knew that after playing in my high school season, I wanted to play this glorious sport in college. From there, I dedicated everything I had to water polo even though I started playing later than most, and my chances were slim. I followed the example my father set and practiced every day in and out of the water to build up strength; I took advantage of every coach I was with to gain knowledge of the game, and I kept on pushing forward when I failed. My hard work led to amazing results, I made a ODP team when I was playing for less than six months, started on my JOs team, and was recognized as an All-State athlete in a span of a year. Additionally, I’ve even chosen to move to California over the summer, so that I can challenge myself by training alongside some of the best players in the nation under former Olympic coaches at the 6-8 Academy.
Just like my dad, I’ve chosen to be an embodiment of hard work and dedication, and you can count on me to bring that attitude to whatever challenges playing collegiate water polo brings.