A two-year captain on St. Charles East’s water polo team, Aimee Eisenstein is a coachable athlete committed to the success of her team. The senior will attend Northwestern University in the fall.
Head coach Stephanie McClure says that Eisenstein is a strong threat on the outside and will make an impact in sectionals, calling her the “unsung hero in and out of the water; she is always willing to help her teammates. No college has ever been this lucky to inherit such an amazing student and athlete.”
Name: Aimee Eisenstein
Age/year in school: 18/Senior
Hometown: St. Charles
Sport: Water polo
How long have you played water polo?
This is my third year. I started as a sophomore in high school.
What do you love most about water polo?
I love that I am able to express myself through water polo in a way that no other facet of my life allows me to. Coach McClure always tells us that she loves that we’re very nice girls outside of the water, but that she wants us to become aggressive in the water. I love that I am a completely different person in the water than out: outside of water polo I’m sweet and bubbly, but water polo allows me to be competitive, dynamic, and driven to win. This gives the team sport a new, individual component that makes it so fun to play.
What are your goals for this season? How will you achieve them?
To improve the Saints’ capabilities of playing together as a team. After having played summer and winter water polo, we were in a good position to do so. I wanted us to know each other better as players, and be able to translate that into a game setting. I think we have accomplished this goal, and it has been represented through the general increase in the speed of our game, and our improved record from last year. We look infinitely better than last season, and I am proud of our girls and excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
Making my last weeks as a Saints polo player count. I want to go out of this season with a win, advancing far into sectionals and turning heads in the water polo world. I look forward to cherishing the time I have left with my team.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
Most of the girls on the varsity team stay in their regular clothes for the junior varsity game and cheer from the stands, and then dress in the locker room at about third quarter of the JV game. One of my rituals is to dress before the JV game, and sit on the bench taking stats for the JV team. It helps get me in the mindset of playing, and I also learn a lot from Coach McClure’s constructive criticism of their game, which helps how I play on varsity immediately after.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
Coach McClure has been a huge inspiration to me in the pool and out. She’s among the few coaches I’ve had that I feel truly believes in me. Her legacy in the water polo world is also a great inspiration, having come from a state-winning high school water polo team and playing at the national level. I’m so thankful to have a role model in my life that cares about my team so much.
If you didn’t play water polo, what would you be doing?
Much to my piano teacher’s dismay, I had to give up playing piano because of the frequency of water polo games and practices. I do not regret the decision; however, if I weren’t playing water polo, I probably would be pursuing my piano playing at a more competitive level.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
I enjoy watching the Blackhawks, representing the best of Chicago teams! Jonathan Toews is probably a favorite athlete of mine because of his commitment, dedication, and captain role. He’s an admirable, classy athlete, and I know how hard holding a captain position can be, so I always respect that.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside water polo?
Swimming in high school, playing the piano, and volunteering at Anderson Animal Shelter [in Elgin].
Favorite quote or words to live by:
“Don’t do anything you aren’t passionate about.”
I try to focus on pursuing my passions as frequently and fervently as possible, and not give into pressures to do things that I am not passionate about. Water polo is one of my passions in which I hope to participate in college, and have enjoyed to its fullest in high school.
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