New to Andover Girls Water Polo as a Post-Graduate, Giulia Paletti ’16 has had an impressive start, scoring 11 goals since the beginning of the season. Tallying 7 goals in just one game, Paletti has proved to be a dominant presence in the pool for Andover. Hailing from Italy, Paletti’s experience and passion for the game have helped her gel quickly with a new team.
Co-Captain Sasha Newton ’16 said, “Giulia is a leader on the team and encourages her teammates to play with the same intensity she has. She is a strong offensive player and consistently scores in games. Giulia helps her teammates with developing their water polo expertise by offering tips to players who haven’t played for as long.”
Where did you play before coming to Andover?
I played for seven years for my city club team, Aquatica Torino, in Italy, which is a strong and competitive country in water polo. I have changed five different coaches over my athletic career, but I owe my passion for water polo and my skills to my former Croatian coach Vido Bogdan.
How is the game different in the United States?
In terms of techniques, one of the differences I noticed coming to Andover is that the games we play in Italy are slightly more physical which makes every minute very intense. I really enjoy playing in the United States though, and here I am able to put into practice the skills I learned back home as well as those I am currently learning.
How do you keep your cool in high-pressure situations?
Music makes me be focused before games and helps me handle pressure. It may sound crazy but I only listen to the same three songs every time before warming up (“Bangarang” is one of them), because I need the kind of music that makes me start feeling the fast rhythm of a game. When I feel pressure, I also remind myself that my real goal is to have fun during the game.
What is your favorite part about water polo?
What I love about water polo is that the tension is always very high and I personally like scoring in counterattack, when explosiveness is very important and adrenaline gets very high. I also like water polo so much because it is a team sport and if you fall down your teammates are there to help you get up.
What do you do to keep your skills to their full potentials?
I always try to attend the free swim hours because I find that those times are a good opportunity to practice skills and keep my endurance up. I also try to watch my alimentation during the season and to get a good amount of sleep before games.
How do you train back home?
Back home, I practice from September to June, and compete in the Italian Interregional Championship since the March 7, 2010, date of my first game with the first team. I put a lot of time and effort into all the aspects of my sport and I really try to push all the team to do the same.
What is your trick for success in the pool?
I usually play flat because I am a good shooter from the distance and during every man up offence, me and Sasha Newton ’16 stay on the 5 meters line because we have a strong shot from the distance and we make the ball go around with safe passes and coordinate the other players. I also really like counterattacking and leaving my opponent behind, receiving the ball with a long pass from one of the goalies, Emma or Anna, or from the field players, and shooting when I arrive as close as possible to the other goal, with just the other team’s goalie in front of me.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the season?
I hope we will all be strong and in perfect shape for the next games and that we will make it to the Nepsac Championship. Also, my personal goal is to improve on my explosiveness and awareness in the water, two things on which our coach Dan O’Shea is putting a lot of emphasis.