Tony has been playing water polo for over 25 years. At age eight, he knew that water polo was his passion, and pursued two main goals: becoming the best water polo player in the world and winning a gold medal. He has since competed in four Olympic Games, winning the Silver in 2008.
The Games in Rio will be his last. Tony is now determined to pass down his water polo knowledge to young athletes. He has already held numerous water polo clinics across the USA and abroad. This has allowed him to develop a comprehensive water polo training program that is different from any other water polo camp.
Tony knows from experience that the early teens are the most formative years for prospective athletes, in regards to both sports and education. At age 14, Tony was determined to make the US National Team. People told him that he was crazy, or that he was too young. But he didn’t listen. He buckled down and researched every part of the process – from physical maintenance to nutrition and mental preparation. He woke up at five every morning to do special trainings before school, and stayed in the pool late into the evening. It worked – he achieved his goal and played with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics.
At the same time, Tony knew that attending a good college would play an integral part in his success. He forced himself to consider school and water polo as equals. He made a concerted effort to communicate with his teachers in order to stay at the top of his class.
Tony was admitted to Stanford University, where he majored in International Relations and led the water polo team to two NCAA Championships. He became the leading scorer in Stanford’s history and won the Pete Cutino award (Heismann Trophy of water polo) for four consecutive years.
He went on to play professionally abroad in Italy, and has continued to play overseas for the last eleven years in Croatia, Montenegro and Brazil. Apart from learning new techniques and building his water polo career in each location, Tony also assimilated into each culture by learning the local language.
Now that his professional playing career is drawing to a close, he is excited to launch his Water Polo Academy – a school of the sport that is more than just a clinic. The Academy is a comprehensive experience that includes sessions on physical therapy, nutrition, and mental preparation exercises. It also includes talks on preparing and applying for college, and tips for doing well in school.
One of Tony’s main goals outside of the pool has been to grow and develop water polo in the United States. He plans to bring the best aspects of his experiences abroad back home, and to implement new programs that give young athletes access to fulfilling professional careers. This will include establishing a professional league, a youth Aquatic Games, and an international training program.