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My Focus: Maggie Steffens

Oct. 13, 2015, 12:05 p.m. (ET)

"My Focus" is a weekly photo series in which TeamUSA.org (and @TeamUSA on Instagram) takes fans behind the scenes with some of the top Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. Fans can get a glimpse into a day in the life of an athlete and see the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that is required on a daily basis to represent Team USA. In the sixth installment, follow Olympic champion water polo player Maggie Steffens as she trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1) An Early Start
“I remember having tons of water polo balls just laying around in our house," said USA Water Polo's Maggie Steffens. "My dad used to play keep away with us for hours. Little did I know he was teaching us the fundamentals of water polo.”

2) Consistency Is Key
“Repetition and focus is key in our sport," said Steffens. "We do about 30 minutes of passing to better our accuracy, legs and wrist. We also do a lot of shooting drills to make sure we can score while tired during a game.”

3) She Shoots, She Scores
“Winning an Olympic gold medal was surreal. The purest happy I could imagine... I finally understood the cliche, 'dreams really do come true.'”

4) Grind Mode
“Our swim practices average about 2,400 yards/swim set. A lot of it is endurance-based, but we do a lot of sprint sets with little rest.”

5) Making The Climb
Steffens prepares to hike the Manitou Incline as part of her training regimen, climbing 2,000 vertical feet in just a mile of trail. “The Olympic Games become a part of you and become your every breath.”

6) How Sweet It Is
"When you are in your biggest moment and the pressure is on, you want to have already been there; so dream big and dream often!”

7) Taking A Break
“Training in Colorado Springs is always so inspirational," said Steffens. "You are surrounded by so many driven athletes who are incredibly gifted and are constantly motivated by the red, white and blue around each facility.”

8) Competitive Edge
“The best part of practice is actually getting up and down the pool in the most competitive environment - scrimmaging your teammates.”

9) Jumping Right In
“I started playing when I was 8, and at the time, there was only an 18-under co-ed team," said Steffens. "So our coach, Maureen O'Toole, would throw us in, even just for a couple plays, and see what we could do!”

10) Sisterhood
“This team is my second family. They are what all the sacrifices are for, they make it all worth it. I am surrounded by the most hardworking, tough and inspiring females I know.”

11) Team USA Pride
“The Olympic Games are about the journey. The dream. The teamwork. The camaraderie. The sacrifice. The opportunity.”

Related Athletes

head shot

Maggie Steffens

Water Polo