Patriot College Athlete: Tyler Zawatski
Tyler Zawatski is a senior at Freehold Township High School. He has been recruited by the University of Virginia to continue his academic and athletic career as a Division 1 athlete on their Track and Field team throwing javelin. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tyler and asking him some questions!
What are you most looking forward to as a college athlete?
– Getting to know all the other athletes and getting to know everybody else. I already know some people on the team but when I was on my official visit there everyone was so nice and it felt like a family. I love the coach so getting to know him more he’s really cool, he has a lot of stories to tell because he is from Croatia so he’s an interesting guy.
Why did you feel that the University of Virginia was the best fit for you as a student-athlete?
– The resources there are incredible, and for track and field it doesn’t get much better than University of Virginia, unless you’re going to say Oregon resource wise and coaching knowledge but I’d still say University of Virginia is better coaching wise and that is one of the things that I really looked for. They have a head coach who pretty much produces national championships team wise at least. Their throws coach is incredible and he really knows javelin inside and out, he can really teach me a lot.
What advice do you have for those looking to play college sports?
– Practice a lot. I started out over quarantine throwing javelin. I just went out everyday and practiced. I did a lot of research, I watched almost every single video of javelin on YouTube and there are thousands of videos. So just do a lot of research and a lot of practicing. Also, get to know a lot of people in the community too. I Dmed on Instagram a lot of the big throwers and NCAA wise, a lot of them answered me back and gave me some really good advice.
What is the most challenging part of the college recruiting process?
– The most challenging part was talking to coaches. You really have to get to know the coach and build a relationship with them but with a lot of coaches I felt like it was forced. It’s like a business almost because once you don’t give the coaches what they want they are done with you and they drop you. It’s like you were my best friend last week and now you hate me. All of the coaches were amazing to me but some of the relationships felt forced. You gotta be really good at talking to coaches and talking to people in general.
What is your daily routine in terms of pushing yourself and getting back at the sport you play?
– Right now it is winter time so I wake up at 4:20 am and I swim for an hour, and then I come home, I shower, go to school, and then I get back home. Then I go back to the school, I practice for an hour and a half to two hours, then I come home and do my lift, then I go to sleep around 8:30 – 9:00.
How have you kept your love for the sport up after doing it for so many years?
– I haven’t been doing this for so many years so that is part of why I think I still love it but honestly my friends. On the track team here I have a lot of amazing friends, and my two best friends Steve Lundberg and Dan Valentino. They’re on the track team and they both encourage me so much and they help me through everything. I also have really good coaching and my family, my dad and my mom, they both push me so much to be better. I still love it because I have my family and friends with me.