The game(s) within the game

Allegra Iacovino participates in distance events for the Women’s Swimming and Diving team.

Andrew Hart, Herald Reporter

Fans of the sitcom “The Office”will always remember when Michael Scott said, “time to carbo load,” as he devoured fettuccini Alfredo before the beginning of the 5K Fun Run. It’s hard to forget what happened next, as Scott barely crossed the finish line and proceeded to get sick in front of his employees.


This raises the question: what do athletes on campus do to prepare themselves before competition, whether it be what they eat or steps they take for mental preparation?

“My meet meal prep starts the night before a meet,” said junior Allegra Iacovino, a distance swimmer on the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team. 

“I have to eat pasta with some kind of protein, usually meatballs, or if I’m at Commons I will cut up some hamburger meat and mix it in with the pasta. I think of this as a good carbo load meal for me… you will always see me eating it the night before I race,” Iacovino said. 

The morning of a swim meet, Iacovino lifts and eats breakfast with her teammates. Doing this helps prepare her for the day as the team hypes one another up while they talk.

“My breakfast meal always has to consist of the same thing every meet morning, which is: a bagel with peanut butter for some added protein, usually hard boiled eggs, a bowl of yogurt and some fruit. I feel like getting in protein before you swim is super important,” she said. 

One of Iacovino’s events is the 1650 yard freestyle, which requires her to swim 66 straight laps. With such a grueling race, Iacovino points to the important steps she takes to prepare herself mentally. 

“It’s all about getting myself hyped up and staying out of my head,” Iacovino said. 


“You will always see me walking around on the pool deck with my headphones in, screaming to whatever rap music is playing. It can be anything from Ski Mask the Slump God to Lil Uzi Vert. I just need an aggressive, upbeat song to get my blood pumping and ready to get out in the pool to dominate.”

The energy the team brings on the deck during her event is also important to her performance. 


“While I swim, I can see my teammates and coaches cheering, yelling and jumping around on the side of the pool deck… it just motivates me to swim the fastest I can,” Iacovino said. 

The same type of preparation exists on the baseball field.


“The night before is the most important time frame for calories. The night before the day of a game, my meal will consist of high protein and high carbs with little to no fat,” said senior Craig Demers, a closer on the baseball team.

“I do not need the same stamina as a starting pitcher who is throwing multiple innings. I need quick and explosive energy, as every pitch I throw is with 100%,” Demers said.  

Given the fact that a closer may or may not pitch on a game day, Demers stressed the importance of being ready for any situation that arises. 

“I just try to keep it loose. If I am too locked in all day and there isn’t a save situation, than what’s the point?” Demers said. “When it comes to the seventh or eighth inning and it is a close game, I will begin to flip that focus switch into what I need to do if the ninth is mine.”