Q&A with Scot Robison
Junior Scot Robison and the men’s swimming and diving team is coming off its third straight ACC title and its 11th in the past 12 years. Robison helped the Cavaliers to the team championship with individual wins in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, in addition to four winning relay teams. For his efforts, Robison was named the Most Valuable Swimmer of the Meet. The Cavaliers are back in action at the NCAA Championships March 25-27 in Columbus, Ohio. Robison, a native of Charlotte, N.C., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the conference meet, how he has changed since stepping on Grounds as a first year and what he does every summer during his time off from training.
Question: How would you sum up the ACC meet?
Robison: The ACC meet this year was awesome for us because we really had to step up and do something we hadn’t done in the past two years, which was race North Carolina in their home pool when they were on fire and swimming very well. It was a challenge and I am proud of the way we stepped up.
Question: For you being able to come away with three individual wins and being on four winning relays, what does that say about how hard you have worked this season?
Robison: It’s awesome. I think it speaks a lot for the work the whole team did. My teammates push me every day in practice and that has a lot to do with it. I am really happy with how I did and it gives me a lot of confidence going into NCAAs.
Question: What are you guys trying to get done at NCAAs?
Robison: We don’t want to stay still or regress, we always want to progress. We want to get into the top eight. We hopefully will send a good group of guys, we still don’t know how many we’ll get. The overall goal is the best UVa finish ever.
Question: How do you think you have improved since the first time you stepped on Grounds 2 ½ years ago?
Robison: A lot has changed. I have learned a lot. I’ve matured a lot, just from being in some key pressure situations in the sport. I’ve also gotten a lot stronger and have been able to get tougher mentally. Being a student-athlete, it forces you to grow a lot in four years.
Question: How do you handle those pressure situations, especially swimming anchor on relays and stuff like that?
Robison: Different ways. Past experience really helps. This last 400 medley relay, I knew when I got up (on the block) I was going to be behind. But I had done the same thing the year before. I swam a great 100 freestyler from Florida State the year before and I was able to come back and win. So that experience really helps, just knowing that I have done everything I can to put myself in that situation. I have to just get out there and let it happen.
Question: Was the ACC win extra special because you are from North Carolina and also, because you were able to beat your biggest rival (UNC) in their home pool?
Robison: I would say more so because they are a rival and they have us such a good meet. It felt like any other meet to me, though sometimes it makes a difference – maybe if I was at home in Charlotte. It terms of that I didn’t have much of a difference experience.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Robison: I really enjoy the outdoors so I like to go backpacking and hiking. That is my No. 1 favorite thing to do. I usually try to plan a trip every summer to go for a week. Last summer I went to Yosemite and two summers before that I got to go to Alaska. All year long I dream in my head about where I want to go each summer during my two weeks off.
Question: How did you get started swimming?
Robison: I stared pretty late, kind of. I swam in a time trial in the summer when I was eight. I just dove in and was first from the start. So my mom and dad asked me if I wanted to swim. I swam that summer and then signed-up for year-round swimming after that. When I was 11 and 12 I quit to play some other sports, but aside from that little blip, I have been swimming pretty much since then.
Question: What do you love about it?
Robison: It is really important to me to have something I can be successful in and push myself to be better. I really like racing and competing. I need to have that something in my life where I am trying to be better than other people.
Question: What do you want to accomplish in the next five years or so?
Robison: I think I’ll be done swimming in 2015, but it will always be a big part of my life because it has helped me so much and I have had a lot of success in it. I am really excited in the next two or three years just to get the most out of my swimming career.