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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022 2 months ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Nathan Frette

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Frette participated recently in a diving competition at the Rosen Aquatic Center, which he won for the Vipers with a score of 257.15 points.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Lake Buena Vista High School sophomore and only diver Nathan Frette participated recently in a diving competition at the Rosen Aquatic Center. He won for the Vipers with a score of 257.15 points. Frette moved one year ago to Orlando from The Woodlands, Texas. 

Tell us about your years as an athlete. 
I tried football, taekwondo, swimming and gymnastics, and finally I tried diving. That’s the thing I like to do most because of how scary it (is). I don’t know why I like the fear. So I’ve been doing diving for about 10 years since I was 6. 

How did you get into diving? 
Basically, I did all these sports, (but) those sports didn’t work out well for me. So, my grandpa was a diver. I didn’t really know my grandpa, but I’ve heard he was cool and a diver. 

What’s your favorite thing about diving as a sport? 
When you are at a competition and you are preparing yourself, it’s super nerve-wracking. Because you think of all the things that can go wrong. I like the fear, and then when you actually do that dive, it’s almost released like within a second. 

How long do you practice? 
Every day, 15 hours a week, three hours a day.

What do you do in practice? 
Every practice is different. We usually have set things we do during practices. … We do certain dives every day, and we repeat that for months. 

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the Vipers swim team? 
Definitely the team — they are so fun to hang out with. I always try to have fun with them, even though I am the only diver, I still fit in well, and it’s really fun. … Doing flips (with them) and teaching them how to flip, and they teach me how to swim. 

What’s your favorite dive?
(The) inward twister, because it’s a really rare dive… Everyone says it’s very difficult, but for me, it’s actually pretty simple. You’ve got to figure the mechanics out to make it easy, and that’s what I like so much, because everyone says it’s hard, but it’s not hard at all.

Tell us about the recent diving competition you won for the Vipers.
It felt really good, because all my teammates were there supporting me, and I could see their reaction of me winning. It was really cool. 

What’s the hardest aspect of diving?
The mental state for diving; it’s a very mental sport. Once you learn all the techniques and you get muscle memory, that part is really easy to me. But the hard part is whenever you are thinking about doing the dive and all the scores you need. If you do a bad dive, you usually think about the bad dive and it ruins your new ones. So you’ve got to always move on and stay on track. 

What’s your ultimate goal? 
Well, there’s two things I really want to do. … Definitely try to make it to the Olympics … with my swimmer friend Keith (Willis). I also want to be a Red Bull cliff diver. 

Why did you transfer to FLVS?
Because all of the opportunities I can get with my flying career, I like flying planes more. Flexibility. And I can still dive and practice a lot more and train more. And have more time to be a lifeguard. Starting getting my pilot’s license and getting up on the plane. My mom, Heidi, is a pilot actually, so she can help me out getting on the plane. She’s helping me find the classes.

What’s your favorite movie? 
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” — that’s definitely the best one. It looks awesome, and I love the story. 

What’s a TV series you are watching right now?
A series that I’m going to start very soon is “Cobra Kai.”

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Probably freeze time, so I could freeze in the middle of my flips when I’m diving and I could make sure everything is perfect form. I could squeeze tighter and then unpause and keep going and get a 10 every time. 

What’s your favorite hobby? 
Surfing. (I’ve been doing it) for less than a year, six months probably.

What’s your favorite food? 
Probably ice cream, even though I am lactose intolerant. 

Any secret talents you have you’d like to share? 
I get pillows or a shammy, and I spin it up in the air like it’s pizza dough. 

What are three places you would like to visit? Why? 
Definitely want to go to Costa Rica because there’s a huge zip line, and also surfing is good there. I also want to go to Iceland, it’s super cool. And anywhere in the Mediterranean like Greece, because there are so many places to jump off into the ocean there and the water is beautiful.

What are three things you would bring with you to a deserted island? 
I would definitely bring a plane, some fuel with it and then bring a map. I’ll stay a few days but then I’d want to leave.

What do you want to study?
I want to be a pilot. … That’s what I want to study in college and definitely get a career out of that.

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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