After spending his younger years playing baseball and basketball, Jon Lien traded the court and the diamond for the pool once he entered Servite High School, where water polo became his sport of choice.
“As I came to high school, I thought that water polo sounded interesting,” says Lien. “Once I started playing water polo, I took a great liking to it.”
The senior and two-year varsity player mans the cage for the Friars, with a full understanding that the role of the goalkeeper is a unique one.
“You’re the backbone of the team,” says Lien, “and you can be the difference between a win and a loss.”
Challenging both physically and mentally, the athleticism required to play water polo is what draws the 18-year-old to the sport. Managing the intensity has been Lien’s toughest obstacle.
“There’s a lot of intense conditioning physically and mentally,” says Lien. “Being able to overcome them has been through support from coaches and teammates, having a positive attitude and a lot of confidence in yourself.”
Servite head water polo coach, Andy Coffman, has seen impressive improvement in his goalie over the last two seasons and relies on Lien’s leadership skills to guide the younger players.
“Jon plays a big role in every aspect of our team,” says Coffman. “He is a sponge for information on bettering his craft and understands that hard work will always put him in a position to be successful. He is very driven and self-motivated to reach his goals and be a leader to his teammates. As a coach, I feel that I couldn’t have a better person anchoring our defense and setting the example in and out of the pool.”
With a desire to serve others, Lien serves his campus through National Honor Society (NHS) and California Scholarship Federation (CSF) tutoring opportunities. The Irvine resident also reaches his community through Loaves and Fishes ministry outreach.
Much of what Lien has learned from the game has been through his parents and his coaches, who want the best for him and have instilled in him that “no matter how hard something may be, you should always go for it.”
Lien is working towards continuing his water polo career in college and plans to study either business or political science. Anchored by his faith, Lien keeps that “no quit” outlook in all aspects of his life.
“My faith has always been a big impact to me because it allowed me to get back up, through good times and bad,” says Lien. “And it’s always taught me to stay positive and has given me guidance to do well in those. Most importantly, it’s taught me to keep Christ at the center, giving me the strength and guidance to do well in what it is that I want to do.”