Marc Bedsole had just finished skating on the lake outside his house when he sat down for our interview. Having worked at Rollins for the past 24 years, he was eager to reflect on where his water kiing roots began, in a small town called White Lake in North Carolina.
“We had a lake house there. I first learned how to ski when I was four. Got sort of bit by the bug then. My brother and sister both were skiers; I just took it further than anybody in the family did. My mom and dad, neither one of them skied. My dad sure bought plenty of boats and fuel for us to practice,” he said.
With the support of his family, he ganined prowess in his sport and became a professional water skiing competitor. What is the training process like?
Coach Bedsole said, “Training today at 51 years old compared to training when I was 18 into my 20s was much different. Years ago, I would say three or four 20-25 minute practice sets. I would do four sets of those. Today with work and school, I try to get in one set at the house. Now my set is longer, more stretching and warm-up involved.”
Coach Marc Bedsole was named All American in 1991. He has won countless competitions and championships. He said that, over the years, competing became more fulfilling.
“There have been times that I haven’t enjoyed it. In 1992 I graduated from college and interned at Rollins, I graduated from the enemy (Florida Southern). The water ski job opportunity became available,” he said. “In the last 12 years, I have been rejuvenated. I enjoy the people that I have gotten to know over the years. It’s not so much about winning anymore; competing is more fulfilling. At 51, I feel that I am skiing better than I have in years past. It’s like therapy for me.”
What advice would Coach Bedsole give to a student athlete wishing to move into a coaching career? He commented that coaching is a symbiotic relationship with the athlete.
“I am so blessed that Rollins has a waterskiing team. All the kids on my team have done coaching at some point in their young career. Waterskiing is the kind of deal where everybody can coach. We have world-class skiers on the team and I would like to hear what they have to say, too,” he said.
Rollins is a special community for an athlete to thrive in. Coach Bedsole reflected on the ideal location that Rollins offers.
“Rollins is unique in the fact that there is a waterski program, along with their academic reputation. Another thing that is a draw for us is that we are in Central Florida; a lot of kids can go train with top athletes. The location is certainly a draw. Lake Virginia is five minutes away from your dorm room. Even though Waterskiing is a team sport, it is so personalized. Waterskiing is definitely a community. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to ski with this caliber of athletes.”