Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Water Polo

Rachel Fattal brings her Olympic knowledge to the pool

Rachel Fattal is experiencing a coach’s point of view in her first year at Long Beach State.

Fattal joined The Beach’s women’s water polo team in the fall and with her experience playing at an international level with the U.S. national team, she is able to bring a new perspective to the team.

“She’s very knowledgeable and has a lot of experience and brings great energy,” head women’s water polo coach Shana Welch said. “It elevates everything that we’re doing here on a daily basis. So it’s been great having her here.

Fattal was a part of two Olympics as an attacker for team U.S.A. in 2016 where she won gold in Rio and contributed to a total of seven goals. She had the same experience in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she won gold and scored nine goals throughout the tournament.

“A lot of athletes on the national team are either in college or they go play professionally overseas,” Fattal said. “Instead of going and playing professionally overseas, I’m here coaching and the national team usually starts right around when college season ends.”

Fattal spent some time playing professionally in Australia with the Hunter Hurricanes before returning to the U.S. Fattal is no longer playing professionally, instead, she has joined The Beach and coaches during the national team’s off-season.

“Always want to get in the water and do it and now I have to be able to explain it and like watch someone else do it,” Fattal said. “Now I get to help other people. Be able to have that moment, which has been really good for me.”

Despite Fattal not being a player during the collegiate season, she still has the opportunity to get in the water with the team.

Her own knowledge isn’t the only thing provided to the team, as having a different variety of coaches and information has been a key part of the team.

“We’re learning from each other every day, I think all of us have a very unique and different backgrounds and experiences,” Welch said. “It’s been wonderful having her here and picking her brain and working with each other. It’s been fun.”

Long Beach State is currently ranked number seven in the nation among other colleges, seating in second place in The Big West. With two months left to play in the season, Fattal has a lot more knowledge she can coach the team in order to improve.

“I’m just thankful to be here, I love my job, I love being around these athletes every day,” Fattel said.

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