Nov 2019

Athlete Spotlight - Merrill Moses

Merrill Moses is a three-time Olympian in the sport of water polo.
Michaela Reynolds
3 min

Merrill Moses is a three-time Olympian in the sport of water polo. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he took home a silver medal as the goalkeeper for Team USA.

Coach Merrill is also a former All-American water polo player for Pepperdine and, in 2012, he returned to his alma mater to join the coaching staff

Coach Merrill was told “no” time and time again. ‘No, you’ll never make a collegiate team. No, you’ll never be able to start. No, you’re just too small to make an Olympic team.'

He could have listened to these figures in his life but instead he turned all those no’s into “I did it!”

During his school visits, Coach Merrill asks all of the students to believe in themselves and to start any situation with 'I CAN!'

Coach Merrill didn’t rely on his ability to play water polo to get into college as it was ultimately his grades that led him to Pepperdine. He had to try out for the team since he did not get a scholarship. As a walk-on he proved himself to be the best of the best and became a starter his sophomore year. After accomplishing this goal, he knew that anything was possible and there was nothing that could stop him from his dreams.

"You can't solely rely on your athletic talent," Merrill said. "For me, education was a huge part of my Olympic story.”

Coach Merrill's fondest memory of being an Olympian was participating in the opening ceremony and seeing all the countries coming and working together. Hi silver medal was also a top highlight of his Olympic experience.  

When Coach Merrill is asked about what he loves doing now, he said that first and foremost it is spending time with his family. He has three young daughters who he loves watching grow. He also talks about how truly lucky he is to get to do what he loves. Coaching, being a dad and husband, and working with kids in his own community.

Coach Merrill believes in all the students and wants to help them change those ‘I cant's’ into ‘I can’! He is the biggest supporter of all of the students dreams.

What others are saying about Coach Merrill:

"Coach Moses is able to engage the most timid students who generally don’t want to play or feel embarrassed of their ability levels, but when Coach Moses comes, everyone joins in the workout and he is able to level the work so everyone is included.  That is a real gift, to get all children to participate.  The student's love him and want to try for him.”

- Principal, Betsy Garvin Limerick Elementary

"I see improvement in students' resilience towards the FitnessGram and physical fitness activities directly. Students don't let the fact that they have not reached their goals yet, hinder them from continuing to work hard to reach them. In the past, I have witnessed kids become self defeated before they even make an attempt at success. With the help of Coach Moses and the program, students aren't as likely to fall into a the negative "I can't do it" mind set and are more likely to push through and have more of a growth mindset in this area."

-Chaunte’ Mayronne, 5th grade Teacher

“Coach Merrill has been a great experience for my fifth graders! This academic year, they are tested on multiple fitness elements such as running the mile, push-ups, curls ups, and a few more. Working with Coach Merrill has not only increased their motivation to improve but also given them the tools to practice on their own. He has helped them pace themselves while running the mile and focus on the fundamentals of the different exercises. His words of wisdom on setting goals and always trying your best has translated into the classroom as well. I have noticed that the students feel more inclined to set realistic goals for activities like reading fluency, and then put in the necessary work to reach those goals. As for myself, it has been an honor to work with such an inspiring coach for my students and has helped me set personal health goals for myself! I love running the mile with my students and cheering them on while we practice push-ups and jumping jacks together.”

-Jessika Hinton, 5th Grade Teacher

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