Student Athlete: Makenna Smith
Sport(s) Played: Golf
Q1: Why did you choose the sport(s) that you play?
One of the main reasons I started playing golf was because both of my grandpas and my dad are big golfers; so, as I was growing up, I would go to the course and watch my grandpa play in tournaments and go to the range and play in the bunkers. It wasn’t until 8th grade when they started the middle school team that I really started to play. I love how independent the sport is because you can truly focus on your game and it isn’t until the end when they tally up the group scores that you find out how you did as a team. You get into a mindset to truly play your best and not let anyone else affect you. Another thing that I love about the sport is building so many relationships with different players from other teams because you are playing with just the 3 or 4 of you for 2+ hours.
Q2: What is your favorite Madeira sports memory?
The first year I played Madeira golf we had a small team with all different ages. It was such a unique experience being the youngest and hearing about the other grades and bonding with them. It also helped me figure out the importance of learning about your teammates.
Q3: How do you get motivated to practice each and every day?
I tell myself the only way to get better is to practice. With golf particularly, you are the only one to blame if you don’t play your best round.
Q4: What is your favorite pre-game meal and why do you eat that?
Before long 18 hole matches, we traditionally get Brueggers Bagels or Panera as a team. It has become something to look forward to before an early morning all day round. For 9 holes I usually love smoothies because they fill me up and are easy to make.
Q5: Which athlete do you admire most and why?
I am a fan of Norwegian golfer Viktor Hovland. When I watch him on tv it always seems like he is in a good mindset. I admire that a lot because I know when I play I tend to get frustrated, so I wish I had that positive composure even when I take bad shots.
Q6: What makes a great teammate?
To me, a great teammate is someone who is willing to go and do extra practice with you when you ask them. Also if they are willing to spend time with the team outside of just the sport and truly want build a relationship is what makes a great teammate. That indicates that they will be there for you when you need them.
Q7: What is on your pre-game playlist?
Contrary to most peoples’ “pump up” playlists, I like mellower music. I love to listen to Taylor Swift’s albums, Folklore and Evermore. Her music has a lot of meaning to it, but it also calms me down. This allows me to play composed and be in the right headspace.
Q8: What is the funniest thing that you have seen or happened to you in a practice or game?
One thing I remember that made me and the girls in my match laugh was when my pull cart filled with my clubs rolled down the hill and tipped over. It was sectionals and it was raining, so it was a long day and it was a good laugh for us all. I remember I went running after it and we all started laughing, because the cart just rolled away.
Q9: What is next after you graduate?
I don’t have a set plan for what I want to do, but I want to go to college and enjoy my college experience and meet new people and find my passion. Currently I am leaning towards the finance path.
Q10: What advice would you give an 8th grade athlete as they move on to high school sports?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from an older teammate. Although it may be intimidating they often have the best advice and will try to make you feel included. Building those connections with your teammates and coaches is very important too.