Hira Naveed is a junior
who plays for the women's golf team at Pepperdine. The Waves begin the spring
season next week at their own Bruin Wave Invitational. She tells us how she has
stayed in form during the break between the fall and spring seasons:
Q: What are your feelings toward spring season?
A: I am super excited. I think we all are since it's the big season where we really need to perform. We are all just itching to get out there because it has been a long time since we last competed. Even the coaches are really hyped up to perform.
Q: There is a large break between seasons with your sport. How do you stay playing and competing at a high level during that off time?
A: I just keep my routine going and keep practicing. This down time is good for us because we can really work on our game and hone in on our weaknesses and try to get better with those aspects of the game. The break is also nice because it gives me a chance to focus on my academics and also the ability to go home and see family during the winter, which is nice.
Q: What are your goals for the upcoming spring?
A: For this upcoming event I hope to have a good finish within the top 10 since it is a great field and we get to compete against great players. It would really help my ranking to finish higher up as well as being a good confidence booster. For the season, my goal is to finish high in all the events and even get a win in there somewhere, which would kick-start a few things for me. Just to perform at my best is what I want to be able to do. While as a team goal, I think it would be really great for us to win a tournament since the spring tournaments are much tougher.
Q: Last year you went to the NCAA Championships. Does that give you motivation to get back to that spot?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. Last year we did really well at regionals and made it to nationals, which was our goal. But at the Championships we did not really perform to the best of our abilities. That then translates to this year and gives us a real fire in the belly to of course get back there, but also perform better once there and help our team go forward.
Q: How did you feel about your play last season after having one of the best scoring averages?
A: Last season wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. It was tough. A lot of tournaments I knew I didn't play to the best of my ability. Mentally I didn't feel quite there in a lot of the events. But at some I did do well. Hopefully this season I will be able to do much better.
Q: What have you been doing to improve your game during the long break?
A: I actually managed to get a tournament in there back home in Australia. Which was a great field of players and I managed to get to the semifinals. I also worked a lot on honing the very small aspects of the game that we don't tend to look at and I think by improving those parts it will make the bigger picture much better.
Q: How do you feel about your coaches?
A: I have a great relationship with Coach Gibbs and Coach Katie. Coach Katie is really fun and relatable. She tells us about her experiences with college where she played so it is great to get feedback from her time to time. Then with Coach Gibbs, without her, I wouldn't even be here. She means a lot to me both personally and professionally; she is almost like a mother.
Q: What are your thoughts about playing at Pepperdine and on the team overall?
A: Pepperdine is a place that is filled with great people who are all very supportive. With the team, the girls are a very fun bunch. Every day, there is something funny happening at practice. We all get along very well even while we are all from different countries with there being a lot of international players on the team. We all are able to come together as a group and get the job done.