Sept. 18, 2013
Alyssa Shimel capped off a strong summer of golf qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship and just missing match play by two shots. Now, she returns ready as the Wolverines begin the 2013-14 season heading to Tennessee's Mercedes-Benz Championship in Knoxville. Starting 30 career events, Shimel has assumed a key leadership role in her final season for the Maize and Blue as the team preps for its first event. Shimel took a few minutes from practice to talk with MGoBlue.com for a spotlight segment.
On playing in the U.S. Amateur Championship ... "It was a great experience. I worked real hard to start the spring, and then qualifying for the US Am kind of just made that hard work pay off, and it was a great experience playing with the best girls in the country right now. It did nothing but build confidence for my game going into the fall."
On her goals for this season ... "Just more focus, more dedication. It's the last year, and this is it, so I'll push myself even harder in every aspect of the game, especially mental. There's really no excuse now, and you have to make sure every part of your game is sharp."
On the transition with a new coaching staff ... "I like them both, I think they're both great personality-wise. I think they'll fit in perfectly with our team. Our team is kind of more laid back, more fun, and that's exactly what they are. And then from a coaching standpoint, I mean we really haven't been able to see it yet, but their resumes are both very impressive. They've both played, so they know what they're talking about, and then I've heard nothing but great things from both of them from their former players and even people they played against when they were in college. So I'm really excited to see what they bring."
On being known as one of the "tricksters" on the team despite being one of the quieter players ... "I like to kind of lay low. It's kind of nice being quiet because no one right away expects you to do anything. My cover is kind of blown, I'm the first person they turn to if something does go astray, but it definitely helps with Lauren coming in. She's a prankster as well, so it helps lighten the mood, especially when we're traveling and being super uptight. It's great while we're playing to be focused, but it's nice to have some downtime to enjoy ourselves as well. So that's where the pranks come in."
On having a veteran team going into the season ... "It helps a lot. Last year we were such a young team. It's nice this year having four seniors being leaders and being able to have all experience under your belt and tell the younger kids what to expect and help them out. It also helps that the younger kids now have at least a year under their belt as well, so they know what to expect. I think it helps, especially having four people that can all bring different leadership roles, some of us can be more vocal while others can lead by example. I think it helps to be more one-on-one instead of relying on one person, and I think it will help us quite a bit."
On what she did for fun this summer ... "Hanging out with my niece and nephews a lot. They're always a lot of fun and I have five of them, so they kept me busy. I kind of got to be a kid again. I got to go out to Arizona, and that was fun even though it was a golf trip. I actually stayed with my instructor, and he has two kids, so I got to actually have some fun there, too. I love kids so anytime I get to be around kids it's always a good day. Other than that, hanging out with friends and enjoying the last summer vacation."