Delaware Sports Blitz is about to get wild as in Wildcat Wednesdays, as we feature student-athletes from Wilmington University every Wednesday.
The next interview is from Wildcats’ senior tennis player Laura Gil.
In the fall season of the 2019 tennis schedule, Gil went 7-4, won three straight games and won three straight sets with a 6-0 score over her opponents. Gill was named to the CACC All-Conference Second Team for her fall season play.
Gil helped lead the tennis team to their first CACC Championship in the 2018 season.
Before attending Wilmington University, Gil attended San Alberto Magno in Sabinanigo, Spain.
Gil talks about everything from leaving Spain to play tennis at Wilmington and how the best part being on a team is the feeling of a second family.
Check out it below!
How did you start playing sports?
“My uncle was a professional cyclist and my dad played soccer so sports have always been big in my family. I played soccer until I was seven years old. When I was eight, my dad and I went to play tennis one day just to try it and I fell in love with it.”
What adjustments did you have to make from the jump of high school to college, regarding the sport you play?
“In Spain, it is almost impossible to combine playing a sport and studying in college because both require a lot of time. People either decide to go pro or to stop playing their sport and go to college. I wanted to do both and coming to the US was the answer for me. I had to leave my loved ones, my country, and almost all I had ever known to come here. That is not easy for an 18-year-old. However, I am so thankful for the experience and the people I have met here. I would do it again without a doubt.”
How do you keep yourself in game shape in the offseason for your sport?
“I go to the gym and practice with my teammates.”
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
“They said to remember that tennis is just a game after all and that the ultimate goal should be to have a good time.”
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
“When we are in season we practice from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. We normally have matches on Saturdays and Wednesdays. The rest of the time I go to class if I have it or go to work. For example, this past block I had class two days a week and I went to my internship three days a week.”
What do you feel is your greatest strength?
“I never give up. Even if I get mad or frustrated during matches or if I am exhausted or in pain, I never stop trying until the match is over.”
What do you feel you are weakest at and how do you work on to improve it?
“It depends a lot on how I am feeling when I am on the court. If I am not getting good sensations or I am not feeling the ball, I can play bad even if I was playing well until that day. I try to remind myself that I can do it and I try to only focus on the ball and moving my feet.”
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
“The day we won the conference was the best day of my life. I will never forget the moment I saw my teammates jump on my court to celebrate we had won. All the effort and struggle paid off that day. We finally made it after a really tough season and I have never been happier.”
What is the best part of playing on a team?
“For me, my team is my second family. I think it is awesome that we are able to share the same experiences. We are all there for each other during good and bad times and we all support each other. For me, the best part is being able to say that I have made friends that I know I am going to keep forever.”
How do you stay motivated during the highs and lows of a season?
“I think one of the best things about college tennis is that even though you are playing for a team, you are alone on the court. When we are going through a good time, I remember that I am playing for a team and that I have to win for them. On the other hand, if we are going through a tough time when it comes to results, I remind myself that even if we don’t win as a team, I can always try to do well individually.”
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge I have faced was to leave everything behind and come here when I was 18. I know it is hard for everyone, but I think it was especially tough for me. I reminded myself of everything my parents and I had to do for me to get an opportunity like this. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my parents and I couldn’t let them down.”
Why did you choose to play at Wilmington University?
“I really liked the schedule flexibility and location. Also, I was a part of the first tennis team in Wilmington University’s history and thought it would be awesome to start the program.”