The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Time Out! Ep. 24: Catherine Chen

Catherine Chen talks about her journey in golf
Senior Catherine Chen practices for an upcoming match for MVHS’ golf team.

AD: Hi everyone, my name is Abha Dash and welcome to Episode 24 of Time Out! Each episode, we will be diving into the sports scene here at Monta Vista High School and exploring the journeys of athletes from different sports. In this episode, I am joined by senior Catherine Chen, who is a member of the Girls Golf team here at Monta Vista. 

AD: When and why did you start golf?

CC: I think I started golf at around eighth grade but didn’t take it seriously until 10th grade when I joined the Monta Vista Golf team, and the reason I started golfing was because my dad’s friends taught him how to golf and he decided to teach me. 

AD: What were your first impressions of golf?

CC: I feel like I knew I would like it because I personally have no endurance or stamina or the usual athletic qualities, so I feel like in golf, it’s more of a relaxing sport, so I think I knew it was for me before I started. 

AD: What made you want to continue golf in high school?

CC: So like I said earlier, I didn’t actually start taking golf seriously until I had to play for Monta Vista’s school team, and I got along with my team and I didn’t want to disappoint them in a way, so I worked hard and I tried to make sure that I wouldn’t be the one dragging everyone down in the games or something like that. Overall, it was because me and my teammates, we had a nice bond with each other and we enjoyed playing with each other and we played with each other for a long time now.

AD: How do you balance golf with school work and other responsibilities?

CC: I guess it all just comes down to proper time management, honestly. I know when the practices are going to be, so I can schedule my time around those. Usually, practices are right after school. So I’ll be like, “OK, I’m going to go to school then go straight to practice, then after practice how am I going to manage my time after that?” I feel like it’s pretty easy because we have a whole calendar of plans already scheduled so it’s not difficult to still have proper time management around all those practices and games. 

AD: What would you say is your favorite aspect of golf?

CC: Just talking and being with the people I’m playing with, because either it will be people from other teams that I’m playing with or people from our own school, because a round of golf takes at the very least two hours. So I mean, you are going to be stuck with the same people the whole time, so you might as well start a conversation and just talk to each other. I think that’s my favorite part because it’s nice. 

AD: So would you say you made a lot of new friends through golf?

CC: Yeah, I did make a lot of new friends from different schools, especially. 

AD: Before your matches, how do you mentally prepare yourself? 

CC: I mean obviously before a match it’s normal to be nervous a lot of the time, and I like to think of it as, if I’m nervous that just means I actually care about how well I’m going to do and how my performance is going to impact my team. So in a way, I think of my stress and my anxiousness in a positive light more than a negative one. I feel like that really helps me deal with my emotions before a match.

AD: What are your favorite memories from being part of the school team?

CC: Our senior nights are probably my favorites, because every single year the juniors have to plan some sort of outside activity to surprise the seniors with, and last year, the senior night was, we went to the Homestead bowling alley, and we just bowled for three hours and it was just really fun. 

AD: What would you say was the biggest influence on you when it came to golf? Is there a certain role model you had?

CC: That would definitely be my dad. My dad introduced me to the sport after all. So when I first started out he was the one who taught me everything. I never actually went to lessons because my dad is my coach basically. I would always play with his friends who are also experienced, so I feel like all of my valuable learning experiences and my skills today were because of my dad and his connections. He inspired me to join. 

AD: What are some challenges you have faced in the team?

CC: For a while, I actually — for some reason after a golf match of mine — I actually suffered a hand infection and that led to some nerve damage on my hand. So I feel like that was a very big limitation for me. I’m still affected by it today but it’s not as bad. But I had to stop playing for a while, so that led my skills to become a little rusty, but at the end of the season I still tried my best to support the team and contribute. 

AD: How did that accident happen?

CC: I’m actually not sure. I finished playing a match and I noticed there was a bug on my hand but I didn’t think much about it because it looked like a bug bite almost so I was like, it’s probably fine. Until the next day my hand was red and swelling everywhere and I was like, “OK, maybe I should seek some medical help.” 

AD: How did you feel in that situation, especially because you said your skills kind of hindered?

CC: In the beginning, because after that I tried playing a match and the results were probably the worst out of my entire season, so I felt like I was dragging the team down in a way and I felt like a burden, but I feel like slowly I realized there is no point of focusing on what just happened. I should focus on recovering and practicing so I would keep on contributing to the team in a positive way. 

AD: How would you say you have grown throughout your years in golf?

CC: There were many ups and downs. Obviously in the beginning of the year, I would be a little rusty because I haven’t practiced in a while, but I feel like overtime and over the years I did eventually improve my skills, so I feel like in the end it’s really just me being able to open up with people in my team and learning how to socialize more and also improving my skills in golf. 

AD: What do you hope to gain from golf in the future?

CC: Well, I feel like golf is stereotyped to be like a common corporate sport, if that makes sense, so I hope that in the future maybe I can find some coworkers to play golf with so we can just chat while playing.   

AD: That’s it for Episode 24 of Time Out! Thank you so much to Catherine for joining me on this episode. I’m Abha and thanks for tuning in. 

About the Contributor
Abha Dash
Abha Dash, Staff Writer
Abha is currently a senior and a staff writer for El Estoque. She is a captain of Monta Vista's speech team and a captain of Monta Vista Raas. In her free time, she likes to do art, dance, and play her flute.
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