Feb. 4, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. -
Get to know UMass tennis player Anna Woosley. The freshman Psychology major hails from Sussex, England as one of five international players on the 2013-14 roster. Woosley finished the fall season with a singles (6-5, 6-2) and doubles (8-3) win against Providence, paired with senior Sonia Bokhari in doubles play.
When did you begin playing tennis?
I began playing tennis at the age of seven, but only for fun. At the age of 11 I started to take tennis more seriously and began playing competitions.
How did you get involved in the sport?
My parents have always been very sporty so they introduced me to the game. I enjoyed playing as a child with family and friends and my game developed from there.
Do you have any family members involved in tennis?
My parents are both club standard players and play once or twice a week socially. My grandmother has a lot of experience in the game; she was a well-known tennis coach in the UK although now she is retired.
What is your favorite memory attached to the sport?
Playing at Wimbledon at the age of 14 when I reached the last stages of the road to Wimbledon tournament, and meeting Tim Henman there.
Who is/was your favorite coach?
Rob Booth; he was a coach who genuinely cared. Rob always showed me support and encouragement, which really helped me develop as a player and a person. He was also very good with developing my technique. Even now 4 years later, he still watches my results and often asks about my experiences playing for UMass.
What are your hobbies outside of tennis?
Who is your most admired person and why?
I enjoy working out in the gym. I listen to a lot of music and also enjoy losing myself in a good book. Food is also a passion of mine; I love cooking. I am very creative in general; I love art and when I am at home I do a lot of painting and drawing.
I really admire my Dad. He built his business from scratch. He hardly ever has a break or vacation but will never complain. I mainly admire his patience and how he supports our family to help my brother and I reach our goals. I admire him because of his patience and always striving to improve his business, whilst being the best Dad anyone could ever ask for.
Who is your most admired athlete and why?
I really admire Andy Murray. He made me very proud to be British when he won the Men's singles at the 2012 Olympics, and also after winning Wimbledon a few weeks before. It was so inspiring not just for tennis players, but also for the whole country. His dedication to the sport is incredible and I really admire how much hard work he puts in to make his dreams come true.
What is your favorite quote?
"The best way to create the future is to create it" Abraham Lincoln.
Why did you choose the University of Massachusetts?
I visited three universities on my recruiting trip. UMass was by far my favorite. The girls were so welcoming and I really felt like part of the team on my visit. Judy Dixon is a well renowned tennis coach and has so much experience in the game. I felt that she would help me develop as a tennis player during my time at UMass. I also loved the campus, and the food was so amazing!
What are some differences between playing in the USA and back home?
At first it was difficult for me to get used to the vocal enthusiasm of the team, as at home we are much more reserved on the tennis court; it pushed me out of my comfort zone! Also being a member of a team is very different to playing just for yourself. It is great to have the support around you and knowing that you're all striving towards the same goal helps you stay motivated.
What is a typical routine on the day of a match?
If the match is at home then we usually start about midday. We try to have a team breakfast to get us into the team spirit. And then make our way to the courts early to set up and prepare for our matches. When we have all finished we have a team stretch and clear the courts. The next day we will have a meeting about our matches, so we can know what we did well and what we need to improve.
Do you have any superstitions for before or during matches?
The routine is always the same. If we are playing at home then we will prepare the courts. We usually have music playing during these warm ups. Before the matches begin we will have a team ritual, which involves gathering around in a circle and chanting UMASS!!
What are your goals for the season?
This semester my aim is to win as many matches as possible, but in order to do this my confidence in my own ability needs to be improved so working on my mental side will be important. Just making sure I work as hard as possible on and off the court is a goal for this season.
How have you prepared mentally and physically for the spring season?
Physically I trained everyday over winter break, so I played a lot of tennis and matches. Mentally I have been very positive in my training in order to improve my confidence and be in the right frame of mind for the xseason.
Give a reflection on how you think the 2013 fall season went. What things are you happy with? Are there things you hope to improve upon for the spring season?
The 2013 fall season was my first semester at UMass. It was definitely a learning experience. I loved being part of the team and felt very motivated by the team spirit. My match play was not as good as I had hoped. I started the semester with a bad hip injury, which was detrimental to my confidence and performance. However towards the end of the semester with the help of Judy and JC and my teammates my game and confidence improved. I am now looking forward to next semester and continuing with my progress.
What are your plans for after college?
Not sure at the moment, one day I would love to become a head coach of tennis at a university.