Scholar-Athlete Profile: Rachel Morris|
Sept. 27, 2011
As told to Deepa Ramprasad, USC Sports Information Student Intern
How did you get into golf?
When I was seven, my dad and I decided to try it. I was playing some other sports at the time but golf was just the most fun to me. And so I decided to focus on that, and as I got older, the competition level got harder and harder.
It sounds like golf started as a family thing, how important was your family in your passion for golf?
Yeah definitely, it was fun. That my family could do it with me was kind of a big reason [I got into golf].
You're a Division I athlete, how important is it that you also distinguish yourself as a scholar?
Very important - it's one of the [main] reasons I chose to come to USC. There are a lot of good schools that just have really good golf programs but the academics are not so great. I wanted both. I guess it's been a value that I've had and my family's had. Get a really good education while I'm here, there's always time for a professional [golf] career after.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I'm not sure yet. I've been thinking a lot and I think I want to go to grad school - maybe here! I guess just see how much I like it. I like my classes so far. I guess I could kind of go a lot of different ways with it.
You have such a positive attitude and are so grounded. It seems like your family has been very influential to you. Did they emphasize school over sports?
School first. Do your homework first, then you can play.
What has been your inspiration and motivation?
My parents. I see them working hard and that's how I want to be, too.
What has been your key to success in your career?
I just try to schedule everything out well. Really write down the things I have to do and how long it's going to take me. I try to keep my priorities, even if that means sacrificing fun. It's hard, especially when you have a tournament coming up, and homework, it's tough, but I try to split it evenly.
Is that balance hard?
Yes. [It's] difficult because you always feel like you can practice more. I could be practicing right now, but you just have to do the best you can. I do try to finish everything with school first and try not to leave it for golf.
What are some of the things you like to do in your off-time?
I like to do a lot of normal things. When you think about a student-athlete, you might not think they have time for friends, going out and just doing normal things. But we do. Our team, we really like to go to Korean BBQ, like once or twice a month. We go to The Grove once a week and just try to get away from school and golf and studying and things like that.
It sounds like your team is really close. Was that important to you when you decided to come to USC?
I'm happy that it worked out that we're so close, and it can be hard when you commit to be able to see that it's going to work out. I knew a lot of the girls growing up, I saw them coming here and doing well, and I wanted to follow what they're doing. Our team is pretty close.
Is there anything on campus that you would like to explore more during your time at school?
There are always things I'd like to get involved in. There are plays and a bunch of things I wish I went to - just to say I participated in other stuff too. I know the athletic director Pat Haden is trying to get athletes to participate in all this outside stuff - which I think is a good idea. I don't just want to be a student focusing on my sport. It's important that the athletes get involved in other things too.
How close are you to the other teams on campus? Do you try to go out and support them as well?
Our team is pretty close to the tennis, swimming and volleyball [teams], but [there's much more I'd like to see.] I've never seen rowing or baseball. I'd like to go to more athletic events. I want to definitely make a point to go to other sports.
And what about football?
I love the football games! Luckily this season we don't have that many tournaments that overlap with the home games. I'm really going to miss football when I graduate!