Name: Anitej Waghray
Hashtag that best describes your philosophy: #WorkHardPlayHard
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned through Athletics?: I learned how important it is to stay in shape, not just physically, but mentally and socially as well. Tennis is not only a physical sport, but a mental one. If the opponent gets in their own head, then their game suffers. This has taught me to not only be prepared with technique and power, but also keep a clear head. Being on a team also demonstrates the social aspect to athletics, encouragement and friendship being key aspects to the functioning of a team.
What are your pre-game rituals?: I don’t have specific pre-game rituals, but I always try to collect myself and make sure my mentality is positive and clear.
Who is a player (at any level) you look up to, and why?: I look up to Rafael Nadal, because of his fighting spirit. I would like to think I reflect his outgoing personality, yet cool head on the court and his playstyle and achievements inspire me to be a better player.
What do you love about representing Penn High School?: By representing Penn High School, it provides more weight and meaning behind playing the sport. I love that by representing the school and the team, there is more competition and the matches we play provide a challenge.
What traits do you love in a team leader?: I look for the ability to inspire the team, stay cool and collected when a player isn’t doing well, and stay organized when planning events.
What advice would you give a freshman about Penn Athletics?: Even if you don’t do how you wanted the first year, keep trying because it is definitely worth it. Tennis is where I have made close friendships and given me some of the best experiences in high school.
What is your favorite sports movie, and why?: Though it isn’t a tennis movie, “Miracle on Ice” is my favorite sports movie because it is so inspiring. It shows that there is untapped potential in many players and despite how many people say they can’t do it, they pull through and win especially with so much riding on their win.
What was your favorite moment?: My favorite moment was coming back after losing the first set and winning the second set and the finishing tiebreak. Having played tennis for around eight years now, I love the fact that it is easy to learn and hard to master, so I can always improve and continue to challenge myself. I also love the sense of community where competition on the court usually translates to friendship off the court and the camaraderie that comes from playing on the team is something I cherish.
What’s your biggest strength in your sport?: I feel my biggest strength on and off the court is being consistent and reliable, whether it be winning a game, cheering on my teammates, or helping a friend.