Spotlight: Alex Milliken
This weeks athlete spotlight is on Alex Milliken. He will be a senior and has been on the golf team all 4-years. He helped get the Magnolia team to have the entire MHS Foursome to be in the state tournament for the first time this past season, and hopes to help them get there once more.
Besides being on the golf team, he has played basketball and has been the team manager in both football and boys basketball too. He is what a lot of people call a team player. He isn’t what they call an outstanding athlete, but really he is, he just doesn’t yet know it yet.
The Wetzel Chronicle sports department asked Alex a few questions to help people know him a little better.
What are three reasons you like being part of a team sport? I would say three reasons I like being part of a team sport are that it helps with teamwork which you will need later on in life, it gets you out of your comfort zone and helps with becoming less shy, and everyone has to work together to achieve a goal.
What is the best part about competing? Just getting out there and playing is one of the best parts about competing.
How do your teammates make practice fun? My teammates make practice fun by cracking jokes with each other.
What is your favorite sports quote? I would say my favorite sports quote also applies to life and it is from the late Bob Johnson, “You have to look at the positives in life, everyday is a blessing, never forget that.”
What emotions do you feel when you play well? Like pretty much every other athlete, you feel confident and you feel great.
Who do you wish was watching you perform at every game or match? My Godparents for sure. They love seeing me succeed, and I would love for them to see me play.
What is your favorite song to listen to prior to competing? I don’t really listen to music before a match. I just like to clear my head and just focus on what I need to do to help my team win.
What is your favorite movie about sports? I would have to say my favorite sports movie would be Miracle. It’s a movie about the 1980 US hockey team.
Where do you feel confident in your body? I feel the most confident in my mind. I have to keep a level head during matches and if I don’t I won’t play well.
What qualities do you think make a teammate a good team captain?I think leadership and responsibility make a good teammate and team captain.
How does being an athlete make you a better person? Being an athlete teaches you sportsmanship and respect, and you need those later on in life.
What is the one thing you always do after a good performance? After a good performance I look back and see what I did right and just try to do that again in the next match.
What do you do to calm your butterflies while you compete? Just clear my head and try to crack a couple of jokes while on the course.
If you could play another sport, what would it be? It would probably be baseball. I enjoy playing baseball, but most of my summer is taken up with golf.
What age were you when you started your sport? Surprisingly, I started my freshman year of high school so I was about 14 years old.
Do you have a plan to help you get to your best-focused state? Not really; once I get on the course I just play and keep the same focus.
What is your favorite food to eat the night before a big competition? A good steak is always nice to have the night before a big match.
Do you use visual cues of your environment to help you focus? No, to keep my focus I just forget whatever the stakes are and just play my best.
Who inspired you as a young athlete? I would probably say Phil Kessel from the Pittsburgh Penguins inspired me as a young athlete. If I thought my situation was tough I would think about Phil. He battled cancer while trying to make the NHL and achieved his goal and beat cancer.
What one word describes you? Determined. If you put a challenge in front of me I will beat it. My current challenge is my slice with my driver, but it’s minimal right now.
Who was your favorite coach and why? Well I would have to say Coach Tallman. He is the one that got me into golf, and he is just a fun coach but wants the best from you.
What do you give up to play sports? My summer vacation for sure. Between work and golf I have very little free time.
What is your favorite place to compete? I would have to say the Pines in Morgantown, WV.
What mental tool do you use under pressure? I just clear my mind, and just take the match three holes at a time.
Do you think attitude is a factor in winning? Yes, because if you don’t have a good attitude, you probably don’t want to work for anything.
What image gets you ready to compete? If I had to choose, I would say the picture of Tiger Woods with the green jacket on after he won the 2019 Masters.
How does being an athlete inspire you to do good? Being an athlete inspires me to do good because I don’t my team to look bad if I do bad.
How does athletics make you a better student or worker? Athletics makes me a better student because it teaches me to work and strive to be the best I can.
If you could go back in time, what one person would you want to talk to for 30 mintes and why? I would want to go back and talk to my younger self and tell myself to play golf when I was younger and hope I can be better now.
Are you mindful: of others, of your body, of your strengths and weaknesses? Yeah, if you aren’t mindful of your own weaknesses in golf, it would not be fun. You have to work with your weaknesses while on the course and try to play with them.
What is it that truly separates the average athlete from the good, or the good athlete from the great? Anybody can be an athlete, if you put a little work you can become a good athlete. To make yourself a great athlete you have to put hours and hours into practice. Luckily, in golf you can pretty much practice anywhere.
Can you see yourself playing this sport(s) at the next level, and if it is what would your coach to do to help you get there? I can’t see myself playing at the next level. I would love to, but there are so many golfers that are better than me that deserve the spot.
Is there anything you would like to tell people that most people don’t know about you that you would like to let people know about you? I would say people think that I’m just really shy, but I’m actually a pretty funny guy and I love cracking jokes.