Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Thanksgiving has come and gone. Although it is one of my favorite holidays... (who doesn't love eating as much delicious food as they possibly can, sitting around with family, and watching football/napping all day!) ...I didn't get to spend Thanksgiving at home with my family this year. As some of you probably know (because you saw me there!), I was down in West Palm Beach, FL at Festival. (I know tough place to spend my holiday weekend). For those of you that don't know, Festival is a big tournament for high schoolers and middle schoolers in which most college coaches attend to watch and recruit. I attended Festival all four years of high school and this was the first time I have been back since!

The beautiful Florida weather drew me in from the moment I stepped off the airplane Wednesday afternoon. The main reason I was participating in this years Festival was to help with Dita, my amazing sponsor! They do so much for me throughout the whole year to make sure I have everything I need in order to be successful on the field. Not to mention the stick they made me just for the Olympics!! While I helped run the Dita tent for the weekend, I also signed autographs, had some great conversations with players and parents, saw lots of hockey people (coaches and players alike), and even got to play a little bit!

Overall, it was a great weekend! I had a blast playing with some old and new hockey friends! I enjoyed seeing all my hockey friends in one place! And I enjoyed hanging out with the Dita people, learning a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes with my sponsor!

In the Thanksgiving spirit, I must give a quick thanks to all those that have made so many things in my life possible.
I must first thank Dita for all they do! Helping out was the least I could do to give back for all they do for me. I had a great time with all those on staff and can't wait to help out again!
A big thank you to all those who bought my stick this weekend! You guys are awesome! I hope you enjoy it!! Because it is a pretty great stick! ;) [PS- It's still for sale online!!!]
Also, a big thanks to all those who came and chatted with me at the tent. I had a wonderful time meeting so many fantastic people. It's funny how field hockey is such a small community... we all know someone in common. Definitely some amazing hockey families out there who do so much for our sport and it's future! Can't wait to see some of your faces on the National Team one day! :)

I am grateful for my health and the opportunity to play the sport I love. Field hockey has given me so much over the years. This year's Festival really reminded me of that. I have made so many great friendships that will last a lifetime. I saw a lot of those great people in FL- including my college teammate/roommate: shout out to Liz! I saw many of the coaches who have guided me over the years and have led me to where I am today. And I played with and against some hockey friends, National Team teammates, and people who just love the game. To me, that is one of the best ways to enjoy the game! Plus, I got to play for Jack and Jill (a mixed team), with and against some of the guys... which if you know me at all, you know I loved! :) I always love a good challenge with players faster and (possibly) more skilled than I am. ;) haha....
I can't forget to give my gratitude to Momma Sandra and Maren for one of the most scrumptious Thanksgiving dinners I've ever had!! Along with all the great people I had the pleasure of spending the evening with! Quote of the night: #hashtag ! haha....!

The biggest thanks of all must go to my FAMILY. They support me no matter what. They make all things possible. Fortunately, I still got to see their beautiful faces (through Skype!) on Thanksgiving day and my Aunt even stayed until Tuesday so that I could see her when I got home! We Skyped with my cousins when I got home, as well. So I was still able to see lots of family this past week!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and had a little time to reflect on what they are truly thankful for. Just because Thanksgiving is over, we shouldn't forget it's importance throughout the year. If you are reading this right now, then you have a lot to be grateful for! Don't forget that! In the coming weeks, do everything you can to show the ones you love how much they mean to you, how thankful you are for them, and give back to those in need as much as you possible can!

What was your favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday?? What are you most thankful for? Anyone have a funny family story from the weekend? Let me know! Best responses will win a prize!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beyond Sticks Clinic

This past weekend I ventured up to McLean, Virginia to coach a clinic with Beyond Sticks. My teammate, Claire Laubach, also joined me in coaching the 80+ girls that showed up! It was an amazing turnout and we had a great time!! I must start by thanking Chrissy Lewis, owner and coach at Beyond Sticks, for setting everything up for the amazing day of field hockey! Also, a big thank you to all the coaches who came out to lend a hand. Last but not least, the girls who showed up! Thank you for inspiring me and making the day so much fun!

I started off the day with a 2 mile run into the Capitol, stopping by the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the White House. The last time I was in DC for for our Olympic visit to the White House to meet the President! It definitely brought back some good memories! Being in the Capitol never ceases to amazes me. It is such a great reminder of what our country was founded on and it always makes me feel extremely patriotic. (Although I feel pretty patriotic most days anyways!) I also got to meet up with a high school friend for a little bit who lives and works in DC. That was fun too!

The biggest part of my day was the clinic though. I wasn't sure just how many girls would show up, but was amazed with the support we received! With over 80 players from 3rd grade up to high school seniors, I was impressed with their excitement and willingness to learn. Claire and I introduced them to some basic drills that we do with the National Team to give them an idea of what we do everyday. We wanted to give them a little taste of what it's like to be on the National Team for the day. After a day full of hockey, the girls got a chance to meet us and ask questions. Some good questions included what it takes to make the National Team, and what advice we give to young players hoping to be in our position one day. (Advice I give: work hard, never give up, believe in yourself, and have fun!) The best questions had to be who we met at the Olympics! (Including: If we met Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. They sure did love the swimmers!) After taking a few pictures and signing lots of autographs, we had a "chalk talk" with the coaches about National Team tactics. I enjoyed discussing strategies with the local coaches who will further shape these kids hockey futures. They were eager to learn what we do at the highest level, and I think that says a lot about how dedicated they are to giving back to the game and growing it at all levels. This is great for hockey in America!

I have coached camps, but never run a clinic like this before. I can't wait to do it again! I had such a great time thanks to these amazing girls. They inspire me to be better, as a role model and as a player! They are the future of USA Field Hockey, and I'm excited to see what the future holds!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend! (All Clinic pictures credited to Jack Lewis.)