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.)



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