I have been dreaming about playing hockey in college since my first learn-to-skate as a twelve year old. My first hockey game, I was inspired by the professionals who fought their way to the top to do what they love and pursue their passions. I admired them for having the determination, grit and hard-work to reach their goals. I wanted to reach my maximum potential both as a hockey player and a student in school. I joined the Lady Rough Riders to work towards becoming a college athlete. I have been playing AA hockey for two years now, and my second year playing AA I was asked to be a practice player for our state AAA team. I feel that this was a wonderful opportunity to improve myself both on and off the ice. Playing higher level hockey has helped me develop better time management and organization skills that I now use to keep academics and athletics balanced.
I remember as a young recreational player, I was told that I had the work ethic, drive and speed to play AA, but I couldn’t handle the puck well. That summer, I bought cement-sliding pucks, fake ice and a goal for my garage. I watched videos on how to dangle, snipe and score easily. I went to stick and pucks and took lessons with players better than me so I could learn from them. The next season’s tryouts rolled around and I was finally placed on my beloved AA team. I truly believe that if you want something badly enough, you will fight for it.
This is why, as Captain of my 16AA team this 2019-2020, I encourage my teammates to skate, practice and play with everything they have. Even after a loss or a tough team, we can say that the experience will only make us better because it will increase the expectations of ourselves and our skill level. When we work towards those expectations, you find yourself improving and becoming better and better. The only thing that can drive you to reach these expectations is the passionate want to be better.
Our 16’s team has been lucky enough to be allowed to play in 19AA league tournaments, and we successfully beat every team in the bracket. Last year, we took second in countless tournaments and won the championship in Chi-town. This year we are ranked 18th in the nation and soon play tournaments is Toronto, Arizona, Omaha and Can Am Madison.
I have received countless rewards for school work, and my work on the ice. I’ve had to overcome many obstacles to get where I am today and I want to continue my path to eventually play at a good college. My drive and hard work is what has gotten me this far, and I don’t plan on stopping until I achieve my dreams like so many other players I admire. Perhaps the biggest obstacle of all was getting over my mental block that divided me from better players. I now know the recipe it takes to be successful and I can use it in my years to come.
There will always be someone out there working harder than you, so you must strive to be the person that is working harder than anyone else.