A Parent’s Perspective — Gigi Morris

Emma Plumb is now an official Boston Field Hockey alum on her way to attend Dartmouth!  Here’s what Emma’s Mom had to say about her experience with Boston FHC.  We will miss them both!

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A Parent’s Perspective

Between ice hockey, lacrosse and field hockey, Emma’s father and I have dealt with a lot of teams. On one of them, parents yelled things like, “Leave blood on the ice.” (Seriously.) On another, parents didn’t talk to you if your daughter wasn’t a star player. One coach taught players how to cheat when the ref wasn’t looking. One punished the girls for a loss by not letting them shower. So by the time she joined Boston Field Hockey we were jaded.
What a wonderful surprise. Parents welcomed us into the fold, and cheered on all of the girls — all of them — with boundless enthusiasm (and, of course, decorum). The girls were equally welcoming to Emma. And this, in my experience, is critical to building a team.
Nate, Kristine and all the other coaches were terrific. But much credit for this unusual unity and spirit goes to Eileen Habelow, who manages, cheers, organizes, coordinates and generally keeps everyone happy. What a godsend!
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As I write, Emma is on her way back from practice with the Women’s National Indoor FH team, and then she has two days to pack before heading off for preseason for her first year at Dartmouth. Wow. Five years ago you couldn’t have paid her to pick up a field hockey stick. What a long way she’s come. BFH is a major reason for her love of this sport and success. We will miss you all. Thank you for letting us be part of this team.
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From Boston FHC to Boston College: Elizabeth’s story


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Whether it was stepping on the ice for the first time at 3 years old or playing youth soccer with my friends, sports have played a huge role in my life since the beginning. Ever since I can remember, ice hockey was always my main focus. From starting in youth hockey, being the only girl on an all boys team, to growing up and playing girls club hockey, I always had a love for the sport. If you had asked me 5 years ago if I thought I could ever love a sport more than hockey, I would have told you that you were crazy. I thought hockey was my “make it or break it,” but clearly I was very wrong. Starting field hockey in 7th grade, and joining Boston Field Hockey in 9th grade completely altered my perspective on the power of sports. Playing field hockey made me believe that maybe ice hockey wasn’t the be-all and end-all of my athletic career.

I can remember when I was a rising 7th grader, about to start at a new school, when my mom told me that I was going to love playing field hockey at Newton Country Day. I didn’t believe her for a second. I didn’t believe her until that first practice I had with my team, when I just knew there was something I loved about the sport. I started to love the sport so much that I wouldn’t stop asking my parents if I could play on a club team, not even knowing if there were club field hockey teams. When my parents found out about Boston Field Hockey from a friend, they promptly signed me up for their indoor team tryouts. And to my surprise, I made the team. Starting on this team as the “new kid” was intimidating and a little bit scary at first. Not to mention that the 5 other girls on this elite indoor team were good; really good. Despite it being scary at first, playing with these girls made me the player I am today, and the 5 girls I started with on this team are now some of my best friends. As I started to play more and more field hockey I began to love the sport more than any other; even ice hockey. I knew that it was my new escape, a new passion.

I owe all my success to this club and everything and everyone that goes along with it. Without the guidance and coaching from Nate, Kristine, Tina, Katie and many more I would not be where I am today. Without the girls that I started out playing with, and still play with today, my own game would never have gotten faster, more skilled, or smarter. And of course I would be lost without the organization and endless support of Eileen. Boston Field Hockey made my dream of playing collegiate field hockey, something I never thought was possible, a reality. I have had a blast being part of this program and I have met many incredible players and people. This is truly an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

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Net Perspective – Paige Ross!

Net Perspective- In Every Sense of the Phrase

I wanted absolutely nothing to do with field hockey. Although one would think that having their cousin be recruited by Brown would be sufficient in spurring even a meager interest in the sport, I refused to even talk about playing.

Freshman year, I was playing in a private soccer league (as I was still young enough to do so) rather than participating in a fall sport for my high school. I was also going to play Lacrosse and Ice Hockey, along with challenging classes, so I thought two high school sports were enough. My older sister played field hockey for Coach White (Winchester High School head coach) the year prior, but unfortunately suffered injuries ending her career. But, Coach White new she had another Ross on the way, and wouldn’t forget it. Two weeks into freshman year the whirlwind began. About eight o’clock on a Sunday night, my sister got a call from Coach White. They desperately needed a freshman team goalie and Coach White knew I wasn’t playing a fall sport. My sister called me down from my room and asked me a question that would prove to change my life- “Wanna play some field hockey goalie?” And, not only surprising my family, but myself; I promptly answered “Yes!”  Not only had I never played goalie before in any sport, but I had only picked up a field hockey stick for a one week, light-pressure day camp, a year aforementioned. The next day I was on the field, loving every second of it.

Later in the season, Coach White (“Whitey”) told me to contact a private field hockey club – none other than yours truly, Boston Field Hockey Club. She had close ties with this elite team and kept telling me how important playing indoor is to develop skills. Encouraging emails from Coach Eileen Habelow gave me the final push I had needed. I had never thought that a private field hockey team would ever want me to play for them, nevermind invite me to try out! Thanks to these two (insanely inspiring and charismatic women) the fever started.

Before I knew it I was waking up every Sunday morning with the biggest smile on my face. Never had I loved a sport so much that every day I woke up wishing I had practice. I knew how lucky I was to see and work with the Coaches and girls I did every Sunday. Boston Field Hockey Club changed my life. I knew I was going to play field hockey for my next three years at the high school, but the coaches pushed me to want so much more.

I dream about playing at the collegiate level. But with the experiences provided by this club my dreams may become part of my reality.

I have participated in tournaments that I had no idea I had the wherewithal to attend. I have been challenged and pushed to the point of no coming back. My thirst for skill and improvement is fed by the coaches, especially Coaches Kristine Stigas and Nate Coolidge. With constructive criticism and carefully planned plays and drills, they have utilized my strengths and reduced my weaknesses. I am so fortuitous to live ten minutes away from the headquarters of one of the best field hockey programs in the country. Some of the girls and goalies I play with travel hours to seize the greatness this program has to offer.

As a sophomore, I made Varsity, all because of Boston Club. I have travelled to Disney (Florida), New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, all around Massachusetts, New Hampshire, the list goes on and on. All of these trips were with Boston Field Hockey Club. My skill level has skyrocketed uncontrollably. I have seized every opportunity that the club has offered to the fullest. With hard work and drive, you can accomplish anything. Appropriate to the name of the team I played on, one of my favorite quotes to live by is; “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” This year I participated on the two teams of Boston Black (u19) and Boston Huskies (u16). The Huskies made it to nationals this year, in Spooky Nook , Pennsylvania. The girls I play with inspire me everyday. Their spirit and steadfastness make me want to be a better player and person every time I jog on to the court or field with them following behind.

I encourage everyone to try out for a Boston Field Hockey Club team- no matter how scared, nervous or unsure you are. I woke up two hours early before I needed to leave on the day of my first tryout for a Boston team I was so stressed out. But I don’t regret a second of it. To future players and future lovers of the game – keep going. I am deeply thankful for all the opportunities presented to me. Utilize this club and the experiences it possesses to their fullest potential. If you do so, you will also reach your fullest potential and realize how great you can be. And to moms – listen to your daughters, but then push them. I owe so much to the inspirational and strong women in my life that pushed me to do things that were initially uncomfortable, but (evidently) essential to my success. Yes, time is sacrificed in traveling to tournaments, clinics, and all; but the experiences and coaching you receive from the Boston Club coaches is so sacred, it is all worth it in the end.

All I can say is thank you, Boston Club for everything you have given me, and I promise I won’t let you down.

Paige Ross – Goalkeeper

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From the field to the ice! Meg Barrett!

megjamiePeople said I should not do it.  Playing one sport is time consuming, but being a multi-sport athlete involves even more time, dedication, and also some sacrifices.  Coaches at another club told me I had to choose one sport if I wanted to play division one in college.  They said I would never be successful if I tried to play more than one sport.  This conversation occurred before I had even experienced varsity athletics in high school. I made the decision to ignore their advice and play three varsity sports.  I have never regretted this decision.

Throughout high school I have played field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse.  A wide variety of opportunities have been given to me by playing these sports. If I had listened to those coaches, I would not have played a state final ice hockey game at the Boston Garden or experienced playing ice hockey at Frozen Fenway.   Stepping on to the ice at the Boston Garden was something I will never forget.  Seeing my family, friends from school and Boston Field Hockey in the stands there to support me. It was breathtaking.  What was also special, was being able share this experience with my Boston Field Hockey teammate Jamie Melley.  Jamie and I have known each other for a long time.  We met while playing ice hockey together at Assabet.  This game was to be Jamie’s last high school ice hockey game.   To be able to experience this with her was special.  We chatted at the face off circle smiling and laughing enjoying this experience with each other.  (We are in the photo below.) Although my team lost, it felt good to know that Jamie’s team won. Playing at Fenway Park during a snow flurry was also memorable.  Most kids will never be able to participate in a game at Fenway, but with the help of my coach, my team and I were able to play against one of our town rivals in Fenway Park. I would never have had these experiences if I did not continue to play ice hockey.  A game I have been playing since I was four and will continue to love.

Due to sport commitments however, I have also had to miss out on opportunities too.  For example, it was really hard for me to miss attending NIT’s this year.  I love indoor field hockey and really wanted to be there with my team.  We played so well together at qualifiers.  However, my ice hockey team was starting the state tournament when NIT’s took place and I was unable to leave.  This was a hard decision to make, but thankfully Boston Field Hockey understood and supported my decision.  I will always remember and appreciate that.

Different sports require different mindsets, skills, and strategies.  Being able to transfer these skills through a variety of sports has helped me to become a better athlete.  In field hockey you have to have speed, strong stick skills, and the ability to see the field.  In Ice hockey you have to make quick decisions and have confidence to use your imagination and creativity.  With lacrosse you have to be precise with the fundamentals and be able to quickly change from offense to defense in a matter of seconds.  Developing these different qualities benefits you in the other sports you play. With the help of ice hockey, I am able to see passes and space that others do not recognize in field hockey.  With the help of field hockey, I have better stick skills in ice hockey.  Lacrosse has helped my ability to change from attacking to defending quickly which also helps with my foot speed and agility in field hockey.

With the support from my family and friends I am able to participate on some of the top sports teams. Playing three sports sounds tiring, and at time it is. I do not know what I would do after school however, without my sports.  They have helped me to learn time management, how to work with other people, the importance of communication, and most of all how to have fun.  Although occasionally I have to sacrifice a Friday or Saturday night out, I know in the long run it will benefit me.  Playing sports allows me to release the stress of school and take my mind off everything that has happened that day and focus my mind on a game I love. The opportunities and different qualities I have gained from being a multi-sport athlete I will carry with me through college and for many years after.  No regrets!!

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Straight from the Cage… Livy Golini!

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Late my junior year of high school I was asked to try out for this team I had never heard of, they were called Boston field hockey club. Before this, I never knew about the world of club sports. I did sessions, clinics, and played during regular season, but that was about the extent of my experience with sports. This all changed the moment I came to indoor tryouts.

My indoor team became a family, and Boston was named my second home. The coaching staff was all so close, and the girls on the team were already fast friends. The bond that was shared between everyone was so strong you could practically see it, and all these people welcomed me in so easily. Little did I know, this team was in its first year of being an established club. The bond that consumed this club tricked me into thinking that they had been running for years. The dynamic between these people seemed impossible to create in such little time. To my surprise, these girls and these coaches had been together just a couple of months. I was in awe at the power of Boston.

That year at National Indoor Qualifiers, it was the first time we competed as a team. And after my first game, parents whom I’ve never seen, or spoke to, before congratulated me on the great game I had just played. I didn’t even know most of these people, but their kindness made me smile more than the game we had just won! It truly warmed my heart to be a part of this group. It was at this moment that I knew I chose the right club team. It was at this moment that I realized I was very fortunate to be able to play with such a great group of girls. And it was at this moment that I knew I would never have found a better coaching staff than where I was that day.

I continue to play with Boston, and it has brought me nothing but great memories. It has developed me not only as a player, but as a person. I am forever thankful for all the work they have done to keep me playing, and I am amazed by how far they have come in a year. I look forward to seeing what Boston will accomplish in the future. Even though I am a senior soon to be leaving for college, I will always be a part of Boston field hockey.

Livy Golini
Goalie, Boston Field Hockey
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Bailey’s perspective

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The only thing that has changed from 7 years ago, is the height of my bun, and my love for field hockey. Ever since I picked up my first stick, I haven’t been able to stop. My passion for the game has grown with every sprint, hit, or goal. There’s not many things field hockey has not done for me.  Without it, I would have not been able to go to the college of my dreams or been able to travel to such unforgettable places with unforgettable people.

In 7th grade I began bouncing around club to club trying to become a part of the next level. I never really felt comfortable at any of these clubs; which is unusual for me given my personality. And for those of you that know me…I know…shocking.  Starting my Sophomore year, I became involved in the Futures program which lead me straight into the arms of the Boston Field Hockey Club. At the regional futures tournament, I caught the eye of Nate and he asked me if I had any interest in joining the club. Boston Field hockey was just starting out and I jumped at the opportunity that was presented to me. Honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made in my life.

The Boston Field Hockey Club is my second family. With my dad by my side, we jumped into this family culture that we have never experienced before. I never thought I would meet some of my best friends here. Girls I had not known before; I could now never imagine what I would do without them. I never thought I could gain such skills, friendships, and up and coming endeavors from one club, but I did. I do not know where I would be today without the Boston Field hockey club.

Field hockey is not only developed at BFHC, but character and sportsmanship as well. In this high level of play, one must have resilience and discipline in order to elevate your game. There will always be a player that is better than you, faster than you, stronger than you. Usually, this is what provides the competition. Here at BFHC, this is what makes us a family. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but we come together to build upon that and help each other grow as players. This club has taught me that I can be a leader and have influence in everything I do.

The main difference I have noticed in this club compared to the others I have been part of, is the fact that the coaches, players, and parents, genuinely care about each and every player. The experiences of the coaches and parents in the field hockey world help each of these players through recruitment and high school.

This club would not have been as successful without the extraordinary care and skill that came from Eileen, Nate and the coaches. Eileen “Mama” Habelow is the glue that holds this club together. She puts in so much effort to get to know each and every member on the team and it has really made a difference. Nate, as many of you know, is the big brother we never wanted, but he has provided us with the confidence and skills to be elite players.

There is not enough time and space for me to fully explain how much Boston Field hockey club has changed my life, nor could I ever put it all into words. This is the type of experience you have to have for yourself, and I am glad I did. I truly would not be the player, or person, I am today without my experience here at Boston Field hockey club.

Bailey Fanikos 2015

UVA 2019

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The toughest job in hockey: The Goalie’s Mom!

Here is a perspective from goalie Livy Golini’s Mom, Kate…

 

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Boston Field Hockey has been an amazing experience for my daughter and me. From the beginning, coaches, players and parents were welcoming and supportive. The team feeling goes beyond the players and reverberates among the coaches and parents. My daughter has had the most wonderful time being a member of BFHC. Her coaches have given her more than skill instruction. They have given her courage, calm and self-assurance. They helped her laugh off the struggles and learn from defeat. She has been challenged to compete harder, push herself more, leave it all on the field and love every minute of it. Boston Field Hockey has changed our lives forever and we will always be indebted to them. Their generosity of spirit has been a gift to our family that we will carry with us long after her club days are done. I have loved watching these girls play. I will miss watching their grit, determination and skill. It has been truly been a pleasure to be a lucky parent of a BFHC team member. Go Boston!

Kate Gmelch, Livy’s Mom

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BFHC – It’s a Family!

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Boston Field Hockey isn’t just a club it’s a family.
As a parent, watching our child grow under the direction and expertise of the coaching staff at BFHC has been one of the most rewarding experiences.  If you are not passionate about field hockey, you soon will be. That’s just part of it. The field hockey part of our experience.The relationships that form with the other players and their families is the other part.  Our daughter is now graduated and moving on to college early as a gray shirt athlete. We held her graduation party and our field hockey family was there. They drove from all over. It was truly heart warming.  That is one story of many. Whether it’s phone calls supporting and guiding each other, texting if we see each others kids in the paper or sending pics of the girls at prom. The texts and phone calls we received making sure we were okay after moving Cam into Quinnipiac just warms our hearts. It doesn’t matter what it is… we are family.

The dynamic between Eileen and Nate is infectious. Coming from a parents perspective, something that sticks out for us personally, is how on top of emails, correspondence, gear/uniforms and scheduling they are. On top of that the ability of both of them (on different levels) interact with the players and parents. It’s unique, sincere, professional and personal all at the same time. To sum that up, there is never a wonder if anyone matters. They all do.Also, the coaching staff all add something different to the process and as a parent, that’s huge. Players will only benefit from the many different styles that come with different high level coaching. When a new coach is added to the staff, we all get very excited. It truly makes all of the difference.

Even though our daughter will not be playing for BFHC anymore, she will always be a part of BFHC. even though our daughter does no play at BFHC anymore, we will always be a part of  BFHC. Let’s put it this way,  our daughter does not play there anymore and we will be at NIT’s with our field hockey family to support all of the players we have grown to love and can’t wait to cheer them on!

Jamie & Alwin
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From there to here… Cam Dias’ journey to the college level

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One of our newest college players, Cam Dias, checked into Quinnipiac University as a gray-shirt Freshman this semester.  Here is Cam’s perspective.

I moved into Quinnipiac University ! I can say with total honesty I could not have come this far without the support and coaching from BFHC coaches, players and parents. I have been lucky enough to have been coached by some awesome coaches. My early days learning reverse skill and backhanded shots ended up being something I was able to polish and use with confidence. My recruiting process began when I was in 10th grade and at that point I had no idea what that meant. I got my first interest from colleges after College Connection. Some division 2 but mostly division 1. It became clear maybe I could play at that level. The following year, which was junior year things started coming together. Even though I was emailing with a few schools, one school was clicking with me more than the others. After a summer of playing at a variety of camps held at schools I was interested in, it became clearer. As time went on, I felt that feeling more and more. That school was Quinnipiac for me. Coach Main, coach Canada and the program were where my heart was telling me was my fit. From the moment I was made and offer and had that final meeting, I just knew it was right. That next summer camp I was verbally committed and knew I would be a bobcat. My newest coach, Coach Angelini came over to me to talk. I was worried. Was I not playing well I wondered? To my surprise, she didn’t want second guess the decision or tell me I was in bad shape. Not even close. She asked me if I was interested in graduating high school early and coming to Quinnipiac early (spring semester) so I could get used to training and college life. I was beyond excited. It was a no brainer for me. I couldn’t wait to be a part of the Quinnipiac field hockey family!
I can still remember my first lesson with Nate (before BFHC existed). He set up the cones and gave me instruction. I look back on the video my mom took and it’s embarrassing! I was tripping and couldn’t move the way he wanted me to. He told me when I would use this skill and all I could do was try to breathe through my frustration. After that first lesson with Nate, I felt beat. He played me one on one. He beat me over and over again. I felt beat.  I got in the car and didn’t think I could or even wanted to work that hard for anything. I was angry. I told them I quit and was done. After an hour drive, we pulled into our driveway, I remember my parents talking to me and telling me that if I didn’t want to keep going it was okay.  My response was quick as I had the ride home to really think about what I said after my first lesson. I told them I just realized for the first time that I actually wanted to work hard for field hockey – very hard. I asked when I could work with Nate again and kill those cones. I never looked back. I only grew stronger. I can still kill the cones and have even beaten Nate. I am so happy I didn’t give up and will always be thankful for that horrible day.
What I will miss the most at Boston Field Hockey? My friends and traveling to all of the tournaments. However, I know the relationships I have at BFHC will be forever. I will still follow them. Hopefully make it to their tournaments when I am not playing. And luckily I will see some of them on the turf playing at the collegiate level.
My favorite moment at BFHC? My last festival! We finally won a medal and Bailey and I got to accept all of the medals and represent BFHC! It was my favorite moment because it was the last time I got to play with my best friends. We stayed at a great hotel and we all hung out every night. It’s really neat when you have been in field hockey for so long, you know so many players and coaches.  It was cool because everything came full circle. I was comfortable. It was a blast!
Cam
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How old are you again? Boston Field Hockey Club Experience through the eyes of a U14 player (Sam Davidson)

We promised to offer different perspectives in our blog.  This is our first delivery on the promise.  Samantha Davidson is one of our U14 players who has a great perspective on starting field hockey at a young age.

Enjoy Samantha’s perspective!

If you ask the average college field hockey player if there is anything they wish they could have done differently in life when it comes to field hockey, the most common answer you will receive is, “I wish I had started younger.” Thanks to Boston Field Hockey Club, for kids like me, that isn’t a problem.

This club has given me, as a 13 year old, many opportunities to play at a very high level for both the u14 age group and to play up with some of the u16 teams. Playing at such a high level at such a young age can sometimes be very scary. The girls are bigger, stronger, and faster than the girls you are used to playing against with your regular age group. The ball moves quicker and the shots are harder. This may seem very scary to some, but it is not always a negative thing. Sure, it can be terrifying at times if you turn away from the shots and don’t prepare yourself for the quicker speed of the game. But if you stand up to the hard shots and try to get in better shape and speed for the faster player, then playing with the older girls can be the best decision you’ve ever made. Even still, some fail to realize that playing up is not just the player’s choice, but the coach’s also. I would not be playing with the older girls if I wasn’t asked to by my coach and then agreed to it. Playing with these girls is not something you can just do, you actually have to be advanced enough in your skills and mindset to be ready for it.

One of the reasons I like playing up is because I like a challenge. I’m no longer the best one on my team and it forces me to work as hard as I can to keep up with their strength and speed that most girls my age haven’t developed yet. Another reason I love playing with the older girls is the social aspect. Because I am younger than all of them, I am like everyone’s little sister on the team (including my actual older sister’s). They all take care of me and include me in all of the non field hockey related activities. It is like BFHC is my whole second family with twenty sisters. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Some may think that the whole idea of me playing with the u16s and the u14s would make things kind of awkward when I’m playing at my regular age group, but it is actually just the opposite. The truth is, I love both of my teams, and can’t choose one over the other, but when I play u14 it is nice to talk to and play with girls my age and not be the youngest one. Also, instead of being the little sister on the team, I am the captain, and can be the leader for once.

But whether you want play just for your age group, or if you want to play with the older girls, BFHC will make it a positive experience.

IMG_3767Samantha Davidson

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