From the field to the ice! Meg Barrett!

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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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