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.