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