Field hockey may not seem as popular as soccer or football, but it's actually one of the world's most popular sports. It is also played by men AND women, which may come as a surprise to some people.
Regardless of that, field hockey is a sport that has a lot of its own unique moments that every player can relate to, and I have been so lucky to be a part of it for the majority of my life.
1. You don't clean out your bag until next season comes around.
Throughout the season, you throw things into your bag and say you'll "get it later". Realistically, this means you'll clean it out before next year's season starts.
When you do take the time to clean it out, you end up finding things like year-old granola bars, dirty socks, and that pair of flip-flops you thought you lost for good. You never know what you're going to pull out.
2. Your shinguards never seem to stop smelling.
No matter how many times you wash them, they never lose their stench. You can even Febreze the heck out of them but, unfortunately, the smell is there to stay.
3. Driving the ball in cold weather kills your hands.
Sometimes when you hit the ball wrong, it makes your hands hurt from the stick vibration. But if it happens during the winter, it's even worse than how it usually feels.
4. You get annoyed with yourself when you swing and miss.
This is THE WORST, especially in the middle of the game. You get so mad at yourself for not focusing a bit more, and you hope to redeem yourself later.
5. Going into overtime is pure torture.
You're already extremely tired from the game, and now you have to play seven vs. seven. Not winning this round means you go into strokes, and that's even worse. The pressure is ON.
6. Your team always works better when you're friends off the field.
It's extremely hard to get the ball down the field by yourself, so it's crucial to work together as a team. When you're close with your teammates off the field, it makes playing together so much smoother. It's easier to make things happen when you're all buddies.
7. It takes forever to buy a new stick.
Getting a new stick is beautiful, and walking into a store like Longstreth is pure heaven. Testing out new sticks takes so long because you need to make sure your stick is perfect. It's basically like your best friend, so you have to make sure you work well together.
8. People never seem to understand the rules or say "there's too many whistles".
Seriously, it's not that hard. All you have to do is get the ball in the net, just like any other sport, but this time it's with a stick. It's easier to follow than you think!
9. You've definitely worn your hair in a braided pony tail.
This is the best way to keep your hair out of your face. Odds are you had the one girl on your team who braided everyone's hair because she was that good at it.
10. You admire the ice hockey team because they're part of the hockey world, too.
Ice hockey and field hockey bonding is the best. Although there are differences between the two sports, you always have this unspoken bond due to your love of hockey.
12. There are some drives that you're low-key scared to defend.
Some girls on your team are just plain scary to be in front of when they're hitting the ball. You definitely don't want to be on the other team when they're trying to score.
13. You're so used to getting wailed with field hockey balls that it doesn't even hurt anymore.
Especially if you're a defender. Getting hit happens so often you just become immune to the pain. At least you'll have a cool bruise to show off!
14. Constantly hearing "doesn't it hurt your back?"
Sure, you are bending a lot, but it's not like you're hunched over the entire game. Once you've been playing for a while, you get used to it.
15. Your team has its own weird traditions that you'll never forget.
You know exactly what I'm talking about. Whether it's a game day tradition, a cheer you do before getting onto the field, or a song you always sing on the bus ride home, they are memorable moments you'll always hold close to your heart. Fhockey for life!