An Open Letter To Freshmen Playing Field Hockey In College
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An Open Letter To Freshmen Playing Field Hockey In College

Love It, Work Hard, Earn It

An Open Letter To Freshmen Playing Field Hockey In College
Manhattanville Field Hockey

Dear Freshman College Field Hockey Athlete,

You have signed the papers and are committed to a new journey in your life to continue to play field hockey in college. You have worked tirelessly in high school to get to this point so you could keep playing the sport you love most. The sweat and tears you put into the summer prior to preseason will only better prepare you for when you arrive on campus and hit the field.

At the end of summer, preseason begins and you have conditioning, training, and field hockey practice 2-4 times a day for a few hours each session. As long as you complete your summer training packet (and then some), you will be prepared. Preseason is the time to push yourself; it will not be easy. It may all be overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but remember, you earned your spot on this team and trained all summer for this, so be confident in your abilities.

Like Nike…

Preseason is the time to not only show Coach that you trained all summer and stand out, but it is a critical time to earn your teammates’ respect. The ladies on your team are your teammates. Urban Dictionary gives a genuine definition of what a teammate is: "Somebody on the same team that, no matter what, won't quit on you, will always defend you in front of non-team members and is there for the team." They are the ones you are going to build trust with and learn from. They are the ones who are going to pick you up when you make a mistake on the field and tell you to “Shake it Off”. They are the ones who are going to tell you when you did something great. They are the ones who are going to work hard with you in practice to challenge you to make you better. They are the ones you're going to be playing with on the field. They are the ones who could potentially be your life-long friends.

Preseason is a time to take very seriously, as it is the foundation of what your season will be. Work hard, eat healthy (get bananas in you!), hydrate constantly, and build relationships with your teammates. The sooner you build these connections, the better off you will be. Not only are they your teammates, but they become like a family. You will be spending the next few months together almost everyday. Before you know it, the season will be over and you will wish that you could still keep playing the sport you love with the people you love. You will also wish that you could get another season to play with your seniors who will not be on the field with you next season. With that being said, make every moment count. Being a college athlete is a rewarding experience and all about what you make of it.

If you have never been trained before, you are going to be getting trained by professionals who will teach you how to properly lift, improve your conditioning and endurance, and get you in top shape to prevent injuries. Take advantage of what Athletics offers. Even though Coach may not physically be there while you are getting trained in the weight room, he or she will find out if you kicked butt or were slacking. Give it your all always. It will only better yourself and you will earn respect.

This will all be different from anything you have ever experienced. Keep an open mind and manage your time wisely. Classes will start and you are going to have to balance your schoolwork and field hockey efficiently. You will get used to it in time, but it is difficult at first. Take your studies seriously, and do not fall behind. You will hear it over and over… “You are a student-athlete”. Coaches know you are here for studies, too. You’ll be playing field hockey for four years, but have a career for 40+ years, so do the best you can both on and off the field.

Remember, as a freshman, you are in a whole new ball-game. You are learning a new class schedule that you are not used to and will have different kinds of classes and studies. You are also away from home more than normal. Even if you think you won't get "home-sick", you may tear up on occasion. That is normal! But always think how special it will be to see your family the times that you do. Make them proud! If it ever gets tough, just know your teammates especially will be there for you always. Aside from that, you will also have a new experience athletically. You will make some mistakes on the field, but immediately shake it off and keep working. Don’t let mistakes discourage you, work through them.

Your role as a freshman is to work hard, learn the different kind of game at college-level, to fulfill your freshmen responsibilities, to be a valuable and dedicated member of the team, earn respect, and to never give up on yourself or your team. Whatever you desire, you’ve got to earn it.

As Mia Hamm once said, “Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her.”

Always remember why you play field hockey… for the love of the sport. The rest will fall into place.

Enjoy the ride and best of luck; season flies by and you’re a sophomore athlete before you know it.


A First-Year Field Hockey Player who was in Your Position Last Year

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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