The Religion of Field Hockey
Start writing a post

The Religion of Field Hockey

it isn't just a sport

19
The Religion of Field Hockey

Where I'm from, field hockey is not just a sport; it's a religion. Much like religion, you are baptized into the faith at a young age. For me, that was age 12, when I "tried out" for the middle school field hockey team. Everyone is welcome, hence the quotation marks around try out, but only some are accepted; even fewer exalted.

There are a series of sacraments that must be received before confirmation as a true player, the primary being carrying the goalie bag from the field to coach's car as well as signing up for the 8am slot at the grocery store bake sale. Supplementing these sacraments is a general education on the history of the faith: how my grandpa's cousin began field hockey at my school in 1950 something and how, ever since, we have provided the opposing team with baked goods at home games.

Once you understand the faith, you must therefore live it out, according to the appropriate rituals and traditions of course. These you must study, for fear of being unprepared and thereby humiliated during the performance of them, which happen at a moment's notice. These traditions include, but are not limited to: wearing your uniform on game day, pasta dinners (last-supper fashion) before game days, and repenting the mistakes you made during the game to be confessed after game days.

Like any religion, music is a large part of these traditions, and the sport in general. Returning from a pilgrimage to any away game, two of the following must be sung in praise: "Brothers All Are We" (in which the word "sister" is substituted for "brother") and "Shipping up to Boston" (accompanied by the hitting of the back of bus seats according to the beat). The subsequent hymns can be alternated accordingly, granted that at least one Hannah Montana and/or Jonas Brother's song is played.

Success, however, is not determined only by adherence to these traditions but to the commandments of field hockey. There are not ten, but rather three that are most pertinent: 1) always wear shoes in the parking lot; 2) never waste water by squirting it at your friend from your water bottle; and 3) if there are 53 balls at the beginning of practice, there must be 53 at the end.

Even this, though, is not enough; no, field hockey requires a special type of sacrifice that edges on martyrdom. Not only are there tests of physical endurance, there are also moments of extreme mental distress when your coach stares you directly in the eye. All of these are meant to try your loyalty to the faith; mine, I believe, was not truly proved until a trip to the ER to stitch up a whole the size of a field-hockey stick in my lip.

Like religion, too, there is no clear reward. Not, at least, until you can look back and realize it was all worth it. Not until you realize that it was not the monumental moments (the state championship, awards at the annual banquet), but rather the small ones in between (braiding hair on the sidelines, sunsets over route two) that made the biggest impact. It wasn't about whether you won all the games or followed all the rules but about whether you showed up for practice every day, even with stitches in your lips. It was the people you met, the songs you sung, the detours you made until you found your way again. And every time, there it was waiting for you, your rock, your refuge: field hockey.

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

Pride Doesn't End With June

Here's seven ways you can be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community after pride month ends.

2954
Pride Doesn't End With June
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

As July begins, the month we call 'Pride Month' is technically over. However, just because pride month is over doesn't mean we can't still show pride and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters. This article here will tell you seven ways to be a supportive ally to the LGBTQ+ all year round.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My 4th Of July Look

MISS SWISS - Glamour On The Go

3287
My 4th Of July Look

Whether I can get to the beach this weekend or I'm just at a friend's pool, I know I'll be picture ready. Fourth of July weekend following so close behind Pennsylvania lifting the state mask mandate has me anticipating many smiling faces, eager to capture the moment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me

When i die spread my ashes at the Bubba Gump at Citywalk

2806
Eat and Drink Your Way Through Los Angeles With Me
Hailey Hastings via Canva

First and foremost, I am a foodie. In any city that I am in, the first thing I want to know is where the best places to eat and drink are, and I imagine a lot of you are the same. Los Angeles happens to be one of the greatest food cities in the United States, so it's only right that I present you guys with this list. These are the best places (that I have tried) in Los Angeles to eat or drink.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Your Guide to Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well.

3489
Dryness-Preventing Nutrition

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of women over the age of 50 struggle with uncomfortable symptoms due to vaginal dryness. This is an extremely common issue for those entering menopause, but it can also affect those of a younger age as well. Common issues like UTI’s, yeast infections and medications can cause vaginal dryness but one of the big culprits for both cause and prevention is diet. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins to encourage your body to produce the hormones it needs are one of the many home remedies for dryness. There are many factors that can cause dryness and the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it, and diet is one of the big culprits on the list. Keep reading to learn about adopting nutrition habits that both alleviate and prevent dryness!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Artificial Intelligence: the Upward Downfall

We are walking a dangerous road with AI

4758

“Alexa, I want the truth.”

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments