Welcome back to another hockey season!!
I want to say first off that from Spring Clinics to Tryouts to Summer Girls’ Camp, we saw so many new faces and enthusiastic hockey players from 6u to the 19u ages!! As it stands, with 5 weeks to go until the season is in full swing we will have 200+ Lady Ducks suiting up this season! With a record 25 girls currently involved at age 8 and younger, including a 6u team, already a handful of Lady Ducks in Training... the future is bright for the Lady Ducks Family moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward: Tryouts is always a difficult time as each player aspires to reach their goals, make that higher team, etc…Coaches are often surprised to see “new” talent come into the mix and the growth of AA players, who challenge for AAA spots. There are three key take aways from this experience regardless of the team one is on for 2017-18.
-First, The Lady Ducks is a more competitive program every year so, individuals must work to raise their game (regular lessons, training) at a rate that projects them toward their desired level. The talent in the southwest improves so the Lady Ducks are stronger. AAA players are often extremely talented, hard working, and even obsessed with the process toward perfection. This is a mindset that a parent can’t make happen (except for preaching hard work). That said, much like a college-bound student… regular extra work is needed to be outstanding… and that doesn’t always mean you will be accepted to Harvard. Some collision between depth of talent, hard work and player training create those players that make each level of team. Do a regular review of your skills and what you are doing to reach your goals. It is the daily and weekly commitment to excellence that Makes you Excel.
-Second, Everyone’s path is different. This is a marathon, not a sprint so BOTH players and parents must understand that players may not progress at a certain speed evenly… there are ups and downs… there are early stars and late bloomers…. and challenges must be met (just as in life) with vigor, resilience and the desire to keep working. Don’t blame ANYONE if things didn’t go as planned. Bear down and make goals and set out to achieve them. FYI… The Lady Ducks have put more than 20 AA players into the NCAA. That dream is NOT a AAA-only one. Stay on your path and make your dreams happen.
- Third, Everyone cannot be an Olympian or Division I hockey player but, so what?! Hockey is a sport for life…I am 50 and I still go to Nationals to have fun and compete. I know some absolutely amazing young women, Lady Ducks alumni, who LOVE this game and played Division III or ACHA Club hockey and became Doctors, Writers, Professors, Entrepreneurs, Teachers/Coaches, professionals in many fields and I am so very proud of them. Their experiences as a Lady Duck helped to shape their work ethic, their camaraderie, an adventurous spirit, their exposure to various places and cultures AND their understanding of the need to COMPETE in life. I must celebrate that in everyone of them. I hope as parents you do as well.
I wish everyone an amazing 2017-18 season! Participate with your team, Volunteer to spread the duties out, and get to know your Hockey Family.
You are a Lady Duck for LIFE!! Enjoy.
"The Will to Win is not nearly as Important as the Will to PREPARE to WIN."