20 YEARS!! When we first started all of this we had no idea where it would go. Creating a couple of teams (15u, 19u) for some motivated hockey players, who were looking for structure to play the game of hockey is where we started. To imagine, in ANY way, that 28 female athletes would become 280, is unthinkable. To look back on our FIRST Division-I player, a Hawaiian, who flew to us, then to tournaments in order to get the exposure to eventually play for Northeastern, is inspiring.
The Lady Ducks lost many games in our first season, but in many ways, we never looked back. Development over “W”s has become our legacy but, along the way we have won dozens of Pacific District Championships; several USAH Nationals medals; and helped develop more than 125 LD athletes placed into the NCAA. Now with a growing ACHA (over 60 teams and growing in the college club environment!) there are additional options for college hockey that fit those looking to continue competitive hockey throughout their college years.
As we celebrate our LD20 season, I want to celebrate the support and teamwork shown by so many families since our humble beginnings. Yes, I work long, late night hours after work to coach, make schedules and help all LD teams along with other tasks. But, without so many others involved in the LDFamily, we would never be where we are today. As parents, please do what you can to support your athlete, your team, and the LDFamily in a positive way in order to grow this program in strength and size as we move along toward 25, 30 … 50 years! Plan a pizza party, donate dryland materials, host the team swim party, help the manager … anything which helps the greater good and lifts up your daughter’s experience.
Beach day was a perfect example. What a Day! We had a record number of our LDFamily at this year’s event and most importantly there was such great camaraderie between teammates and across the age groups! Sharing a great day at the beach, playing and socializing together has set the tone for a successful season on and off the ice!
By now, the teams have finished up summer clinic sessions. Your teams are meeting from this point on as TEAMS. Expect off-ice training, chalk talks, skill development and team training. I am available most days by email if you have a concern that managers and coaches cannot resolve. I look forward to saying hello to everyone as the season progresses. Please reach out so your child’s season is a good one!
To our athletes, this message: PREPARE your game with individual skills practice, lessons and completing hockey homework “to-do” designed for your age group. COMPETE each week in league, exhibition and tournament play as your work supports the team’s goals. SUCCESS comes from the growth you feel in accomplishing things you want to do; learning to overcome the struggles in achieving your goals, and knowing that everything that comes from this sport gives you lessons and experiences you will remember throughout your life.
Lady Ducks: Be RELENTLESS in your pursuit of excellence! Have a wonderful season of hockey, fun and make great memories!