Sunday, November 01, 2009

Where I was last month.. Pt. 1

Of all the Middle School field hockey teams in our "league", our school's team was the smallest. They had the least amount of players in total, which meant that at our games, all the girls played for almost the entire game. We had 2 subs at most games, and at one game we had 3. Every other team was able to sub out girls on a regular basis so that their players weren't exhausted by the end of the first half. We may have had the smallest team, but our girls had the most heart.

They started out the year a practically brand new team. Only 5 of the girls were returning 8th graders. The rest were bra
nd new 7th grade players who had never held a field hockey stick in their hands before (most of them, a few played in 6th grade). At the beginning of the season, they were like a swarm of bees. They stuck together on the field no matter where they were.. following each other up and down the field, with no where to pass or block or play from. They were timid and unsure of themselves. They didn't win, nor did they score. They didn't let that get them down.

They practiced every single day of the week, from 2:30-4:45 rain or shine. They ran on the track, they ran on the cross country trail, they ran laps on the field and up and down between the goals. They did sprints and drills and learned plays and practiced passing and defense. They became more of a team and less of a bunch of girls that had signed up to play field hockey. They still didn't win, nor did they score any goals. Their spirits grew stronger and their playing got better.

The season started to wind down, and the girls turned into a team. There was no more beehive out on the field. The quiet, timid girls from the beginning of the season started to work together as a unit. They became more sure of themselves as they spread out across the field and played their hearts out. They scored their first goal only to have it taken away due to a technicality. Instead of letting them beat it down, they played harder. They spent more time of the game down at the the other teams net trying to score than they did defending their own. They still didn't win.

They played against their biggest rivals and scored their first goal of the season. It was the 2nd to last game that they played. They were actually winning for a while, but ended up losing 2-1. Considering that the rival team was twice as big, with girls who started playing in 6th grade, they were not swayed by the loss, but proud of themselves. They scored again during their last game, and ended the season not having won a single game, but it didn't matter. They played hard. They had fun. They learned a new sport. They pushed themselves further than some have ever pushed before. They are all winners.

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