MEET MIKAYLA BOWMAN!
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Mikayla Bowman and I am a 14-year-old girl goalie who plays hockey in the sunshine state — yes you read that right, Florida! You may be wondering why in the world I would spend my time blocking flying pucks and not working on my tan at the beach. Well, I guess I am just one of the crazy ones.
I am a dedicated student athlete, studying STEM at Nease High School in St Johns Florida, Class of 2023. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where I played AAA boys hockey. As a military family, we moved to the Sunshine State of Florida, in 2016, where I was introduced to the women’s hockey scene for the first time. It was a whole new experience for me and I am so grateful to be meeting new people who share the same passion as me. For the past two years I’ve been goaltending for the Florida Alliance Girls 14U where I’ve made such deep friendships and have amazing coaches!
My coaches would say my strengths are:
- My mental game is strong under pressure.
- I can consistently maintain high intensity while delivering sharp technical movement.
- I am coachable and can adjust my game quickly with feedback I’m given.
You’ll find me pushing my development and competing at elite competitions. Here are just a few examples to highlight:
- 2019 USA Hockey Tier II Nationals (3rd)
- 2019 USA Hockey National Goalie Development Camp (Invite only)
- 2019 USA Hockey National Player Development Camp (Invite only)
- 2019 Rush Hockey College Showcase (Invite only)
- 2019 Women’s Beantown Classic
My dream is to play D1 level college hockey while likely studying Engineering and play on the US Olympic Team.
To follow my story and learn more about future competitions I will be competing in, please follow me @mjbowman05 on my social medial channels.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE A WHL BRAND AMBASSADOR?
It gives me a chance to inspire young girls—I want other young hockey girls to be confident in themselves and do what they love. It can be hard being a girl in what seems to be a boy dominated sport. It’s a great opportunity to rise up and set a good example.
In a geographically challenged hockey area and in an academically rigorous STEM Academy, I have a great story to share with other girls. We can break the mold! In telling my story on social media and other channels, I hope to spread the word about girl’s ice hockey in Florida.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AS A #WHLAMBASSADOR?
I look forward to helping to pave the way in women’s hockey like many other amazing women leaders before me like Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Cammi Granato and Manon Rheaume, to name a few of my favorites.
By sharing my life lessons, heartaches and victories both on and off the ice, I am hoping to inspire other girls to move forward when they face similar challenges. I feel privileged to have this chance to speak up in the hockey community and be the voice for other girls.
WHAT’S SOMETHING NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Something not a lot of people know about me is that I believe that hockey is all about your mental game. I visualize before, on and off the ice about my success. The funny thing is most people would probably focus on getting hyped before a game, raising their energy to almost frantic. Instead, I listen to classical music to prepare for my games. I relax and visualize myself performing precise movements: my eyes laser focused, playing like I’m 6ft tall with fast feet, accurate hands and perfect timing.
I truly believe that if you want something and set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. This started when I was very young, practicing yoga and deep breathing with my mom. I find that if I can center my breathing, slow my heart rate down, everything comes into focus and I can see every little detail so clearly. Yet I train hard so when the time comes I can trust my body will move with the muscle memory I’ve created. There is a deep connection with my mind and my muscle control. It’s like my superpower!
IF YOU COULD SIT DOWN AND HAVE DINNER WITH ONE FEMALE HOCKEY PLAYER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player it would be Alex (Rigsby) Cavallini—the US Olympic gold medal winning goaltender of the 2016 Winter Olympics. She is so impressive and a big inspiration to me. I would love to ask about her philosophies (on and off the ice) and I want her to describe her experience leading to the Olympics. What’s the one thing she regrets? What is her most favorite memory throughout her hockey journey? I would also like to know the one piece of advice she would give an aspiring athlete like myself.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN IN HOCKEY OR IN LIFE?
Hakuna Matata! I know that seems silly but it means “no worries” a motto I live and breathe by. Fear can really hold athletes back. Fear of making mistakes or losing. In my mind, it’s okay to make mistakes, that’s an inevitable path to getting better. Learning from them is what makes you an elite athlete. Instead of looking at the negative side of things I like to focus on the positive. I’m confident in my pursuit for excellence and I don’t mistake it for a pursuit of perfection!
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM FOR WOMENS HOCKEY?
My dream for women’s hockey is to make it more widespread, and watch it grow. I hope for women’s hockey to become more diverse, with women and girls of all ages and sizes able to play.
Although I have dreams of going to college and all that comes along after that, I dream (like I’m sure many others young girls) that there could be a real career for us in women’s hockey.
I want to see women playing on TV and getting paid as much as men.