A bittersweet time is among us, back-to-school time. After a short summer of work and prepping for the season, I find myself back at SHU with a bunch of familiar and some new faces around me. With the first week of classes under my belt, I feel that this year is bound to be a great. Classes seem to be what I signed up for and the whole team is motivated and in the gym as much as possible prepping for the season.
For our first team meetings, we’ve had speakers come in and speak to us on the importance of being a team on and off the ice. Being a team off the ice not only transfers onto the ice with teamwork and knowing each other, but keeps us safe. One of the speakers was a local detective who came in to speak about us banding together as a team outside of hockey to keep each other safe and become strong women in the work place. She spoke about how when she grew up playing hockey, it was hard being a girl because she was out of place. She said that without hockey she would have never been motivated to become a law enforcement officer. She was able to overcome the diversity in hockey and that gave her the confidence in the work place to move through the ranks.
As a team we all responded well to this message and took away from it that if we can band together in all aspects of life, we can only grow stronger as a team and as individuals. To help us do this, we are planning a bunch of team bonding events ranging from team hikes to laser tag games. Starting this year we are also starting a “SHU Sisters” program within the athletics department. The goals for the program are to eliminate first-year isolation and enforce “The Power of Belonging” within the program. Within the team, returning students are paired up with an incoming student to mentor them through the year. As expected, I am paired up with the other goalies on the team and I can’t wait to start doing activities with them.
With pre-season starting up next week, I can feel my free time slipping out from under me. Though it’s sad to watch leisure time disappear, time with the team is just as special. Pre-season leads to captain’s practices and on-ice practice, then to games and that means our first game against Yale on October 17th is creeping up quickly. All the things we do now are in preparation for that first game and that first game leads to the rest of the season. Here’s wishing all team’s good luck with their pre-seasons and first weeks of on-ice practices!!