USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of March 25, 2013

March 26, 2013, 1:15 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report-Week of March 25, 2013

The Retiring Season It seems odd, but apparently it really isn’t. Late last week we announced the retirement of another athlete from our Women's National Team. Kayla Bashore-Smedley officially announced her retirement. She joins in retirement Keli Smith-Puzo, Amy Swensen and Jesse Gey. On the men’s side, we have seen Patrick Cota, Shawn Nakamura and Jarred Martin hang up their sticks from national team play in the last year. It is a bit of a scary proposition as we go forward and begin losing many of the most familiar names we know in hockey. But, we also recognize that, as with all people, everyone needs to get underway with a next phase in their life eventually.

I thought it interesting as we reviewed this circumstance that at the end of the Beijing Olympic Games quad we also saw a bit of an exodus take place. The exodus was such in that time frame that we only had six women’s national team players in place as we proceeded toward London. It is not as bereft this time around and hope abounds as we have developed a new high performance team and the athletes are truly excited. Insofar as men, we have introduced a vastly new crew of athletes and are working hard to provide appropriate living stipends, educational and career opportunities to prepare them for their life course. The approach with both the men’s and women’s teams is to provide a whole experience not totally based on athletic careers but to also develop an athlete based culture with an orientation toward winning. But, just to be really clear…and to help manage expectations….we are looking at long term success. We are now in the growing years and expect to see success albeit in a measured manner. We have superb high performance people, wonderfully gifted athletes, and a set of tremendous support staff. Our Board of Directors and staff are totally supportive of our pathway, and I hope you will be as well as we set our goals and hitch our hopes to the stars of our future.

Commentary from a guy Recently we asked a number of boys/men to comment on: What has this sport done for you? Where did it take you? Did this sport have a positive effect upon your life? Did it put a smile on your face to play? Below and answering those questions is commentary from JaJa Kentwell, a Business Major at the University of Delaware and a super athlete:

Not only have I had the chance to travel to all corners of the earth, I've also had the pleasure of meeting so many great people along the way. Field Hockey has given me the opportunity to develop as an athlete, but more importantly as a person. The single most important thing I've learned through my travels is that nobody has it figured out. No matter the culture, age, or the amount of wealth, people pretend everything is okay and hide the truth from themselves; in reality, everyone has problems they have to deal with. I use to think that all problems need to be solved, and I was wrong. There won't always be a solution to your problem, sometimes finding the best way to deal with a problem is the best solution. Without Field Hockey, I wouldn't have had the chance to travel to so many different places, without those chances, I wouldn't have learned so much about how to handle certain situations throughout different stages of my life. When I look back on my first travel experience, I smile not because it taught me so much, I smile because there are so much more to come.

To JaJa, hockey is not just a sport, but a broad-based opportunity to learn how to deal with all sorts of challenges as they present themselves throughout life. Thanks to JaJa for his thoughts.

The Nook Update The Nook in Lancaster, PA, which is the future USA Field Hockey Home of Hockey, opened last weekend on a limited basis for its first sport tournament. The facility is a multi-sport venue. The first event was a volleyball tournament in which 3,000 athletes were attracted. Only 3,000 were permitted due to limited restroom and other support facilities (which really illustrates how big the facility will eventually end up being). Overall, all went well and The Nook’s owner, Sam Beiler, was quite pleased. We are still on schedule for a move involving our USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team to take place in August of this year. The team recently was involved with The Nook’s architectural firm in designing all aspects of the team facilities including locker, training, video-review, strength and conditioning, other sport science, and medical service rooms within the dedicated USA Field Hockey complex on The Nook campus. From all indications, Sam’s schedule for the opening of the various stages of the development of The Nook are still in place and the entire complex looks magnificent.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (bonus week):

"There’s talk that “Today” show host Matt Lauer is the top choice to replace Alex Trebek when he leaves “Jeopardy.” Or as Alex Trebek put it, "Who is Matt Lauer?"

"U.S. officials have revealed that America is ready to launch cyber-attacks of its own. We have a program that can totally crash someone's computer. It's called "Microsoft Windows."

Have a great week!!

Steve Locke
Executive Director

USA Field Hockey