Words of Wisdom from the Pan American Cup

Sept. 25, 2013, 12 p.m. (ET)

Words of Wisdom from the Pan American Cup

The end of September is quickly approaching and so is the heart of field hockey season in the United States. Nothing compares to the rush of hockey. The ability to feel the ball vibrate through your fingertips and sail through the air to defy gravity is pure pleasure. Whether you are maneuvering through cones or competitive opponents, the skills remain the same even at the Pan American Cup.

The game provokes creativity. As athletes might have to adjust to certain scenarios or situations, so does their foot-work, stick position and speed. Although skills and fitness are vital in an athlete’s success on the pitch, another valuable quality is the power of positive thinking. Having a positive mindset will heighten confidence, leadership thus translating to stronger decision-making on the pitch.

Halfway through season, athletes may find a need for an additional surge of motivation to make a statement during the second half of matches. For an extra kick of energy, all the way from Mendoza, Argentina, the U.S. Women’s National Team brings you into their huddle for a mid-season pep talk.  

Words of Wisdom from the U.S. Women’s National Team:

Alesha Widdall: Play like every moment could be your last.

Stefanie Fee: It's not about the minutes you play. It is about making the minutes count.

Kathleen Sharkey: My advice would be to take one game at a time. Do not get frustrated after a loss. Instead try and learn from it and look to improve for the next game. Also, enjoy and appreciate each day with your teammates because the season goes by fast.  

Lauren Crandall: Work hard and make sure you have fun!  If you can mask all the hard work it takes to be successful through your love of the game, you will have the best repeatable recipe for success! – Lauren Crandall

Katie Reinprecht: Don't take practice time for granted. Although it's easy to get caught up in the monotony of practice by simply going through the motions, it is important to embrace each practice as an opportunity to improve as player and ultimately help your team succeed. Always remember there is something to be gained from every game, no matter the level of difficulty.

Jamie Montgomery: My advice is work hard and have fun! Winning is an outcome, the process is the part that matters most and if you enjoy that, you're on the right path.

Jackie Kintzer: I've always found the most success in hockey when I enjoy it. There are times to be serious and focus on tactics, fitness, and skills but keeping the atmosphere fun and sometimes incorporating silly games where everyone is involved allows me to refocus and recharge.

Cheer on Team USA tomorrow September, 26 at 5:30 p.m. ET as they take on Canada in the Semi-Finals of the Pan American Cup. Follow @usafieldhockey on Twitter for live updates!