From Virginia Beach, Va., U.S. Women’s National Team athlete Stefanie Fee feels most at home with grains of sand or blades of turf beneath her feet. She kept both homely feelings by migrating next to Durham, N.C. The sharp Team USA defender graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology with a double minor in education and cultural anthropology. Fee transitioned from being a defensive threat for the Blue Devils to an instrumental part of the red, white and blue’s lineup since being named to the squad in 2012. Fee is quite used to a team environment with her hockey career beginning in middle school physical education class. However, she revealed the perspective that hockey can be seen as somewhat of a solo sport too.
“As a team, we just had a sports physiology meeting and learned that 95 percent of all of your actions go unseen,” said Fee. “So you’re kind of an individual player 95 percent of the time, but we have this united mindset that whatever I’m eating, whatever I’m doing, however I’m resting, it’s for them, my team. Everyone carries that same mentality. It’s a powerful thing.”
A powerful feature Fee brings to the team is her unrelenting positivity. Fee’s wide, sincere smile doesn’t fade no matter the day of the week or however grueling the workout may be. Extending her arm to deliver a high five and sharing uplifting words of encouragement are natural reactions. She gets as much out these gestures as she gives. To Fee, in the back of her mind, it’s important keep a sense of lightheartedness about the sport that attracted to her field hockey in the first place.
“I like to consider myself a big kid, so I love games,” said Fee. “Field hockey is fun to me because at it’s core is the basic idea of just playing. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all doing. It’s an Olympic sport, it’s the pinnacle of competition but you’re still playing. And that’s what I like to bring it back to every time I get blessed with another day to play the sport I love.”
Check usafieldhockey.com next Wednesday for another USWNT Chasing the Dream post.