We’re all hockey lovers, but it’s not just the game is it? There are so many other things that make our beloved game so special. Here’s a few things that I love.
Although you may not always see each other outside hockey, during training and matches your teammates become your best friends. You rely on them, you support them, you look out for them and you trust them. You go through thick and thin together and the highs and lows are all the more enjoyable, and in the latter case bearable, because you have your teammates with you.
You all freeze together, you all get soaked together in those harsh winter months and it still doesn’t get you down because you know you’re not alone. We once played a game where the rain was persistent throughout the whole 70 minutes. After the game we all looked like we’d been swimming and our hair was plastered to our heads; all this in just a skort and shirt.
Imagine spending 70 minutes in the rain in what are essentially summer clothes! Who would ever do that? Of course, we were all moaning at being so wet, but getting back to the changing room and finally getting dry, we all knew we’d do it all over again the following week if necessary.
2.The Car Journey
One of the highlights of an away trip is the car journey. There are many ways to spend the journey. Some catch up, chatting all the way, some sing their heads off and some even sleep!
You will often find us at a set of traffic lights with all the windows down belting out old favourites such as Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart or a bit of Ant Music! One of the younger girls was so inspired by our retro music that she even went out and bought herself a couple of 80’s compilation CDs. They just don’t make music like that anymore! Although, as we know, the mood on the journey back all depends on the result.
As well as the shenanigans taking place in the car, the one thing that everyone suffers on a car journey is arriving at your pre-programmed, Satnav destination and looking around to find that there isn’t a hockey pitch or sports centre in sight. When that happens everyone frantically starts phoning people in the other cars, where you’ll either find that they’re just as lost as you are or already there wondering why it’s taking you so long.
3.It’s like your extended family
Being part of a hockey club is quite unique. There are often many different teams within the club, and although you don’t all play together on match days, you are brought together in training sessions, events like Back to Hockey, cup matches or club event nights, and the spirit of the club shines though. The senior club members encourage inclusion and everyone is made to feel like part of a family.
I remember my first training session at the club. I turned up on my own, feeling like Billy no-mates and before I knew it, people were coming up to me introducing themselves, and I even got asked did I want to play in a friendly game that weekend.
That kind of introduction really makes a lasting impression on you and you find yourself doing the same when you see new people join. You really do feel like part of one big family.
It’s not only at our club that I feel part of something but the whole set up, throughout the country and right up to international level you really do feel like you share an affinity with all hockey players around the world. It’s a special bond.
I’ve not always been a sporty person, and came to the game late in life. Before I started playing I thought I was quite fit, I thought I was quite healthy. Well, my eyes were soon to be opened wide.
After training for a few weeks and starting to play matches I realised that I wasn’t as fit or healthy as I’d thought. Indeed, the day after my first training session I woke up to find that I couldn’t sit up. I literally had to push my legs off the bed in order to get up!
Now though, after playing for a number of years, that day seems like a distant memory. In fact, I don’t even remember how I got this fit. I was just having so much fun playing, it happened without me noticing.
The pleasure that you get from running around a hockey pitch, tiring yourself out, cannot be underestimated, and as well as giving you more energy, it gives you tons of those wonderful, happy endorphins.
With all of the aforementioned reasons that make playing hockey so great, I haven’t yet mentioned the game itself – a pretty big reason really!
The feeling you get when you start to get better, score your first goal, play the perfect pass, or get a player of the match award. Hockey is such a fast-paced sport, you don’t have time to dwell on a mistake or take a break; it’s non-stop action all the way.
It’s not only playing the game that’s exciting but watching the game, particularly at international level, which can have you on the edge of your seat. Watching what those girls can do with a hockey stick that you can only dream of takes your breath away.
I really don’t think it’s possible to put into words all the things that make me want to play hockey, but the simplest answer I could give to the question of why I would ever want to play hockey is I love it! Every bit of it, on and off the field.