Synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Thanks to a talented group of skilled and fun women, I was recently a part of a winning Field Hockey team! Along with Snowboarding, Field Hockey is the only other sport I’ve been committed to since High School. Other sports and interests of mine like dance, rock climbing and ultimate frisbee, weren’t discovered until my twenties.
The “SFU Farm” put together several late season wins to make it into the playoffs – we battled through torrential rain and unexpected turf wars (women’s soccer booked our field!) and rallied together for the final playoff game that was rescheduled to school/work night. Luckily, we were able to recruit enough players and won the final game and league championship trophy – the cherry on top of an already enriching experience 🙂
I’ll let you in on a little secret: The trophy above isn’t actually the official Field Hockey trophy! But having just won our final game, we needed something to show and Mrs. C had this trophy with her.
The actual trophy that dates back to the 70’s was awarded this past weekend at an Awards Ceremony for all the Women’s and Men’s leagues in Burnaby (that play in the Vancouver-wide league). Here I am with the legitimate Women’s Field Hockey Trophy, along with Alison and Hailey from the Irish team that won their hardware for being the top team in standings overall in the regular season.
Trophies are a fun reminder and recognition of hard work, but the journey has been something I’ve treasured for many reasons. Let me share my thoughts on why team sports, specifically Field Hockey in this case, are so rewarding and then I’ll move on below to some photo highlights from the weekend, a walk down memory lane with the team, and support I’ve received along the way including friends who have come to watch!! With home-made signs! (Reminds me of my very first Canucks game and how I made signs! I sprinkled them with glitter and it got all over the people in front of us!)
My 5 Reasons Why Team Sports Rock!
1) The sum is greater then the parts – I opened with this because it’s amazing what teams can pull off when they work together. My showcase example is the subject of this post, combining our efforts and skills to win the final playoff game! A fantastic example using the pros is the women’s 4 x 100 m relay race.
Logic would dictate that you take the 4 fastest women, put them in this relay and they should easily come out on top. What’s missing from this equation though, is the interaction between the women as they pass along the baton – the teamwork aspect! The global management consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group, had a seminar on collective efficiency using an example from a 2003 World Championship event. The U.S. team had the fastest time based on 100 m personal bests, but the France ended up winning!
In my case, I’m definitely not the best goal-tender out there, but thanks to the collective work of the forwards out there scoring goals, the mids being an effective link, and the defence helping keep the ball out of the net, we were able to put together several wins.
2) Learn from some of the greats – Hailey up there used to play on Premier-level teams 🙂
When you’re surrounded by people that have different skill-sets, you’re bound to pick up some up some new moves and learn something! I love that this particular league has such a range of women of all ages and ability.
3) Supportive environment – You share the wins and minimize your losses
I’m not going to lie – I feel pretty down when a goal get passed me. But then my teammates appear telling me, “no worries!” and that I’ll “get the next one!”. It’s such a positive environment, and I love being out there yelling words of encouragement right back at them. Since I don’t wear a mouth guard, I’m also the most capable of yelling on the field!
4) Practice commitment
I once heard that University degrees were valued because it shows the world that you committed a lot of time and energy to a subject. Commitment then, is a desirable trait and being part of team means being committed to working together with others.
5) Good exercise
Well, this rings truer for the rest of team out there running like crazy people! Although, when there’s a flurry of activity outside my net, my heart rate definitely shoots up.
So there we have it, my top 5 reasons why I love team sports, and why I’ve stayed this long!
Onto photo highlights from the weekend:
The Awards Venue – Burnaby Mountain Golf Club
One of my former teammate “Higgs”, organized this event which was a wonderful way to bring people together and celebrate the successes of the men and women of Burnaby Field Hockey. It was a scenic venue with great food too! At first, I was hesitant to go on my own, since none of my other teammates were able to make it on such short notice! Luckily, I have a very supportive partner who came with me. Bonus, I ran into a lot of unexpected familiar faces!!
The money table – prizes for the 50/50, individual awards, and the league trophies.
The men and women (in some cases, very young men and women!) received awards for MVP and Most Improved player in various divisions. The Vancouver league is open to players of all ages.
Then it was time to present the trophies for the Women’s Field Hockey clubs.
Hailey and Alison with Mrs. C.
Hailey then won the 50/50 draw!
She also won another door prize- the wine gift basket! Us three pictured with all of our bounty 🙂
The trophy up close. Look at the winners from 1970! Pretty cool to be part of this legacy.
Hailey shared her wine with Alison and I – thanks so much Hailey!
That was a really fun evening – Thanks Higgs for organizing this! I hope more people are inspired to come out and support next year.
A look at how I got here:
A professional photographer from the Burnaby Now newspaper took these shots from one of our final games of the season. That’s Michelle -whom I love for her leadership on field, and also her support of my food photos. One definitely makes some great friendships from playing on the same team.
The other Michelle on our team! She got especially battered this year, but she always came back and played hard.
Playoff time! Pre-game stretching.
Post-game huddle -after winning the game and year!
Three years ago, our Burnaby “SFU” Farm team was also crowned the league winners! That was also around the time I just created this blog and thought, maybe I should add winning a trophy to my list and see if we can do this again 🙂
My first time holding a trophy for something sporty! (SFU Rec. Intramural sports gave me a few t-shirts for winning Dodgeball and Ultimate Frisbee, though!)
Every game is different: some games, the team does such a great offensive job in the opponent’s end and I don’t end up getting much action. But here I am in net getting ready for whatever comes my way.
What great friends! Rob and Glenda, fellow SFU Kinesiology friends came to cheer me on!
2003 – 2006
My mom used to drive me to games and take embarrassing photos – I hope they still exist somewhere! I started off playing for a small team in High School, and I really owe it to my coach Sunny who was so passionate about the sport that she played and coached multiple teams! She encouraged me to play in the Vancouver Women’s League on the weekends and after that, it was other team mates who would invite me to join their teams or be their back-up. It’s been a fun journey and I have a lot of people to thank along the way.
For anyone else interested in playing Field Hockey, the Sunday league is super friendly and welcomes all skill levels. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in more details! Or if you have a team work story to share, I’d love to hear it.