I am in love with California and all that it’s given me, but the one thing I’ve really been missing is field hockey (and warm summer nights!!!), so as soon as the move was official, I started searching for schools and contacting coaches and athletic directors. It’s been so exciting and surprisingly a lot easier than I thought. Charlotte is still growing its field hockey programs, so it seems like the community could actually really use more coaches.
When I first moved to LA, I tried to get involved with field hockey. There’s not much of it, but I did find a league to play in, 45 minutes away. It was only on Sundays, so when I started to work every Sunday, I had to stop. Field hockey hasn’t been a part of my life for about three and a half years. And I haven’t really thought about it too much in the sense of coaching. Because I thought I would never leave LA. Because I thought I loved it too much.
Enter Stephen and the decision to move back to the east coast. It was like a light switch flicked on. Field hockey. Not until now have I realized just how much I’ve been missing this sport. It’s incredibly exciting to connect with a field hockey community again. These people are speaking my language.
If I could coach instead of work in a restaurant? Oh my God, put me on that field. Being outside, in the Fall (Fall!), on a hockey field, whether I’m coaching or playing, is absolute bliss. It makes you feel alive. And even in some small way, that you have some kind of purpose. Something else it does, that I never appreciated before, is keep you present. I’m constantly in my head: planning, worrying, stressing myself out. But when I’m coaching field hockey I am coaching field hockey. There’s nothing better than having something to keep you in the moment.
I connected with Charlotte Ambush, “a non-profit organization designed to support the development of young athletes and promote the growth of field hockey in North and South Carolina.” After a few emails and then a phone call with Miki, the Director of the Club, I was in.
Ambush is a year-round club, so they currently have a Spring league. The day after I landed in Charlotte, I was coaching for the Spring League. Crazy, right?! Jumping right in was amazing and much needed to shake off the dust. It felt so good to have a stick in my hand and be around other people in love with the sport.
I’ve been so excited to write about coaching field hockey but didn’t want to post anything until it was official. And now it is. I have been named the JV Head Coach of Providence High School for this upcoming Fall season. It’s a new program, so there’s no freshman or Varsity team. I’ll be starting the program from the ground up. No expectations and nothing to live up to. This will truly be my team. It’s going to be challenging and so much fun. (And now when I talk to Sarah and Courtney on the phone – they both coach field hockey – I’ll have my own stories to tell!)
I hadn’t thought about it until now, but North Carolina is where Aunt Jody lived. The first time I went there, to Greensboro, I was probably about 12 years old. It was sunny and warm and pretty. Lots of green. We went to a museum, I learned how to play pool, I fell in love with Cheerwine and Aunt Jody’s two dogs: Mack and Layla. In later years, we started going to the Outerbanks for family vacations, which completely blew Ocean City, NJ out of the water. So I have only fond memories of North Carolina. Now I’m here and I not only have a job, but a job that I love. It makes makes me feel even more like this move to Charlotte was all meant to be.