A Shift in Sports
Headed back to Boston after a fabulous weekend in Toronto at the CWHL All Star game. Top Ten reasons it was fabulous?
1. There were 7,000 fans in the Air Canada Center cheering for our game and our fantastic athletes who fervently play the game that they love, the greatest game on earth for no formal compensation.
2. The game was televised by Sportsnet in Canada and the NHL network in the US in front of millions of viewers.
3. The Toronto Maple Leafs one of the oldest NHL franchises in history believes in our Commissioner Brenda Andress's and the CWHL Executive Board's vision to put women's hockey on the map.
4. That (insert number) US and Canadian National and Olympic players played in the CWHL All Star game and that there were more who could not participate due to employment commitments-so the game could have had even MORE talent!
5. That we haven't even scratched the surface on what women can do in the sport of ice hockey to make a difference by being role models in our culture.
6. That people are just beginning to find out about the amazing academic and athletic backgrounds of these future leaders in sport and society.
7. That the new female model in sport is emerging as a "wholesome" alternative to the sports market and that corporate executives are getting on board!
8. That when the lights go up and the cameras are on us the women shine and light up the room....
9. And everyone smiles with them (not at them)! THE FANS are part of the experience because our female athletes are approachable and accessible.
10. Finally that our players write poetry...and can even sing the national anthem when called upon. Examples of blending personal talents and sport that connect with people watching symbolize the new paradigm shift in sport to include a female model that potentially all can enjoy! Even little boys and men. We are people first and bring our own biases and individual outlooks and opinions to yes even sport! Women's sports create a new, diverse, and exciting environment that is not necessarily better than the present model...just a little different!
And lastly the inspiration to write this post is from the All Star weekend program book...while perusing it I stumbled upon an answer to a survey style question in the program for one of my own players--one of our captains Kacey Bellamy. One of the things that she enjoys doing is writing poetry! It reminded me that I have to pay better attention as a coach to know more about my players...a good coach in the new model knows their players, treats them as individuals, the figures out how to connect the group to optimize the performance of the team. The "yell and tell" model is becoming obsolete and I am happy to be championing the new model of sports management as we continue to blend sport and society within our modern culture!
Kacey Bellemy (right) with Red Team Captain Charline LaBonte
Here is a sample of Kacey's poetry!
Interaction By Kacey Bellemy--2 Time US Olympian Silver Medalist-- 4 year member and Captain Boston Blades
Fighting the morning wake up not wanting to step into the day ahead
Robotically moving through routined actions
Happy one day miserable the next, surrounded in a body of armor that we use to shield our emotions
Smiles used to conceal tears, laughter to hide pain, paper and pen to diminish speech
Time controlling us, never stopping always moving forward, stuck in the hourglass of thoughts running backwards
Bed sheets warming by the minute thoughts swirling by the second adapting to the sounds of nature on the outside but captured by the vibrations within
Mind fighting the heart for air but even the breathing can't be controlled
Darkness giving our eyes the brightest part of our day