How are you getting ready for the Sochi Olympics?
As the countdown to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi continues, and as the days get closer to when the Canadian Team will march together in the Opening Ceremonies, there is a sense of urgency that continues to escalate in anticipation of the competition that will take place. Motivation levels are high and I am sure that, around the world, athletes are training as hard as they possibly can to ensure that they not only qualify to compete in the games, but that they bring their absolute best performance when the time comes to edge out their competitors.
Personally, and as a member of the Canadian Women’s Team, I am training as hard as I possibly can, making sure that I leave no stone unturned when it comes to my development and preparation. As much as the media and the public are focused on the Olympics themselves, my focus is on making the team, which is yet to be selected.
Along with the other 26 players that will be trying out for the 2014 Olympic Team, I completed a month-long training camp, which we call “boot camp”, from the middle of May to the middle of June in Penticton, B.C. We were pushed to our limits both physically and mentally, training between 10 and 11 hours a day. It was the toughest training camp I have ever been a part of, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment once it was over. After boot camp, with a solid fitness base established, we all returned to our hometowns to train for the summer before reporting to Calgary at the beginning of August for the season. With a total of only 6 weeks of summer training, I knew that this would be a short summer to make gains in my physical fitness and in my game, and that I had no time to waste.
Throughout the summer, I have been following a training program that was created by our team’s strength and conditioning coach, Adam Douglas. This program is personalized to my training needs and is designed specifically to focus on the areas where I need to make the most improvements. Outside of my strength program, I have also identified areas that I need to work on in terms of on-ice skill development, and I have been working on those areas during on-ice skills sessions.
On August 6th, the 27 players on the tryout roster to represent Canada at the 2014 Games report to Calgary to begin the season leading into the Olympics. Ultimately, the final roster of 21 players will most likely be named around Christmas time. From the beginning of August until the Olympics, we will train and practice full-time together as a team, and play a full season of games, while players are gradually released along the way. It is a difficult and stressful period as there is a great deal of pressure to perform. Players will be released from the roster whenever the coaching staff sees fit, so you are battling for a spot on that team each and every day.
At the end of this journey, whatever the outcome may be, make the team or not make the team, win gold or silver, I want most of all to be able to look back on the year and say that I did absolutely everything I could to put myself in a position to be successful. I want to be able to say that I could not have worked any harder, that I could not have done anymore to improve myself as a hockey player in this period of time, and that I can look back with no regrets. In hockey, and in life, there are things that we can control and things that we can’t control that affect outcomes. Ignore the things you can’t control, and focus on what you can control. At the end of the day, if you can look back and say that you did everything you could, that is what matters most, and that is what I want to be able to say at the end of my journey in the coming months. This feeling of having no regrets is what drives me to push myself every day as the countdown to Sochi continues.
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