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Get On the Line

by Teryn Brill Galloway, USA Field Hockey's Senior Communications Manager

A sudden whistle fills the air.

 

"Get on the line."

 

It’s haunting. It makes you cringe. Whenever those words are muttered your knees get weak with anticipation of what is to follow.

 

You immediately think “what is the reason?”

 

Were we going through the motions? Did we forget to pick up a ball following the previous practice? Or was it a mid-week test to see where our fitness level stood?

 

Whatever the reason, you immediately jog to the designated line and get set.

 

It’s a mental test. Your coach wants to see you break down the barrier between wanting to give up and pushing because you have more. With each stride you find determination to keep going, a drive from within. You think “just get the next one” and push to compete against your teammate next to you.

 

Hearing those words shouldn’t align with punishment but prowess, hunger and the ambition to want more and abide to discipline. It’s these extra sprints when you are dead tired that will push you through a final 5-minute span or overtime period. They only make you better, the team better.

 

The next time you get on the line, take it with a sense of gratification, pride and indulge in the fight. Whether five or 25 sprints, break down the wall, keep pushing and do it together, as a unit. The common goal will be satisfying when you hear post-game, “Remember those extra sprints during practice last week? That is what pushed you to victory today.”

 

Before that whistle blows, breathe, clear your mind and change your mindset from punishment to perseverance, and give it your all.

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