head womenís field hockey coach, offers her team advice during half-time.
She also is the assistant squash coach, and has worked at
Wesleyan for more than 20 years.
Field Hockey Coach is Leading by Example
|Q: How were you
first introduced to field hockey and squash, and at what age did you begin
A: My older sister was involved in the sport of field hockey. After her
practice she would play with me. Organized training began in ninth grade.
Squash was introduced to me at Wesleyan under the Head Coach Don Long. He
mentored and gave me a solid foundation of skills, strategy and coaching.
Q: At Ithaca College, you were a team captain and MVP in both field hockey
and lacrosse. What were your secrets to success?
A: My strongest asset as a captain was the ability to show by example. I was
determined to always compete hard every minute of the contest no matter what
the score was. Respect the rules, respect your teammate and respect your
opponent. Work at what is most productive and difficult for the opponent. I
enjoyed communicating, encouraging my teammates to rally, do their best in
both field hockey and lacrosse. What remained a constant with all three
sports was my reminder that what effort you put into the sport, practice,
game, was what you were going to achieve. My teammates knew that.
Q: What did you major in and why did you decide to pursue a career in
A: At Ithaca College I received a bachelorís of science in physical education
with a minor in psychology. At Springfield College I received a masterís of
science in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation. The coaching
field had become an extension of my desire to pursue field hockey at the
national level. Having the knowledge and training at a high level gave me
the opportunity to teach and coach the sport.
Q: Youíve been at Wesleyan 21 years, 15 of which you were head coach of the
squash team. What keeps your job interesting?
A: I truly enjoy watching players develop from the beginning of a season to
the end, and their long term development, from their freshmen year to their
senior year. Each fall, the team must pull together, from the early stages
of the game to the end of postseason play. It is what gets them there that I
have a passion for. I like to employ new ways of training, set a goal for
that team for the season and create practices to make it happen. My
gratification comes from observing their talent come together and over all
Q: What physical education classes do you teach at Wesleyan?
A: I teach Step Aerobics and Advanced Strength Training.
Q: In 1999, you were honored as the New England Small College Athletic
Conference (NESCAC) field hockey coach of the year.
A: I was honored to be selected by my colleagues and to be honored as the
Coach of the Year. I do credit the 1999
Eastern College Athletic Conference
(ECAC) Championship team for this
recognition. They were a solid team.
Q: As a field hockey coach, you guided the lady Cardinals to their most
regular-season victories in team history with 11 in 2005, and have led the
team to two ECAC New England Division III titles in 1999 and 2000. What are
your other major accomplishments?
A: I was inducted into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame and the New
York State Section 5 Hall of Fame. In 2005 I was awarded the Chickie Possion
Award for Service in Field Hockey in Connecticut.
Q: When does the field hockey season begin and how do you help prepare the
team? What coaching lessons do you stress year after year?
A: Field Hockey season begins Sept. 1. Programs are set up for
players to develop their fitness level. When the season begins we strive for
players to play their best, work hard no matter what the score is, no matter
how much time is on the clock. I stress to the team to be accountable for
your actions, respect others, judge the situation and make the best
Q: Youíve taken your team to Bermuda, Barbados and the Netherlands. What is
the advantage of these trips?
A: Tours are a definite perk for a team to develop bonding, friendship and
camaraderie. To travel 10-12 days with each other, playing a sport you have
a passion for in different countries makes the unknown exciting.
Experiencing different customs and different styles of play allows the
individual to go out of their comfort zone and accommodate, change and be
charged with new ideas. Traveling allows for the students to become sports
ambassadors for the U.S. and Wesleyan.
Q: You hold an International Umpiring rating, the highest level for umpires
in the game of women's lacrosse. Where have you umpired?
A: Besides numerous college games and NCAA playoffs here in the states, I
have umpired for the International Federation of Womenís Lacrosse
Associations World Cup during the summer of 2001 in Wycombe, England, the
2005 World Cup at the Navel Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and the
International Owl tournament in Oshawa, Canada.
Q: What is the Cardinal Field Hockey Camp and what is your role with this
A: The goal is to offer a fundamental clinic that exposes high school
players to current techniques and skills of field hockey. The Cardinal Field
Hockey Camp is an evening camp for 7-12th grade players. I direct, create
the curriculum, manage the coaching staff and I am involved in the daily
coaching. The camp has been running for over 10 years.
Q: At Wesleyan, who is your assistant coach?
A: Jen Shea is the field hockey assistant who played at Amherst College. She
also is our head softball coach here at Wesleyan.
Q: You have competed at the Olympic Sports Festival.
A: The Olympic Festival was a great experience for me. It was an extensive
selection process for athletes who where chosen by performing in the United
States Field Hockey Association
Developmental camps. I truly enjoyed the level of play and was honored to be
selected twice in the 80s. I also had the opportunity to play with my
younger sister on those teams.
Q: What are your hobbies and interests aside from sports?
A: I enjoy gardening, exercising, reading and doing home improvements.
Q: Tell me about your family, and do they enjoy sports, too?
A: I have a wonderful husband, Scott, who keeps me well balanced, two
sons, Nathan and Andrew, and a daughter, Logan. All are involved with sports
and keep me entertained!
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection
editor. Photos by Brian Katten, sports information director.