By Ed PiperCaroline Edwards, prepping for her junior year as a student-athlete at The Bishop’s School, has made a conscious decision to hone her field hockey skills at the school’s summer camp, July 15-17, under two-time Olympian Kayla Bashore Smedley. It will be fun, but all parties involved also agree there will be maximum time working on specific stick skills and there will also be scrimmaging to get into “field hockey shape” for the fall season.
Edwards, already named team co-captain for the 2014 Lady Knights varsity and a three-sport athlete at Bishop’s, said she wants to work on her physical conditioning this summer to lead right into training for the team’s season, which kicks off with the start of classes in the fall.
“One of the main things our team took away from last season was that, in sports, there is no possibility of having control of everything out on the field,” said the 16-year-old. “So we are making it our mission to take the things that we can control, like the shape we are in as a team, and use that to put ourselves in the best possible position going into the upcoming season.”
Edwards got into field hockey when she entered Bishop’s as a freshman because she said it would be a great way to meet new friends and to try something new. “I had primarily been a soccer player beforehand, and the striking similarity between soccer and field hockey really drew me to have a greater appreciation of the game,” she said.
Handling a hockey stick can be a tricky proposition, especially because Americans don’t grow up playing field hockey, unlike, say, India, where field hockey is a national sport. The stick has a flat front face on its candy cane shape, so the club has to be brought squarely to meet the ball or the ball will go careening off in an unintended direction. Another common issue among hockey strikers is topping the ball by not hitting it in the center, or missing the ball entirely as a player vies with an opponent for position.
Bishop’s is also featuring camps this summer in baseball for grades 2-8, led by Varsity baseball coach Joey Centanni, July 21-25; volleyball for grades 3-12, with Bishop’s girls varsity volleyball coach Tod Mattox, July 28-August 7; and strength and agility, with Charles Johnson, the Bishop’s specialist in that area, through July 23. More information is available at bishops.com/page/Athletics/Sports-Camps