I think that lots of little kids dream about being in the Olympics. This kind of story is not new, I’m sure. To know that you’re one of the best in the world in your sport? To compete on the world’s stage against the best from other countries? How mind-blowing is that? And is your kid really one that could be at the top in her sport? Is this dream that MK has, one that could come true if she works hard enough?
The short answer is…I don’t know. I have faith. I’ve seen her perform. I think she’s good. I think she’s really, really good. And so is her twin. So, I signed them both up for the USA Futures Field Hockey program so they could get good training…and to see how well they would fare amongst other field hockey players in the area. I know they both have a ways to go but their skill sets at this age are pretty darn good.
To get into Futures, each player has to go through a time trial. I don’t know what the criteria for invitation was but both of my girls made it the first time. I think this is a way to filter out the beginners that don’t have the basics of stick and ball handling. At the end of the seven training sessions, all Futures athletes are invited to play in their respective regional tournaments…or showcases, actually.
In the Regional Futures showcases around the country, individual players were put onto teams with teammates they had never met before from across their region. A coach was assigned to each team but it seemed they were there primarily, to make sure all players got good playing time. It seemed odd at first but it forced the players to be assertive on the field. It forced them to learn to communicate quickly. And it forced them to perform…in front of evaluators sitting on the sidelines with their clipboards jotting notes down as they watched. There were no playoffs, no winners or losers bracket…just play your four games and we’ll get back to you.
My girls participated this year to see how well they stacked up against other players in their age group in the Western region. They don’t have a good sense of that because during the season they usually play one (or two) age groups up. And we were really curious what the Elite Training Center was like in San Diego. Both played well but only MK was invited to the National Futures Championships.
And yea, that was a surprise. It’s not something you count on happening. There were many really good players that did not receive an invitation. My girls came away from the Regional Futures games learning what they had to work on, where they could improve, what they were good at, how well they responded to the pressure. They played and saw how they stood against others in the region. That was the main goal for the weekend. Mission accomplished.
But now, there’s this invitation…to play in the National Futures Championships. A chance for MK to see how she stands amongst her peers across the country. To see if she really could be in the running for that Olympic dream. For a competitor like her, this would be Nirvana.
This opportunity, though, came up suddenly. Traveling from the West coast to Spooky Nook Sports Center in Pennsylvania, is a long, expensive trek. Not only is there a large fee to participate, the travel expenses alone are daunting. Financially, this is difficult to pull off on very short notice. But MK will not be deterred. She has come up with ways to earn money and one of those is a GoFundMe campaign. Check it out: https://www.gofundme.com/SupportMiaKarinesOlympicDream MK would certainly appreciate your help in her efforts to get to the National Futures Championships. This is the first step in chasing her dream and she’s hoping she can take it.
An original post by mommytwingirls for It’s Never Easy…But It’s Always Fun blog.