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My Managing Experience

Since I was a child, I have always had a love for the game of ice hockey. I have gone to many games but my real interest in ice hockey began when I started high school. Many of my friends were on the ice hockey team, so I would attend all of the games with my sister, to cheer them on. I spent nearly every Friday from November until March in an ice hockey rink. Friday night games quickly became my favorite time of the week and something I counted down the days to in the off season. The ice hockey season ended right before quarantine during my sophomore year of highschool. Naturally, I spent the next couple months with eager anticipation for the upcoming hockey season. 

After quarantine, when it was finally gameday, I showed up to the rink ready to cheer on my buddies, but instead I was turned away by a rather rude worker who said “spectators were absolutely not allowed.” To say the least, I was devastated. The players knew how much these games meant to me, so they spoke to the coach, and I was rostered as a manager. When my friends told me, I was thrilled. I had experience in team management because I had managed the wrestling team at my highschool, since freshman year. Now, as a junior I was more than prepared to add another team to my managing career. 

Thirty minutes before the start of my first game as manager, I pulled into the rink. To my surprise, I was extremely nervous. Despite my past managing experiences, ice hockey was a whole other world. I had different jobs as a manager such as taking pictures for the team. I got out of the car and walked into the rink. The cold air hit me hard, but the familiar smell of the ice rink immediately put a smile on my face. I made my way over to the coach, and he explained what additional jobs I would have as a manager, and that most statistical things would be taken care of for me. I was mainly responsible for managing the social media and photographing the games. Coach walked me over to the bench where I would stand in order to get the best pictures. I looked up at the clock as the time ticked down and my team glided across the ice toward the bench. I am sure they could tell by the smile on my face but there is no place I’d rather be than beside them, cheering them on. The ref blew a whistle and the starting players took their positions on the ice. The whistle blew again and the game began. 

That first game, as well as the rest of the season flew by, and before I knew it, it was senior year and I was back on the bench with my camera. I was honored on senior night along with the players and we celebrated afterwards. Our time together as one team was coming quickly to an end, and although we made it to the Championship game, it was bittersweet. We all shed a few tears afterwards knowing that it was our last game together. I never thought I would manage an ice hockey team, or any team for that matter again. 

When I got to college, one of the first things I found out was that High Point University had a club ice hockey team. I quickly got in contact with the coach and asked about being a manager. I set up a meeting with the head manager and we discussed the duties of being a student manager at the University level. Basically, I was hired on the spot and I couldn’t wait for the first game. Now, the club ice hockey players are some of my closest friends and I am so thankful for the opportunity to manage at the college level. Looking back at how far I have come as a manager is incredible, especially because it was my love for ice hockey and my friends that got me here in the first place.


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