As the 2010 NCAA field hockey season came to a close, many players, fan, and coaches packed their bags and departed to Phoenix, AZ. This year, the USA Field Hockey Association hosted the annual hockey festival in north Phoenix.
Xavi, my son, and I joined my husband on the trip. Inako was recruiting and playing for the mixed team True North. I was also playing for the same team, and Xavi, well, he was just along for the ride.
Each day, we woke-up and packed the diaper bag in preparation for a long day at the fields. We spent countless hours watching and playing hockey, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures while viewing Xavi benefitting from the pure desert air. He was exhausted by the day’s end, but I know he had fun playing with other kids and feeling the constant attention from those around. It was a week of excitement for our little man!
It was a successful week for our mixed team ‘True North’ as the group once again brought home the championship. I might add, not too surprising. This was the most talented mixed group that I have ever played with.
Festival always seems to put a close on the field hockey season in America. So, raise your glasses to another year full of action packed excitement at every level.
Looking ahead, 2011 seems busy. First, the national team has a packed schedule as they prepare for the Pan American Games in Mexico. This is the first opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Olympics and we are looking forward to doing just that! Also, I am preparing to launch a competitive club team. Stay tuned for the details! Lastly and most important, Xavi is turning 1 year-old in January. Things are always exciting with him in our lives and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Until next time, get shopping and enjoy the eggnog!
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.