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Take Five With USA Hockey’s Lyndsey Fry

03/17/2014, 3:45pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

Every athlete experiences a setback during his or her career. That’s just part of sports.

But with every setback, there’s also a chance to come back.

Liberty Mutual Insurance sat down with USA Hockey Women’s National Team forward Lyndsey Fry to get her thoughts on making a strong comeback from her setback.

In our exclusive Take 5 interview, Lyndsey shared the lessons learned overcoming the death of her best friend and former teammate, Liz Turgeon in 2010. Lyndsey and Liz grew up playing hockey together in Colorado, and Liz passed away when they were both just 18 years old.

Lyndsey told us that she “considered (Liz) a sister and a huge part of [her] hockey life,” and that Liz’s death left her feeling “angry and lost” at first. Even months later, Lyndsey said, “[I] didn’t even know if I wanted to play hockey anymore.” 

At the time, Lyndsey was torn between returning to Colorado to be with Liz’s family and accepting the invitation to her first senior USA Hockey Women’s National Team camp, which was set to start in just three days.

Eventually, Lyndsey decided to stop feeling sad for the loss of Liz, and instead “began using her memory as fuel to be better.” She also shared that part of those memories involved a promise the two teammates once made to each other to eventually play on the National Team together.

Lyndsey was part of the Silver Medal-winning USA Hockey Women’s National Team in Sochi, Russia in the 2014 Winter Olympics, and she believes that Medal win helped “honor” Liz and her memory.

Lyndsey believes that setbacks not only help fuel comebacks, but also help athletes realize their full strength, abilities and potential. She advises young athletes who are dealing with a loss or any other setbacks to just “believe.”

“You are so much stronger than you think, and everything will get better,” says Lyndsey. “Of course, this challenge wasn’t in your plan, but you’ll learn from it and be stronger after. Be patient and try to have the best attitude possible.” 

To read the full Take 5 interview with Lyndsey, visit ResponsibleSports.com. Come back next month for another exclusive Take 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field. Join the Responsible Sports movement!

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.

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Three ways to beat burnout

11/28/2016, 9:45pm MST
By Dave Pond

According to NHL metrics, the average hockey shift lasts somewhere between 45 and 55 seconds. There’s inherent beauty and fluidity to line changes, as skaters come on and off the ice, looking to recharge after going full throttle for their teams.

Meanwhile, your NHL officiating peers are giving their all, too – regularly logging 4-5 miles a game. Those totals are even greater at your level, where you and your colleagues officiate multiple games a day, several times per week, on a seemingly never-ending calendar.

And, although we want to perform our best every game, everyone has both good days and bad – players and officials alike. To learn more about keeping burnout at bay, we went to the experts: longtime amateur hockey scheduler Larry Carrington and former NHL official Mark Faucette.

“There is so much more to officiating than meets the eye,” said Faucette, a 17-year NHL veteran. “It may look easy from the stands, but to maintain total control of a game along with the stress, slumps, supervisors, travel, and fitness regimen takes a very special kind of person.”

Get in shape (and stay there)
We all think we’re in “pretty good” shape, but the reality is, officials must be top athletes and in great condition – even at the youngest levels.

“Conditioning is very important—the deeper into the season, the more important it is,” Carrington said. “Burnout happens physically, mentally, and emotionally. An official who is in good condition will experience less physical burnout, and that will in turn help with the emotional and mental burnout.”

Faucette stresses following a workout routine that maxes yourself at least every other day. Neither player or official should plan to use games as a vehicle toward better physical fitness.

“Where we used to go to camp to get into shape, officials today are on summer conditioning regimens and are tested as soon as they come to camp,” he said. “Taking care of your body is a total focus for the good official.

“The players are so much stronger and faster now, so it’s imperative the officials keep the same pace.”

Find balance
No, not balance on your skates (that’s a given). Rather, make sure to keep the big picture in mind, to work a manageable schedule that includes everything that’s important to you – family, friends, and time away from the rink.

Although it makes Carrington’s job as an assignor more difficult, he said it pays off in the long run.

“I encourage officials to take at least one weekend off to get away from hockey,” he said. “I certainly don't want to lose their services for a week, but the invigoration that it usually provides makes them a much more valuable asset over the course of the season.”

That’s huge in an industry where both mental and physical fatigue are commonplace.

“Every official runs into slumps, just as players do,” Faucette said. “You spend numerous hours alone as an official, and when things are not going good, where everything is negative, it can cause you duress.

“Positive thoughts and self-evaluations speed up recovery,” he continued. “So, instead of telling yourself, ‘I wonder what bad thing will happen tonight?’ say ‘I’m ready for anything – bring it on!’”

Have fun
It’s No. 3 here, but should be No. 1 on your to-do list.

“I realize the officials are all trying hard, and mistakes are part of any sport by any participant,” said Faucette, who currently serves as supervisor of officials for USA Hockey, the NAHL director of player safety and the SPHL director of officiating. “That being said, the joy I get out of seeing a young official start out at ground level and making the big time one day is immeasurable.”

For most of you reading this, the “big time” might not be the end goal (and that’s OK). But wherever you are, there’s experience you’ve gained, as well as that to come – which both point back to why you first got involved in this great sport.

As an assignor, Carrington tries to get out of the office as much as he can and intentionally varies the schedules of his officials to help keep things fresh. He also encourages his more senior officials to lend a hand to those who aren’t as long in the tooth.

“Going to the rink and helping officials help themselves get better can be very invigorating,” he said. “Even a very good, very experienced official will often find it fun and relaxing to mentor some new official at a lower-level game where the stress levels aren’t nearly as high.”

But no matter where you officiate, Carrington emphasizes keeping one thing in mind: the love of the sport and those playing it today.

“If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t be out there.”

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Bill Belisle has coached for the past 42 seasons

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