I just arrived in Nova Scotia to teach a girls hockey school with my friend, and 3-time Olympian, Sami Jo Small. I know that I was very fortunate to play with and against most of the players on the Canadian and US National Teams during my career, and one of my favorite teammates was Cassie Campbell. I sat next to Cassie for an entire season when I played out in Calgary and she is one of the nicest and funniest people I have ever met. I happened to be looking around the web at women’s hockey articles the other day when I came upon an interview done by Debbie Elicksen with Cassie. I wanted to share a few really important points from that article with you today (if you want to read the whole interview, I have inserted the link at the end of this post).
Before we get to the interview with female hockey great Cassie Campbell, here is a quick snapshot of her hockey accomplishments:
Twenty-one medals, including 17 gold, two Olympic gold, and six World gold and the longest serving captain (2001 to 2006) of Canada’s National Women’s Team.
Cassie is now making her mark as a hockey broadcaster and I get excited every time I see her “hanging with the boys” on the Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts.
I wanted to include a few key points from this interview with Cassie because they really hit upon some of the same concepts I am always sharing with you here at the Total Female Hockey Club. So if you won’t listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to one of the most decorated female hockey players in history!
Question: What did you sacrifice [to get where you are today]?
I think some of the normalcy of life. I look at some of my girlfriends that aren’t athletes. They’ve got kids already. They have a house and a mortgage and a savings account. They have some of that normal stuff in life. You sort of put that on the back burner. It’s all about hockey. At the same time, it’s your career; it’s your job. It’s a healthy job. You’re fit. You’re active and it’s fun. I just think you sacrifice the little things. My husband and I are both in hockey and we travel a ton in the winter. You’re playing every weekend, so you don’t have that weekend social life that your friends have. And for him and I, we’re away quite a bit from each other in the winter months. It becomes part of your lifestyle.
NOTE: I would prefer to use the word “choice” instead of “sacrifice”. On the road to elite women’s hockey, you will have to make a lot of choices that will lead to your success. If you start to look at them as sacrifices, you might want to question how committed you are to reaching the next level.
Question: Do you ever find extra criticism or pressure because you’re a woman?
That’s a tough one. For example, for Hockey Night in Canada, when I first did the color, it was difficult for people to hear a woman’s voice. That was the first time on Saturday night they heard a woman’s voice. It’s much higher pitched. There are things I had to work on with my voice as a broadcaster that had been brought to my attention. I’ve never felt I couldn’t do something because I’m a woman. I never had that feeling my whole life.
I remember my dad wanted me to play tennis. He thought I would make more money playing tennis than hockey. It wasn’t that he said I don’t want you to play hockey. I’ve never had a feeling in my life that I couldn’t do something because I’m a woman. It’s never been an option. My parents never made me feel that way. My brothers never made me feel that way. If I get the odd negative comment from somebody or some yahoo you meet somewhere and they make the negative comment, it just motivates me. I don’t look at it that he’s a male chauvinist pig. I look at it – that’s his opinion. It has no reflection on how I’m going to live my life.
Question: Who was your childhood hero?
Definitely, my mom. My dad was very supportive, but my mom played professional football in 1969. It was an all-woman’s league. She was an equestrian rider. I remember going to watch her play softball. My mom was a bit before her time. She just did whatever she wanted. She used to drag race cars. She was very much a tomboy. She was just such a strong lady, a great communicator. She instilled trust in both me and my brothers. The rules we had around the house were, you could basically do whatever you want but you better have good grades and you better be active in sports or some other activity. She was why I grew up thinking I could do whatever I want because I watched her do it.
Cassie was a great women’s hockey player and an even better role model for all girls who aspire to greatness on and off the ice. To read the rest of this great interview, visit: http://insideprofessionalsports.blogspot.com/2009/07/from-national-womens-team-to-boldly-go.html
Work Hard. Dream BIG.
~ Coach Kim