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Team USA's Alyssa Parker Joins Team STX
We asked Alyssa some questions about her field hockey journey on and off the field - check out what she had to say:
1. Tell us a little about you! How long have you been playing field hockey, and what got you into the sport?
I started field hockey when I was in 5th grade because my parents started a youth field hockey program in my area, but soccer always took priority for me. It wasn’t until my Freshman year in high school that I decided to play field hockey instead of soccer. The main reason for my switch was because my older sister played field hockey and I wanted to play along side her… and I’ve been playing ever since.
2. What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Can I have 3?! Winning states for the first time in my high school's history in 2010. Winning the ACC championship in 2013. And winning the Big 10 championship my Senior year of college.
3. What is the best part of being on the U.S. Women’s National Team?
The best part is playing with teammates who push me outside my comfort zone every training session. They challenge me to play my best everyday, and even though that may sound cheesy, I love them for it.
I also love playing for Craig & Janneke. I’ve only been on the team for a couple of months, but I’ve already learned so much from them and I’m excited to continue learning.
4. What are 3 words that define your style of play?
Calm, cool, & collected. I love the pressure and I don’t get frazzled easily.
5. What equipment do you currently use, and how does it support that style?
I play with the Stallion 800 and I love it! I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I play with, but this stick felt right to me the moment I picked it up. It gives me the power I need, while also helping me execute the more finesse skills.
6. Who inspires you?
Dina Rizzo. She was my coach for my four years at UMD and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Not only was she once a USA Field Hockey team member, but she’s also an outstanding coach and human.
7. How do you feel about being an inspiration to young players across the country? Any advice to share?
If anything, I think young players are the inspirational ones. The love they have for the game is refreshing and inspires you to remember when you first fell in love with the game. During college when we would sign autographs after games, I would have the young players sign my stick instead.
My advice would be to make sure you’re the hardest working player on the field. You can’t control if you’re the fastest or the most skilled, but you can control how hard you work.
8. What are your passions outside of field hockey?
I love to go on long runs and snowboarding with my friends.
9. What are 3 words that define your personality off the field?
Well, I didn't want to answer this, so I asked my friends and they said the three words that best describe my personality are...kind, spunky, and freckly.
10. Last question…what is your hope in the coming year?
When I joined Team USA in September, I was only able to do about 3 pull-ups. My goal for the upcoming year is to be able to do 20!
Want more on Team STX? Catch up with another Team USA player, Casey DiNardo.