Saturday, 1 December 2012

Hard work and a wonderful journey

I felt I had to write about my most recent client success.  Hanna Bunton recently was named to the U18 Team Canada Women's roster for the 2012-2013 season.  Hanna's journey is unlike other clients in my 10+ years in the industry, so I felt I had to share my perspective of this achievement.

Hanna and I have worked together for the past 3-4 years.  What makes her journey different than my other athletes is that I was involved on a deeper level then simply in the gym.

Hanna's journey was a bumpy one (which is a first for her).  Last season was her first year trying out for the National squad.  Her (and her parents) were unsure what to expect.  They were excited, scared, and nervous all at once, even before her off-ice conditioning took a leap to the next level.  After her first really serious off-season conditioning, she went to the Team Canada camp where she made it through fitness testing and played with the U18 side in the 3-game series vs. the USA.  Following this, Hanna was released and disappointed she wasn't joining the team for the remainder of the season.

Hanna's mental focus went from dedicated, excited and nervous to disappointed, unsure and just plain bummed out.  She continued playing well with her junior team, the Whitby Wolves and after a while decided it was time to shake it off and kick some ass at next camp.

Another solid and dedicated off-season training program took her to a whole new level this past off-season.  And the results were awesome!  She improved in her fitness testing at the National camp, won bronze with Team Ontario Red in BC, sits 2nd in league scoring in the Provincial Women's Hockey League (with the Whitby jr Wolves) and then came THE DAY.....

Hanna was in working out when her Mom called to tell her the U18 Team Canada coach is trying to get in touch with her for a chat.  Hanna was physically and emotionally going in about 100 different directions for the rest of the workout.  But when she came back later that night to deliver the news, the past off-seasons of roller-coaster emotions and hard work totally paid off.

For me as her Conditioning Coach, the reason this journey is unlike any others is how involved I was on the emotional level.  I have several other successful athletes who are continuing to do great things. However, most of the time, I deal with them inside the weight room and then I don't see or chat with them much until the off-season.  From chats with her parents, to the workouts, to talks with Hanna, to emails to her parents, National strength coach, coaches etc.  This has been a client where Hanna and her family have involved me to the maximum (in my opinion), which is why it makes me damn proud that she has achieved her goal!  And for that, I thank the Bunton family and can't wait to keep pushing, Hanna to new levels.