Alternate Captain Caroline McCrea brings a wealth of experience to the Women’s Barrie Team competing in the 2015 World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championships next week in Barrie, ON Canada. Caroline represented the USA at the 2013 World Championships in St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada. Caroline grew up in Saxonburg, PA, which is about 40 minute ride to Pittsburgh, and is part of the Steel City Bombers and the Pittsburgh Blitzkrieg ball hockey teams.
01. How did you prepare for the upcoming World Ball Hockey Championships in Barrie, Canada?
I hit the gym several mornings a week all summer. I also consider diet an important part of preparation. So I eat as clean as possible. Summer veggies make that pretty easy. The week prior to tournaments I like to get as much rest as possible.
02. What characteristics should a leader possess in order to get the most out of the members of the team?
There are different types of leaders and we have a great mix of styles with Chantelle, Luisa, and I. Some leaders unite a team long before a tournament. You need that, especially for a tournament team like this where girls are coming from all over the country to play together. If you don’t have that type of leadership your team doesn’t have chemistry. I think I fall more into the category of an in game leader. I go hard and expect the same from my teammates. A good leader should also have a cool head. Things can quickly get heated in big games and it is easy to lose focus as individuals and as a team. So a level demeanor and a positive attitude are important on the bench and on the rink.
03. What are your goals for this championship?
Aside from the number one goal, to win, I want to make sure my teammates have everything they need to have the best tournament possible. I usually don’t take on the role of leadership so one of my goals is to balance what I need to do with what my team needs.
04. Can you tell me about yourself? Hockey experience, what teams have you played for?
I started playing hockey seven years ago and since then have played on many great teams with many amazing people. My tournament teams are Steel City Bombers and Blitzkrieg. I have played in most of the big tournaments in North America. I was also part of the women’s team that played in St. John’s in 2013.
05. What are the challenges this team faces going into this event?
We have all the ingredients for success: athleticism, skill, IQ, gritty role players, and dedication. Last camp we also focused on building chemistry. As always, the competition level will be high and fierce in Barrie. The team just needs to stay focused and rely in each other’s different skill sets. If we do that I the rest will take care of its self. I have nothing but high expectations for this team.