For complete coverage of the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, visit CBC North's AWG 2014 website.
March 25, 2014
As this is my 3rd and final Arctic Winter Games, it is definitely a bittersweet moment yet, I think it is important to reflect on the memories and experiences.
My experience during these games is one to remember. AWG has taught me more than just going after a medal. It has taught me about real life experiences such as: discipline, determination, and respect.
Discipline: not every situation is going to go the exact way you plan out to be, and the only thing to do is to be able to "control the controllable". You may not win the game you are supposed to, or you may not have played the best game because it just wasn't your game, but that's life, you can't always get what you want.
Determination: success is earned, not given. If you want something, you have to work hard for it. There will be moments in the game where you just need to give every last ounce of energy left inside of your body until the final buzzer or whistle. Basketball is clearly a team sport, needing every single player on the court to work together. However, if three out of five players are lacking determination and their own self motivation, than the team will have a difficult time succeeding. Nothing in life will be given to you, determination towards a specific goal is key.
Lastly, respect. A simple word where everyone should know the definition. There will be moments in a game where it becomes intense and frustrating. You may knock a player over or trip them during a play, but at the end of the game it's important to keep your composure and respect the opposing team. What happens on the court, field and/or arena should stay there. You should also have respect for your fellow teammates, coaches, officials and parents.
Again, as my last Arctic Winter Games, I would like to dedicate it to my coach Melissa Bard. This time, my basketball team was a little different; Young, and a good chunk of my teammates had not been playing basketball for very long, as well as never having played in a big competition such as this. With that being said, I would still never change who my teammates were, and am still very proud of our overall outcome.
Melissa has sure taught me a lot. She's been my coach since I was 13, so I could say I know her pretty well. Melissa is an intense coach, but a privilege to play for. She only ever wants the best from you, she will never settle for anything less. As any coach, she strives for competition and would love nothing more than having a big win, but she also expects you to leave a competition learning some valuable life lessons, and without her (and my parents of course), I probably would not have matured the way I am now.
Like I said, this year I played with a young team, that lacked experience from the other teams I have played for. Melissa was able to take these group of girls, in a short amount of time, turn them into basketball players, and a team. As being the oldest on my team, and having known the type of coach Melissa is, I was able to sit back and watch her coaching style. Let's get one thing straight, you better follow her game plan, she knows what she is talking about, and she is always right. It still amazes me how our coach is able to have the perfect balance: intensity, motivation, frustration, happiness. The right amount of intensity to get our team refocused, knowing the exact words to say in order to motivate our team and play to our full potential, the right amount of frustration to yell at us and tell us what we are doing wrong, and lastly how encouraging it is to hear from a coach that they are so proud of us and reflect on the positives. Again, listen to her, she know's what she's talking about. We also would not have had a strong rebirth of female basketball in the north without our amazing assistant coaches Lana Campbell and Nicole Grobbecker. Honestly without them, female basketball would not be where it is now without them, again another team effort.I honestly would not have changed anything during my last AWG's. Great teammates that made me laugh almost every 5 minutes, but then again constantly wanting to duct tape their mouths because they just talked way too much. We had the privilege of playing with teams that allowed us to go beyond our comfort zone, to really allow us to play to our full potential and expand more as players. I'd also like to note that my basketball team is now Team NWT’s choir, constantly singing the national anthem during and/or when the announcers fail to play the national anthem on the speakers (so if anyone is Yellowknife is looking for live music, please don't be afraid to call us). It's been a good run, and I'd like thank everyone who has made my basketball experience in the north an unforgettable one.