DURHAM, N.C. - Graduating senior Stefanie Fee played her last field hockey game as a Blue Devil this past fall but she has not hung up her cleats yet. A few weeks ago, she traveled to Chula Vista, California for a week to train with the United States National Team. GoDuke.com recently sat down with the Virginia Beach, Va., native to learn about her recent adventure out west.
GoDuke.com: How was your trip? Stefanie Fee: "California was amazing. I heard about two weeks after my season ended that I was going to get to go to California to train with the national team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I was really excited from there and I really started training, working on individual skills. I kept training with the team once they started back up and I did individual training sessions with Jarred and Pam and Brit; just toning, getting in shape."
GoDuke.com: Explain a bit about why you went out there. SF: "I went out there for a week, it was called 'training exposure' so they got to see where I was at with my skills and I got to see everything that they do day-to-day to even see if it is something that I would want to do if I could. I absolutely loved it. I loved every part of it: being out there, playing at that level, it is just high speed and high intensity and it is something that I would love to do if the opportunity came up. It was a success all in all.
GoDuke.com: Describe a typical day. SF: "It was really cool because they didn't work anything around us. It was more just jump into what we are already doing which was nice. They didn't 'fluff' around it was more like this is what it is, this what we are doing whether you like it or not. It was good and bad; good because we got to see everything but bad because it was definitely high intensity, high speed. We would practice some days, we would lift some days. We would have running as well, just kind of a mix of times and activities. You don't really get a day off. It is their life and their job so...it's what they do."
GoDuke.com: How did the housing work? SF: "I roomed with a girl from UConn who is a rival, we match up against them. It was cool to get to know her personally rather than just being against her. I knew some of the girls going into it but it was nice meeting some of the new ones as well."
GoDuke.com: What was the most beneficial part of trip? SF: "The most beneficial thing is that realized I can do this. I went into scared because they are training at the Olympic Training Center and obviously it is a really high level. I prepared as much as I could but even in that week I adapted and I played well and I was able to pick up things pretty quickly. If I had more than one week it would be cool to see where I would be then. I mean these girls have been playing at that level for years now so their push pass is about 20 times faster than mine but I feel like if I was out there every day I could get to that level too."
GoDuke.com: What happens next? SF: "Basically there is a summer league called high performance and it starts in a few weeks. There are different regions in the country that they break into different high performance teams; I am in the south region and I will be at UNC with Wake, UNC, Duke and some other girls that get added in. From there we play all summer. We do about 2-3 practices a week and then they pick a travel squad to go to the actual tournament which will be June 2-9, 2012 and that will be held in Maryland where you play against the other regions, kind of like a tournament. On the final day, they call out the National Team squad, recognize the Olympic team, and the developmental squad. Hopefully, I am on the National Team this time."
GoDuke.com: What would it mean to you to be a part of the National Team? SF: "Being on the National Team would be the fulfillment of my dreams since I was a little girl. To compete at that level would be amazing. I grew up watching the National Team with soccer my whole life and watching them in the world cup made we want to be out there, playing at that level. Little did I know that I would have such an opportunity in field hockey. It would be amazing, everything I have been working for and I want to coach after so it would segway perfectly into that as well."
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