INSIDE THE CIRCLE: Alyschia Conn
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 28, 2010
Old Dominion University field hockey standout Alyschia Conn recently sat down with odusports.com for a one-on-one chat. Conn, whose majoring in chemistry, is second on this years team with five assists. But field hockey wasn't the only thing discussed as we learned Conn's favorite movie picks, her future plans and much more!
What is your major and what career are you trying to pursue?
My major is chemistry, with a minor in secondary education and secondary major in psychology. I hope to be a high school teacher and a hockey coach
What influenced you to play field hockey?
In middle school, I had never heard of it before (it was 6th grade). I thought "wow, this is pretty cool and challenging" because I was always up for a challenge. It was a sport I wasn't very good at. So I practiced more and the more I practiced, the more liked it. I worked so hard because the coaches would encourage me. So I kept on going and going.
So you made it more like a job "I have to be good at this"?
More like "I'm not good at it and I want to get better". So I took the steps to get better. In middle school I was playing with the high school team. I'm little now and I was a lot smaller then!
How did you decide to play field hockey at Old Dominion, besides the scholarship offer?
Actually I didn't come in with one, I earned it. I call it walk on.
So you actually had to try out?
Yup, I tried out. I first met Coach Anders at the annual field hockey festival. So I went for four years. I also had a club coach who said I needed to look at ODU. When I found out Coach Anders was interested I didn't even ask my parents I said "I'm going to ODU! We're going to figure it out somehow, but I'm going to ODU."
Playing under Coach Anders, how has she enhanced you as a player and a person?
She teaches you a lot about life and about yourself. I was quiet, I didn't like conflict and I couldn't deal with conflict. I couldn't really stand up for myself, but she makes you hold yourself accountable. It's not always about the right answer. It's about adjusting to things, how you handle other teams, how you handle yourself, and professionalism. So she's taught me more about myself as a person than I would've learned anywhere. I mean, I could probably write a hockey manual from the stuff I've learned from her. She's given me skills that I can use on and off the field.
What has been the most exciting/best part of playing on the ODU field hockey team?
I'd have to say playing for Coach Anders. When she's on that sideline and she's in the game, you can hear it in her voice...I mean, she's with you... and when I coach camps, I know how she feels. That's why I think we coach camps, so we can see it from her perspective. So, as players, we can respond better. So the most exciting part for me, is when she's going down that sideline and going after it as hard as we are.
And you can't slack because if she's going 100%...
Oh no! You can't slack...ever!!
What has been the most difficult/ challenging part?
I think the scheduling. My major and hockey really don't go together. That's why it's taking really long to graduate. The hockey part, the most difficult part isn't really hard. It's a year round job. You want to do it. It's not hard; it's the stuff outside of it. I could play field hockey all day, but I still have to go to school. Scheduling conflicts with class, and that's the most disappointing part. So I have to stay longer because I want to play hockey, instead of staying longer so I can get a master's degree. So it's going to take six years to get my undergraduate.
What was it like trying out for the U.S. National Team this summer?
It was an experience in itself and it was quite amazing. I didn't expect to go so far. I'm a standard player, but I work very hard. I know defense is my strength. So I went out with the mind:"I can play defense, I can pass, and I'm a team player. So I'm going to go and do the best I could". I went twice a week all summer to UNC, drove the four hours down and back! But the quality of play was a lot higher, so I wanted to learn some new tricks. I wanted to learn new stick skills, movement and how other people read the game.
Can you describe your best game at ODU?
Typically it's against Maryland and UNC. It's the adrenaline. If they get the ball, I'm going to get it back. They're not our conference rivals, but it's the competition.
If you could give one bit of advice to your friend, teammates, etc...what would it be?
Keep going! Keep going and do it together; because you can't do it by yourself. When things get hard, you reach out to someone else.
Rapid Fire Time... What is your favorite color?
I'd have to go with navy blue.
What's playing on your iPod right now?
Actually, believe it or not, I don't have an iPod, I use the latest iTunes.
What is your favorite movie that you've seen this summer?
I've seen quite a few movies, remembering the title is another story. I remember I did see the third Twilight. I love Twilight, because I love stories. So of the movies I've seen this summer, that would be it.
Conn and the Lady Monarchs have won three straight games and are now preparing for their CAA home opener against Delaware on Friday at 5 p.m. Come out and support ODU at the Powhatan Sports Complex!