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Inspiring Conversations with Andrea Hood of St. Louis Field Hockey Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Hood.

Hi Andrea, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started playing field hockey when I was 14 years old because I “failed” at another sport. It was the summer before freshman year of high school and I was actually trying out for the volleyball team. I had played select volleyball since 5th grade and it was my dream to continue to play in high school. I made it through the entire first week of tryouts. On the last day, the varsity coach pulled me aside and told me that I was a great player but I was too short and if I grew a couple of inches, I could come back the following year to try out. Needless to say, I was devastated. Even as a young athlete, I had put a lot of time, heart, soul, sweat, blood and tears into this sport and its my plans were crashing before me.

When I came home and told my parents the news, they did what any good parents would do. They told me that I tried my best, that I was a great athlete and let me cry in their arms. I was so upset that I was ready to switch schools and go live out my dream of playing volleyball somewhere else. I had worked very hard academically as well to get into my high school and my mom was not about to let me throw all of that away. She suggested that I go tryout for field hockey instead. I can still remember telling her, “I don’t even know what that is…I have never played before!” She pushed me and said, “Just go one day…if you don’t like it, then we will figure something else out.” I thank God everyday that she pushed me. It was because of her that I am where I am today. The moment I picked up that first field hockey stick, I was in love with every part of the game!

A passion and fire lit inside of me that as someone who had played competitive sports since I was about five years old, hadn’t felt. Field hockey was my spark and now I had a new dream, a new path and I was never letting go! I played field hockey all four years of high school and went on to play in college. I ended up getting injured and that was the end of my time as player but little did I know that a new field hockey chapter was about to start. After graduating college, I returned to St. Louis and coached at my high school (Ursuline Academy) for the next nine years! After my husband and I had our 3rd child, I decided it was finally time to go out on my own and fulfill my ultimate goal of starting my own field hockey club. I started St. Louis Field Hockey Club in the fall of 2019 and even the midst of a global pandemic, I can proudly say we have thrived and the club has grown tremendously! I am so thankful to be able to share my passion and love of the game with athletes in the St. Louis area!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Life is never a smooth road. We all face the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride. Sports and “challenge” go hand in hand. Being an athlete from a very young age, I can truly say that sports makes you a more well-rounded adult. Sports teaches us to communication, teamwork, cooperation, perseverance, hard work, how to deal with failures and success. We live in a world where failure is looked as a bad thing but honestly, it’s one of the best things! If we don’t fail, we don’t know how to win. Failure teaches us so much about ourselves and in my case, it helped guide me on the path that was meant for me.

I am a mom of three young children and running my own business. I face struggles, challenges and obstacles on a daily basis. However, everyday I am stronger. Some days I survive and some I thrive but I make it through each day and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the amazing support of my husband! He is my rock and I am beyond thankful for him.

As you know, we’re big fans of St. Louis Field Hockey Club. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I started St. Louis Field Hockey Club (STL FHC) in the fall of 2019 with ten athletes. Almost two years and a pandemic later, we now have over 200 athletes! We offer programs for three years old up through adults! Our programs are open to boys and girls (men/women) of any skill level! We run field hockey sessions all year round and are always looking for new athletes to join our family. Our mission is to continue to bring awareness to the game of field hockey in the U.S. and help grow the sport in the St. Louis area!

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
The summer my family and I went to Italy is definitely a top favorite. I was 12 years old. My family is 100% Italian so getting to experience that together was one of my fondest memories of my childhood.

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Image Credits
Kendra Bockius

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