I started playing hockey when I was barely walking. My family lived in Pierceland SK, and I was considered a “rink rat”. I would always want to be playing hockey or around the dressing rooms with the older kids (All my brothers friends). Before I started kindergarten, I stayed home on the farm with my Dad feeding cows and skating on the pond ALL day. Sometimes my Mom would take me to a babysitter when she went to teach school and I was not a fan of that. Being able to put my skates on and not care about anything else was so much fun! Best part of being a KID.
When my family moved to Alberta in 1998, we were cattle, bison, and elk RANCHERS. That being said I was taught about WORK ETHIC and RESPONIBILITIES. I wanted to play hockey, animals had to be feed before we left the ranch. So I would help mom and dad get things done so I could go. Even if it was just opening a gate, cleaning barn out, pulling a calf , or just packing a sandwich for the road trip. My parents always gave me something to complete before we left. At the time it might seem like really? Or why? BUT it makes you love the sport more and appreciate sacrifices our parents make for us to be successful in hockey, but more importantly LIFE.
I started playing my minor hockey in Pierceland then when we moved to Alberta where I continued in Barrhead, I always had to prove to the boys that I could play just as hard as them and sometimes got a little too aggressive. Haha… A coach that taught me a lot about being a better player/person was Devon Hillyer. I was playing on the Peewee B team that year and he never treated us like “B” players; he pushed us to be better every time we came to the rink. A lot of our team played on the A team the following year because our skills improved. I played boys hockey until my midget year, where I switched to Female hockey in Onoway for a year then Spruce Grove AAA. To end my minor hockey career I played in the WNHL for Edmonton Chimos. While playing for the Chimos I got to experience having some really good teammates that were there to guide us younger players and help us develop our skills on and off the ice. A GREAT coach and mentor for me is Barry Medori. Barry was an excellent teacher/coach while I played for him at Chimos, Team Alberta also Team Canada. He still inspires me now with my family life and when I’m involved with hockey as a coach & mentor.
As I left in 2007 for Mercyhurst College this was a big challenge for a small-town farm girl that couldn’t drive home on weekends. 4,000 km is a long way to be away from family and friends. Juggling academics, hockey and social time was not easy. Having a support system at home from my family was great but they aren’t there everyday going through the battles so it was important to have teammates and coaches that would talk and make you feel welcome. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that amazing experience which was disappointing BUT it has also made me the person and coach I am today. I NEVER want my athletes to feel that they don’t trust or “belong” in the association because everyone deserves to have a great experience and a role in their team‘s success.
When I transferred to Syracuse University going into my senior year I was ecstatic about the new opportunity and coaching staff I was going to be having. They showed me a great deal of respect on coming to their newly opened program. Being a senior I had more people turning to me for advise and leadership than I experienced in the past. We may not have WON as many games but SUCCESS in my eyes is not measured by WINS and LOSES but is measured in the development of the players, team, and growth the program creates.
When I Graduated from Syracuse with my Degree in Physiology, I was ready for a change in life. When I returned home there was no available jobs in my field so I found a job as general manager at Fastenal (Industrial supplies). While I was working there I was presented with an opportunity to coach the St. Joseph School academy program.(Whitecourt) This was very exciting as this is exactly what I wanted to get into. Being a player of the game was an amazing experience but NOW I was excited to help the youth coming up with their skills and watch them grow and achieve their dreams. I have been coaching with many different age levels since 2008, each experience is always different. Coaching is rewarding when athletes call or message keeping me in the loop with their life journey. That to me means I have been making a positive impact on them!!! Pro North Hockey is a huge part of my coaching success as well and so glad to have the opportunity with them year after year to build my coaching skills. Started working for Pro North while I was still an university athlete in 2008.
I got married to my husband Greg Shrode in 2012. We now own a Bison and cattle Ranch north of Sangudo. (Romeo Lake)2015. Our 2 boys Gavin (6 years old) and Greysen (4 years) are learning very similar ways as we did. They are just getting into hockey so we make sure they understand the importance of looking after animals before play time happens. This I hope will make them appreciate opportunities as much as we did growing up.
There has been certain people throughout my life that have made me better! Even NEGATIVE experience make US better. That is something I really want athletes and others I work with to understand and embrace.
Don’t give negativity company!
Just allow it to build you stronger and more diverse for the Next Opportunity!
When your told No it actually means this:
NO= Next Opportunity 😊