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Trio Balances Hockey, Lacrosse and Life

by Cat Silverman / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE -- For Abby Steinman, Maddy Beaty and Karlie Chadwick of the Lady Coyotes hockey team, hockey is more than just a sport they love to play – it’s a balancing act.

All three young women skate for the Lady Coyotes organization during hockey season, but experience some overlap when it comes to their time management.

That’s because all three skaters, in addition to balancing hockey and school, are multi-sport athletes. The trio plays lacrosse together, as well.

For Maddy, the decision to juggle hockey and lacrosse was made with her future in mind. A five-and-a-half year veteran of playing competitive hockey, she decided to pick up lacrosse as well in order to attract college attention.

“I want to play college hockey,” she admitted. “Many colleges look for multi-sport athletes.”

She was the one who actually brought Abby, her Canadian-born hockey teammate, into lacrosse. For Abby, the desire to pick up another sport for conditioning got her looking; Maddy’s endorsement of lacrosse was what sold her on the secondary activity. As a non-cut sport, Karlie got involved with her two friends – and now, the three are dedicated athletes both on and off the ice.

Lacrosse and hockey have different rules, played on different mediums with different equipment and a different system for keeping time. The number of players on the field in lacrosse differs from the number on the ice in hockey, and the rules for contact differ as well.

For the three girls, though, they say that playing both sports has made them better at hockey.

For both Maddy and Abby, conditioning is a huge asset gained by playing both sports. Lacrosse is known as the ‘fastest sport on two feet’ – and between that and the physical demand that skating puts on an athlete, the trio has learned how to stay in top shape.

Karlie Chadwick and Maddy Beaty

For Karlie, though, there is an additional bonus to playing lacrosse – at least in relation to her hockey game.

“I think my ability to stickhandle in hockey has gone up,” she suggested, “because of the wrist work I have to do in lacrosse. My confidence to skate with the puck has also boosted in hockey because I have to run with the ball a lot more in lacrosse.”

It’s not just about the physical balance gained from playing two sports, though.

All three girls have learned how to balance more than just multiple sports with their participation in hockey and lacrosse while in high school. There’s also school to factor in.

Karlie broke down how she manages to get it all done:

“I get home and watch TV or do homework for half an hour,” she started, “then go to practice.

“I use lacrosse practice to practice lacrosse; I use hockey practice to practice hockey. That’s simple.”

From there, she usually uses car rides to and from practices for more homework – then it’s dinner time, then family time.

“I usually eat and have family time, then if I’m lucky I get time to watch a show before I go to bed. I have a late school start, so if I don’t get all my homework done I use time in the morning to finish it.”

Practice times are set in stone, she said, so it’s up to her to find time around that to fit in her other work, her family, and anything she wants to do for fun.

Abby Steinman and Karlie Chadwick

Both Abby and Maddy added, though, that those set-in-stone times can make things tough during the crossover in seasons – because when both hockey and lacrosse have something going on simultaneously, there’s a choice to be made.

“Since hockey is more important to me,” confessed Maddy, “I have missed many lacrosse practices for hockey practices.”

“I can’t have sleepovers on Fridays most weeks,” she added.

According to Maddy, the six a.m. hockey practices on Saturdays – plus games on both Saturdays and Sundays for lacrosse often enough – means that family and friend time on the weekends is limited.

Abby agreed.

“Balancing my social life, lacrosse, hockey, and school can get really difficult because you have to discipline yourself – even when you’re exhausted.”

“Taking all AP and honors classes, being athletic, working at the ice rink and having friends often got difficult to juggle.”

Despite how tough it sounds, though, the three all confirmed it’s worth it.

“Although it’s difficult it’s so fun to always be doing something,” Abby said.

The trio serves as role models for younger athletes who want to play more than one sport, and they’re open to talking about how rewarding it is to learn how to balance everything in the limited hours of the day.

According to Karlie, doing well in school can help with sports – if you’re smart in class, she said, you’ll be smart on the field or on the ice.

Abby agreed; sports are fun, but school should take priority. It comes first, she emphasized.

This season, the trio will continue to push themselves with yet another high school workload, another season of lacrosse, and another year of the Lady Coyotes under their belts. While it sounds tough, though, the three make it look pretty easy.

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