Trinity‘s field hockey team is lead by Coach Parmenter who has guided the hockey team to qualify for the NESCAC Championship for the fourth time in five years. LRT Sports talked to the Trinity College Field Hockey captain, Chandler Solimine, 2-time 1st Team All-NESCAC, 1st Team All-New England West Region, NFHCA Division III National Academic Team, about recruiting, why she decided to attend Trinity and what it takes to be a leader at the collegiate level. Chandler is also a multi-sport athlete for Trinity, she plays field hockey as well as ice hockey for the school.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer a student-athlete who is looking to play field hockey at Trinity?
Chandler: For anyone looking to play field hockey at Trinity or any college in general, I would say the best things you can do for yourself would be to trust your gut feeling and to be confident. When making a decision as heavy as where you want to spend the next four years and what team to be on, I think it’s best not to overthink it, and to go with your instincts. During the recruiting process, you want to get a good feel for the team chemistry and coaching style, and whether or not you think you’d mesh well with them. Usually, you get a gut feeling about these things telling you whether or not things click. Once you’ve decided on a school/team, it’s equally as important to have confidence going into your freshman year. It’s hard not to feel intimidated or have a sort of “I’m not good enough” feeling, but remember that you put in all the necessary work to end up where you were supposed to be, and your coach recruited you believing that you had something special that could help their team. Getting recruited is only half the battle since you then have to work to make sure you show up to preseason mentally prepared and physically fit, and having humble confidence is critical for this sort of preparation.
LRT Sports: How many other schools did you look at before you decided that Trinity was the right school for you and why did you pick Trinity?
Chandler: I considered about six or seven schools. They were all NESCACs since I knew I wanted a small school where there would be a good balance between athletics, academics, and social life. Trinity was the first school I ever looked at, and every time I went back I felt comfortable there and I could see myself being a part of its community. During the fall of my senior year of high school, I spent a weekend visiting Trinity and my other top school to meet the teams and talk with the coaches again. I don’t know exactly what it was, but after finishing both visits I can remember getting in the car to leave and I immediately just knew Trinity was the right fit. I also wanted a school where I would be able to play both field hockey and ice hockey, and I had established a relationship with the coaches of both teams at Trinity so I knew I could make being a two-sport athlete work here.
LRT Sports: In one word what is your favorite part of being a student-athlete at Trinity?
Chandler: The tailgates of course! Haha just kidding… definitely my teammates.
LRT Sports: Being that you have achieved such success in the three years you’ve been at Trinity, being an all-NESCAC selection and an Academic All-NESCAC, what do you think is the main reason for your success? What do you attribute your success to?
Chandler: I would say my success with field hockey at Trinity has come from the desire of wanting to do well for my teammates. I was lucky enough as an underclassman to have a solid group of older teammates who really cared about the success of our team and always exemplified a lot of heart and hustle, so they definitely showed me how important it is to be all in and made me want to be better for the good of the team. So, over the past few years, I’ve used this as motivation to train as hard and as much as I can in the offseason and give my all on and off the field during the season. Celebrating an accomplishment with my team, whether it be a high five after a good play or a huge cheer after a big win, is one of the best feelings in the world, so I always make sure I’m doing as much as I can in any game or practice to capture that feeling.
LRT Sports: For those athletes who are looking to be a leader of their team like you are, being a captain specifically, what piece of advice can you give them to reach that goal? What makes a good leader?
Chandler: To be an effective leader it is essential to put forth the best version of yourself both on and off the field. You’ve got to remember that you can set the bar as high as you want for your entire team with your work ethic and passion. If you demonstrate your absolute best effort 100% of the time in any game, practice, lift, etc., then it gives your teammates something to strive for with their work ethic. You want to do as much as you can individually to set this bar as high as possible, but it is essential to make sure your attitude, effort and heart is contagious enough to bring everyone else up with you. This has to do a lot with understanding each of your teammates and knowing how to best motivate one person to the next. Everyone is different, so it’s good to know what triggers the best player and person in each of your teammates.
LRT Sports: How did you get on the coach’s radar? In the recruiting process, during your career, what set you apart?
Chandler: During the recruiting process, I tried to demonstrate to my now coaches that Trinity was one of my top choices in every interaction I had with them, in order to keep me on their radar. I would let them know whenever I was playing in a tournament or showcase to give them the opportunity to see me play. I knew at the time some of my technical skills weren’t where they needed to be at that point, so I tried to make up for it with just working as hard as I could and maintaining positive body language on the field. While my coaches joke that they couldn’t even tell what position I was playing when they first saw me play, since I appeared to be all over the place on the field, they did see potential in my athletic ability and work ethic, making them pursue an interest in me as a player. Since coming to Trinity, I’ve always tried to demonstrate to my coaches my will to continue being the hardworking player I was when they recruited me, while also trying to improve my skills.
LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing that happened to you on the field in your career so far?
Chandler: One of our games my freshman year went into overtime and I was ecstatic that I was going to have the chance to help my team win such a close game. However, only a few minutes into overtime, a player on the other team sent an aerial ball high into the air that came crashing down right into my nose right between my eyes. I honestly didn’t even realize what had happened until I noticed everyone on the field staring at me and I touched my face and felt blood. I had to step out of the game and our trainer had to drive me in the cart past the entire stands of the football game that was also going on. While it wasn’t too funny at the moment, thinking back to being a freshman girl walking around campus for the next month with two huge black eyes looking like I’d been in a bar fight makes me laugh now.
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Posted on September 14, 2018 in Life of a College Athlete
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