Coachspeak: Garrison Forest field hockey's Traci Davis
Garrison Forest field hockey coach and athletic director Traci Davis is one of seven being inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame on Saturday.
A three-sport athlete at St. Paul's (lacrosse, field hockey and basketball), Davis, played lacrosse and field hockey at Ursinus, earning All-American honors in both sports.
She went on to play for the women’s national lacrosse team (1979-1989), the U.S touring team (1981, 1984), and the world cup team (1986). And she's already a member of the Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame and the St. Paul's School or Girls Hall of Fame.
At Garrison Forest she was the school's lacrosse coach for seven years. She has been the Grizzlies' field hockey coach for 12 years and the school's athletic director since 2005.
The 51-year-old mother of two grown children -- daughter Cody and son Griff -- leads her No. 2 field hockey team into the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs as the defending A conference champion. (Davis' teams also won the league championship in 2007 and 2008.)
And this week she checked for five questions as the latest Coachspeak guest.
What does it mean to you to go into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame?
It's a tremendous honor. I am completely humbled by it. I just loved playing and loved my teammates. So, an honor such as this is something I never thought of. It's quite something.
Of all the things you've done -- as a player, a coach, an athletic director, a mom -- what has been the most rewarding?
Hands down, it has to be being a mom. It's definitely the most challenging and most rewarding. But I loved all of those things -- playing, coaching, being an AD and mom -- all four for different reasons.
Each one has brought a lot of joy and fulfillment to my life. And, in a way, all these teams I've been part of -- working together, playing together, helping the students as AD -- it's like they're all part of my extended family.
What was the most helpful piece of advice you ever got?
I don't know where it came from, but it is something I try to live by: Work hard and love what you do. It's a recipe - not necessarily for success, but for something good to happen. I want things to be good and I hope I pass that on to others.
It doesn't mean things work out the right way all the time, but you do your best and something good can come from it and you have no regrets.
What is your favorite personal activity now?
Mountain biking. I try to get out in the woods and ride whenever I can. I love to go out west to Colorado. I love to be outside and exercising, and it's spectacular in the woods. No cars. No noise. Just you pedaling. You have to focus on what you're doing or fall. It clears my head. You get your heart rate up. You sweat. You ride through streams and over logs. It takes skill and endurance. It's a physical and mental test and I've always liked that.
At this stage of your life, do you still set goals?
Absolutely. There are always goals. Not life goals, but small things. Progressing, doing a good job as a coach, persevering as mom and athletic director. No doubt there are still bumps in the road.
And I set goals for my team, but they're not about winning, necessarily. The measurement of our team's success is not a championship. A championship would be icing. With it or without it we're having a terrific season. I think it would be a shame for a team, any team, to think it wasn't successful because it didn't win a championship. There's so much more to be gained through the experience of working and being together through a season than that. But, having said that, a championship would be sweet.
NOTE: Being inducted with Davis at Saturday's ceremony at the Grand Lodge in Hunt Valley are Bruce Allison, David W. Huntley (Johns Hopkins), John "Jake" Lawlor (Navy), Suzanne Honeysett McKinny (posthumously), Jon Reese and Sandra Lanahan Zvosec (Loch Raven and Maryland).
(Photo of Davis by Arianne Teeple/Patuxent Publishing)