MIFFLINBURG — Dreams always seem easier to accomplish if someone has already done it.
Not only does it prove to the dreamer that it can be done, it also gives a template on how to do it.
As the Upswing Clinic at the Mifflinburg Intermediate School began, staff members Mallory (Weisen) Federoff and Hannah Allison shared with the campers their career accomplishments. And even though what they have done is impressive, it’s where they started that allows the girls at the camp to believe they can accomplish anything.
“Having those two here and sharing what they have done starting from a small town like Mifflinburg and Middleburg really shows the girls that they can accomplish anything,” said Mifflinburg coach Jayme Longacre. “They have both reached high levels coaching Division I programs, and with Mallory being on the national team.
“It reinforces that even though we are at a small school, these girls can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”
Federoff, a graduate of Middleburg High School and Penn State University, started Upswing Clinics this year after getting married and moving to the Pittsburgh area. Before that, she was an assistant coach at Lock Haven University for seven years and was a member of the USA National Indoor Team.
“Field hockey around here is not a highly regarded sport with football and soccer getting the headlines,” said Federoff. “But the girls can look to what I have done coming from a small town and played internationally.
“It shows them it is doable.”
Federoff was joined at Mifflinburg by Hannah Allison, who knows her way around that particular field hockey field.
Allison was a 2008 graduate of Mifflinburg and won a state title for the Wildcats in 2007. She played with Longacre for three years and is currently an assistant coach at Bucknell University.
“It is just exciting to be back here,” said Allison. “I am honored to be here and to be able to show these girls that if they put the effort in, they can accomplish anything.”
Allison wasn’t the only person to be excited for the threeday clinic that started Wednesday and ends today.
“Having Hannah here is very exciting,” said Longacre. “It reinforces the pride in the program and makes the girls excited at not only what they accomplish this year, but what they can accomplish with their futures.”
It is a role that Allison relishes.
“It is extremely important that girls have people to look up to in the sport,” she said. “It shows they can go from here and do anything they put their mind to.”
The clinic was three days for high school players and two days for middle schoolers and does more than just give the girls role models. It teaches advanced skills and shows the girls ways to get better — and it showcases the main reason Federoff started Upswing Clinics.
“For me, I wanted to find a way that I could continue to coach and to just grow the game,” she said. “The Pittsburgh area is not as developed, and it just gives me another chance to keep the sport growing.”
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