From Rink to Rink

Written by Merisa Boyd

It’s no secret that CWHL players are forces both on and off the ice. Whether it be furthering their education or working 40 hours a week alongside their already busy practice and game schedules, time management is a skill professional women hockey players have down to a science.

Megan Myers of the Boston Blades recently reflected on her hectic schedule. On top of being an assistant coach for the Becker College Hawks women’s hockey team, she also works Monday through Friday as a physical therapy aide.

Before Her Professional Career

Myers spent all four years of her college career at Utica College, where she met Eliza Kelley, Becker Hawks head coach. Previously, Kelley was an assistant coach at Utica and took on the Becker job in 2014 for their inaugural season. From there, she took on Myers as an assistant.

“Liza has been an amazing mentor to me and has played a big part in helping me grow as a coach while also helping me continue to follow my dreams as a professional hockey player,” Myers stated.

Day-to-Day Life

After her shift at Worcester Physical Therapy, Myers balances working on a practice plan for the Hawks, the usual two-hour practice, discussing their game plan for the week, and sharpening her players’ skates as needed.

From there it’s off to Winthrop, MA where she makes the 60-75 minute drive for Blades workout and practice. If the Blades aren’t meeting on a particular day, she’ll stay in Worcester to monitor athlete tutoring hours once a week.

Weekends mean it’s game time, for both the Blades and Hawks, and Myers’ schedule varies each weekend. Becker typically plays on Friday and Saturday while Boston usually plays on Saturday and Sunday.

“Often, I find myself missing Blades games to coach, but more times than not, I am playing for the Blades on Sundays,” Myers said. “My schedule is definitely a huge puzzle. I am always trying to find ways to make more time for each of the teams, but whether it’s the Blades or Becker, I am always trying to be at my best.”

Managing It All

Myers admitted that there are times where managing everything can be difficult, but she wouldn’t give up or change any of it.

“Between playing, coaching, driving, recruiting, community service events, and meetings, it becomes a whirlwind. Still though, over the last three years of living this lifestyle, I’ve gained an incredible amount from doing it all,” she stated. “Being a coach has made me a better hockey player and being a hockey player has made me a better coach. The two go hand-in-hand and I believe the positives of both outweigh the difficulties.”

Myers offered some helpful advice meant for anyone dealing with a similar situation. She stressed the importance of time management and communication. For her, she feels lucky to have Kelley and Boston Blades Head Coach Kacy Ambroz both understanding and willing to work with her schedule.

“I couldn’t thank them enough, but I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is to have as much fun as you can. Coaching and playing professional hockey means that every day revolves around the best game on earth and that sounds like the dream to me,” Myers said.

Becker Hawks junior captain, Brittany Aiello, spoke on her assistant coach and the impact of seeing Myers play professionally.

“Being able to watch Megan play for the Blades and accomplish her goals has a big impact on me and my teammates,” she stated. “She is always available to us at Becker, as I’m sure she is for the Blades. Whether she’s getting on the ice early, staying late, or going to open ice to help us improve our own skills, she’s always pushing us to be the best players that we can be.”

Aiello also spoke of how Myers and the CWHL give college players something to look forward to after graduation.

“Having Megan as a coach, and a role model, proves to my teammates and me that we are able to accomplish our own goals by following her lead,” Aiello said. “Watching her play for the Blades gives us the encouragement to pursue hockey, even after graduation. Being able to support the Blades at their games, and in return having them support us at ours is something special that we get to be a part of.”

The Big Picture

Myers is one of the many athletes in this league that shows her commitment to the game she loves throughout her day-to-day life. While she admits that her schedule might appear (and actually be) crazy at times, it’s incredibly rewarding for her to reflect upon.

“The girls of Becker College women’s ice hockey and my amazing teammates with the Boston Blades have changed my life for the better. I couldn’t do it without the amazing support I have from all of them. Both teams have led me to be the hockey player and woman I’m proud to be today.”