Dulcie Davies: Field Hockey at Stanford University

5 min read
Dulcie Davies secured her field hockey scholarship to Stanford University in 2012, through FirstPoint USA. Now a sophmore, we caught up with Dulcie to discuss what it's like to be goalkeeper for the NCAA DI team, at a university that ranks, academically, within the top 10 in the world:     Hi Dulcie, can you tell us a bit about your sporting background pre-scholarship?? I started playing hockey at school when I was 12 years old and since then I played for my school (Alleyns School, Dulwich), for Tulse Hill and Dulwich Hockey Club, Surbiton Hockey Club and then at the England U16, U18 and U21 levels. As well as hockey, I played water polo at high school making it to the national championships 4 years in a row.   How did you hear about FirstPoint USA, and what made you choose to go down the sport scholarship route?? I heard of FirstPoint USA through a Google search. I wanted to experience the excellent coaching and facilities available in the US field hockey programs, but also to combine that with the best education out there.     What has been the highlight of your time in the US so far?? I went to Yosemite with three of my teammates for a long weekend in June. We did an 11 hour hike up the Half Dome (2,694m) and I witnessed some of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. California has such a range of landscapes and microclimates, which makes exploring so exciting. I have hugely enjoyed skiing in Lake Tahoe and surfing along the Northern Californian coastline.   What do you enjoy the most about being part of the Stanford team?? Our team has a huge passion and drive for success. Everyone genuinely wants what is best for the team and is willing to go above and beyond in order to reach our goals. The best thing about our team is each individuals commitment to each other on and off the field.     How popular do you think field hockey is in the US vs in the UK?? Field hockey is a much younger sport in the US compared to the UK where hockey has been played since the 1800s. Because field hockey in the US does not have a male counterpart, its popularity has not exploded like it did in the UK. There is a somewhat limited club system so most of the countrys field hockey is played in the college system.   What are the facilities like at Stanford?? We have just got a brand new astroturf and the construction of a new pavilion type building with locker rooms and stands is in progress. The facilities that are available for all athletes include a brand new training room facility equipped with ice baths, hot tubs and access to athletic trainers every day of the week. There is also an athlete-only study area with academic advisors available five days a week.     Can you describe a day in the life of a Stanford field hockey player?? A typical day during season means waking up at 8:30 to have a big breakfast before my 9:00am Spanish class that meets for an hour 5 days a week. I would then have an hour break in which I would go back to my dorm room and take a nap before going to my next class of the day. After class I would grab a bite to eat to keep me going through practice and then head to the training room where I have treatment on various aches and pains and foam roll before practice. The team then has practice from 1-4pm, my favorite part of the day. After practice I have class; Technology in National Security and after that Id go back to the dorm to have dinner and start on homework. Various teammates have chefs that cook meals at their residences so occasionally I would go to eat with them. In the evening, I usually hang out in the dorm with friends, go to a social event or any arts or music events on campus.   How do you manage the balance between your studies/athletics/social life? And which do you think takes priority?? The key to this balancing act is organization and staying on top of your workload. During season it is common that athletes will take fewer classes in order to focus more on athletics and ensure that they are looking after their bodies. I believe that if you are proactive in your approach to organizing your academic life, a balance is easily established and you find yourself in a position where you can choose which one is your priority. For me, hockey is my main priority (but dont tell the university!)   What advice do you have for anyone considering a field hockey scholarship to the USA?? I would say do it! Coming to the US to play field hockey and to study has definitely the best decision I have ever made. My advice would be to think deeply about your options of universities; you want to be able to see you yourself at a particular college, so think about whether you love the campus, the location, the team, the coaching staff and the general way of life that different universities have.    

We would like to thank Dulcie for answering our questions and wish her the best of luck with the rest of her time at Stanford!

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