As a first-year student, there are many excellent reasons to partake in the joyful, graceless tradition of Women’s Tripod Hockey.
Named for the two legs and stick that keep novice players upright, the late-night games are a unique opportunity to get to know not only your class, but second-year students and many partners, intimately. It might feel humbling asking for help tying your skates or pulling your jersey over your head, but it’s also a great way to build trust and community.
The tight-knit, supportive culture is what draws most people to Tuck, and I can think of no better illustration of our values than what you’ll see on the ice.
Of course I’m happy for my classmates when they land an internship or crush a final exam, but when I’m actually proud of them is when I see two accomplished skaters support a brand new player who has volunteered to try goalie for the first time—as they scoot her from the bench to her side and then back again between periods. By the end of the season she’ll be making it across just fine on her own, but for now she’s out there, part of the team, and that’s enough.
Tuckies are certainly ambitious, but in line with our tight-knight reputation, we collaborate more than we compete. Before classes start, it’s not surprising to find strangers volunteering to help move luggage or washing machines into new students’ apartments. During finals, CPAs who passed out of the core accounting class will run extra prep sessions for Art History majors like yours truly. And of course, at the end of hockey season, you can bet we do a very thorough job of celebrating one another’s success and progress.
That said, just because hockey is an established tradition doesn’t mean it hasn’t seen changes. The two-year academic cycle means student leaders have an outsized impact on how the league is run, and my captains and I are taking full advantage to create a program that best serves the evolving needs of women of Tuck. In our first two terms, we’ve been purposeful about promoting inclusivity and connection. We’ve prioritized small group dinners and individual team events over all-league parties and instituted surveys to understand player drop-off from season to season. We also added a new overnight tournament experience in Burlington, VT. Looking ahead, we’ll be focusing further on skill development with supervised practice sessions and a brand new six-on-six pond hockey festival near the Canadian border.
As I think back to my own first year at Tuck—a whirlwind of rigorous problem sets, inspiring lectures and intense career exploration—I so appreciate how valuable it was to have a few hours each week where all that was asked of me was time and enthusiasm. Go hard for two minutes, and when you can’t possibly give anything more, someone else will have your back.
Whether you’re a shiny new T’19, a partner, or a second-year student who wanted to feel out classes (or recruiting, or the United States) before making a commitment, this is your year.
Can’t wait to see you out there,
Abbe Cart T’18 is the Women’s Tripod Commissioner. Though she attended (and even threw) ice-skating birthday parties as a child, she certainly did not have organized hockey experience before Tuck. For tryout tips, gear storage questions or general encouragement, feel free to reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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