The Power Of The Pen

Olympian Lyndsey Fry Is Looking To Connect With Kids Through Her Hockey-Themed Short Stories

In a time when many people are sheltering in place in front of the television to pass the time, Olympic medalist Lyndsey Fry has turned to a more creative outlet to pass the time.

In addition to posting online skill sessions for her Arizona Kachinas players - and those beyond Arizona's borders - Fry has also rediscovered a new passion writing short stories for youth hockey players. 

"Some people are sewing masks for people on the frontlines; a lot of people are doing online stick-handling drills. Both are really great," said Fry about other's contributions during these uncertain times. "I was just trying to think about what I could do that would help the kids but also kind of help the parents."

After spending half of her high school years doing online-schooling, Fry understands what a huge adjustment period this has been for both parents and children. She only imagines how parents of younger children are trying to balance online learning with their own work from home in addition to everything else that comes along with parenting. 

She knows how difficult being cooped up inside can be for players who rely on hockey as an outlet or escape. Having that taken away can be a struggle, so Fry put pen to paper in hopes of bringing kids closer to the game.

"I love creative writing," said Fry, who played her college hockey at Harvard University. "I wouldn't say I'm an expert by any stretch but I saw this as a nice way to give kids something to do that would keep them engaged and give the parents a little peace and quiet, even if it's just for five minutes."

When it came to brainstorming story ideas, Fry pulled from her own experiences as both a player and a coach.

"When you've been a coach and worked in different programs, you see a lot of the things that kids struggle with and it's relatable whether you're in Arizona or you're in Massachusetts," she said. "I really try to take things I've seen kids deal with or things that I've dealt with personally throughout my youth hockey career."

Thus far, Fry has written four short stories, all posted for free on her website [FryHockey.com]. One of her first stories, "Cullen Finds His Confidence," was based on a youth player within the organization Fry coached at who experienced bullying. Not only did she get the player, whose real name is Callen, to illustrate for the story, but Fry said that she truly got to see the impact her stories could have on young readers. 

"The climax of the story, if you will, was that Cullen gets to meet this NHL player who tells him that the only person who can give or take your confidence away from you is yourself," Fry said. "And Callen loved it; she totally related to it."

Fry's most recent story is based on her first time at USA Hockey National Camp, which she hopes will inspire other aspiring players. 

And while it looks like things are beginning to slowly return to normal, Fry is shows no signs of putting down her pen. She has plans for at least 20 to 30 more hockey-related short stories and eventually compiling them into a larger book. She hopes all the illustrations can be done by youth hockey players, just like with "Cullen Finds His Confidence." When it's all said and done, Fry hopes that any profit from the book sales could be used to provide scholarships for kids who can't afford to play hockey.

For now, she's focused on enjoying the writing process and hoping to have an impact on the kids reading her stories.

"I enjoy writing them so I hope that they make a difference for kids and help them overcome whatever challenges they may be facing."

 

Issue: 
2020-06

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