Shannon Bowman on stepping it up

ShannonShannon Bowman’s got it all: talent, intelligence and character. And she doesn’t waste any of it.

Last spring, Shannon graduated from Dartmouth College where she co-captained the NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey team. In her first year there, she lead her team in scoring. Her second year, Shannon was invited to Canada’s National Under-22 Team camp. During the 08-09 season, in her final year at Dartmouth, the centre was voted MVP and reached 100 points, joining the likes of Gillian Apps and Cherie Piper.

I caught up with Shannon at a CAN/AM Hockey Group camp in Guelph, Ontario, where she was coaching young kids. I was writing an article for CAN/AM’s e-newsletter and asked her what it takes to step up your game, whether you’re a recreational player or an elite athlete.

The confident, articulate 22-year-old told me it takes 100 per cent commitment in each practice, camp and tryout. Every pass should hit the other player’s tape, every shot should be hard and accurate, and every skate should leave you spent. If the coach says jump, ask how high. Giving your best even when other players are dogging it at practice is the way to get the extra edge on the competition.

I may not have Shannon’s talent or skill, or even genetics — her father is ex-NHLer Kirk Bowman and her brother, Kerry played at Mercyhurst — but I think I’ll take her advice.

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