Team USA Ice Hockey player Hayley Scamurra is no stranger to gr8ness. After a decorated four-year NCAA career for the Northeastern Huskies, she signed professionally with the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL and was named to the US Women’s National Team in 2019. Hayley took the time to sit down and share her insight with us, as an athlete with a goal-oriented mindset that centers around a strong work ethic and self-improvement values. She also reinforces the importance of community and role models, having grown up with siblings who played the sport (nothing quite like friendly competition or sibling rivalry!) and as a parent who played professionally as well.
Hayley has shared with us how she chooses to see the larger picture in order to stay motivated while striving to improve herself on a daily basis. Read on to be inspired by one of our favorite athletes… and stay #hungryforgr8ness!
Walk us through your journey -- how did your passion for hockey start? How did you get to such a high level of achievement in the sport?
Hayley Scamurra: My passion for hockey started when I was just three years old. I have three older brothers and they all played hockey on our backyard rink. I wanted to join in on the fun and be just like them. My dad was a huge influence on me growing up. He played in the NHL so he knew the dedication and hard work it takes to get to that level. He definitely instilled a strong work ethic in me that has allowed me to continue working hard and getting better.
What’s been the biggest obstacle in your hockey career (and how did you overcome this)?
HS: I got a high ankle sprain my sophomore year of college and I couldn’t play the remainder of the season. Because I had so much rehab, I was away from the team a lot and felt very isolated. It took me a really long time to get back into the shape I was in prior to the injury. I just had to focus on the little things and improving every day. As much as I wanted to rush the rehab and get right back on the ice, I knew it was best for me to take my time so I would be better in the long run. Always good to look at the bigger picture.
What does Hayley Scamurra eat in a day? Does your diet change in preparation for game day (and how so)?
HS: Typically I have yogurt, fruit, and a little chocolate in the morning since I’m a chocoholic. Around midday I’ll have eggs and dinner is the meal that changes the most for me. On game day, I will try to have veggies, quinoa/rice, and protein, whether it be fish, meat, or plant-based.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an athlete that can be applied to “everyday” life?
HS: The biggest lesson I’ve learned as an athlete is that you can always improve. I think this lesson applies to anything in life because you may think you have mastered something, but if you don’t continue to learn and grow, you will plateau.
Tell us about your goals. What does success look like for you? Do you formally “goal-set?”
HS: I don’t formally goal-set but I tend to set small goals before a game or practice. Prior to the game or practice, I will think about things I need to improve on or things that will help make me successful. Success to me is the little victories every day. For example, maybe I’ve been struggling with a certain skating drill and then I start noticing improvements, I consider that success.
What is your favorite quote to live by?
HS: “I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”- Michael Jordan.
In terms of wellness, mental health and self-care, do you have any tips/personal hacks that can instantly add value to all our lives?
HS: Whenever I’m feeling sad, I always turn to music. I start playing songs that will make me get up and dance. Certain songs have the ability to bring me back to memories with friends and family.
Just for fun: You're stuck on an island and can only take three food items with you. What would they be?
HS: I would take chocolate, pretzels, and pomegranate seeds (already peeled and ready to go)
What’s your number one tip for anyone who wants to achieve gr8ness in their lives?
HS: My number one tip for anyone who wants to achieve gr8ness would be to set small goals and not be afraid to fail.
What’s your favorite way to eat gr8nola?
I love adding gr8nola to my breakfast yogurt! It gives it a nice texture and adds more flavor!