Team Canada World Games 2017: Melissa Tancredi, Honourary Team Captain

Elite players from across Canada are heading to Wroclaw, Poland from July 20 – July 30 to compete along side athletes from the 27 official sports and 4 invitational sports featured in the 2017 World Games.

VC is a proud sponsor of Team Canada and is excited to share stories about the path to Poland.

Author: Scott "SHooter" Hastie, Head Coach

Melissa Tancredi is our Honourary Team Captain. Melissa, while now retired, is a superstar soccer forward who is a three time Olympian and two time Olympic Bronze Medalist with Team Canada. She represented Canada from 2004 to 2017 while also becoming a chiropractor in Vancouver.

You may be wondering why and how Melissa is our Honourary Captain. Here is how I pitched the role:

Dr. Melissa Tancredi,

I hope that you are having a great day. My name is Scott Hastie and I am writing to from Clappisons Corners overlooking Dundas Valley where I work as an Engineering Manager at Liburdi Turbine Services. I am also the Head Coach for the Canadian National Ultimate Team for the World Games being held in Wroclaw, Poland July 20-30th. As a chiropractor in Vancouver I am sure you have a few clients who play the game so I won't go into describing it but I would like to let you know about the World Games Team. At the world games the Ultimate competition is mixed and the team is made up of 7 women and 7 men. During the competition that pits the top five ultimate nations from last year’s World Championships (USA, Australia, Japan, Colombia and Canada) and the host country in a 3 day tournament. During the competition we play with either a 4:3 or 3:4 gender ratio that changes every 2 points. The World Games is the highest level that our sport is played and we are all excited to represent Canada.

 I imagine you are thinking something along the lines "Scott I play soccer why are you bothering me?"

One Saturday morning I was reading the paper when I came upon this article:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/tancredi-among-group-set-to-say-goodbye-to-canadian-national-team/article33902349/

I instantly picked my phone and banged out this message to the team:

Anyone out west going to the Mexico vs. Canada women's soccer friendly? Last game for Melissa Tancredi. I am a big fan. Just read an article in the Globe and Mail about their game versus Germany in Rio where she was handed the captaincy. They had qualified and there was a belief that losing the game might set up a better path to the final. Her response: "We play for Canada. We don't throw matches. We don't ever go on the field without giving 100 per cent." It follows: "she essentially told us she expected to beat Germany, she was going to lead the way and we had to follow her...and she did." She scored two goals in Canada first ever win over the Germans a 2-1 victory with some key players resting for the elimination rounds. If you go to the game please tip your hat her way for me.

I was hoping our Team Chiropractor Stephen Mogatas from Jointworks would run into you at some industry mixer and he could convince you to make a guest appearance at one of our Vancouver Training Camps to provide us some inspiration before our competition. I learned last night that it appears that he has not been successful.

So I would like to come out of the blue and ask if making a brief appearance at either our Vancouver training camps April 14-16 or June 9-11 might be something you would consider. I know the team would be fired up to meet you and get a moment or two of exposure to the fire and leadership that you provided our national soccer team for so many years. Watching some interviews of your teammates describing you I noticed that many talked about your leadership, grit and spirit but also that you knew how to have fun. These qualities are exactly what we are trying to develop in our team as we head to this competition.

We would love to be able to ask you in person to be our Honorary Team Captain. The role is undefined, simple but would mean a ton to all of us.

Check us out: https://twitter.com/tcwg2017

Be Awesome

Well things all worked out and Melissa dropped by our dinner in Vancouver near the site of the 2010 Olympic Village. Adriana at VC Ultimate made sure that we had her #14 jersey for her and the team signed up one of our awesome discs.

We started with some small talk and introductions. Coach Tasia looked to me to see if I had something planned. Obviously.

I relayed the story to the group about how fired up I was reading the article about Melissa. I explained that one thing that resonated with me was the fire in the statement: “We play for Canada. We don’t throw matches. We don’t ever go on the field without giving 100 per cent.”

The second was that she backed up her words with actions. She put the entire team on her back and scored the two goals that were necessary for their first win versus Germany.

I also highlighted something I found in this thank you tweet from @CanadaSoccerEN 

In this short clip her coaches and teammates related the intensity but also highlighted her balance “we are going to do work today but we are also going to have fun” and that she was the life & soul of the dressing room. This is a key tenet of Team Canada for 2017.

Well this fired up Melissa and she launched into an incredibly inspirational discussion with the team where she highlighted some key aspects of preparation for our big event. She was genuinely interested in learning about our sport, our preparation, and how we are supported. She had watched a bit of the US College Championships and was blown away that we can play this sport without referees. She took questions from the team that varied from what her pre game preparation is including all aspects of warm up and ball touches to some strategic questions about having a set national team that trains from year to year. I even threw in the loaded question to see how much time each athlete would spend doing video review. She also got to talk a bit of shop with Stephen on whatever Chiropractors talk about.

While I knew that I would be pretty fired up by Melissa I was excited to see that the rest of the team was captured as well.

We didn’t expect that the real gold would be when we went outside to get a team picture all lined up in Our VC Ultimate jerseys.

Melissa Tancredi & TCWG all in their official VC jerseys.

As soon as we were done with our pic Melissa pulled out her newly signed disc and said, “Let’s get this thing going.”

After a little instruction Melissa was launching flicks, backhands and hammers around the park. She is a natural and possibly a lock for the World Games 2021 roster. The highlight had to be her catching a hammer that was coming in hot with one hand while taking a selfie.

Melissa Tancredi Multi-tasking

And this #FlexFriday pic was pretty cool:

Melissa Tancredi & Rena Kawabata Showing the Power

Certainly in our short time together we learned quite a bit from Melissa. The visit provided an exciting spark that carried through a training camp where in true Melissa fashion, we worked hard but also had fun.

Thank you to Dr. Melissa Tancredi for your leadership as our Honourary Team Captain. We hope to do you proud.

Be Awesome

SHooter

Melissa Tancredi is a retired Canadian soccer forward who played for the Canada women's national soccer team. Follow her on Twitter @meltancredi14 or Instagram.

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