Spotlight on Service: Celebrating Dalton Beaver

Apr 25, 2023 | 2022-2023, Blog

By Kelly Blackhurst, NFHCA Awards & Digital Communications Manager
Photo Credit: Mark Palczewski

In honor of National Volunteer Month, we would like to introduce Dalton Beaver, an accomplished and dedicated coach who has devoted over two decades to the development of field hockey athletes. A full-scholarship player at Syracuse University, Dalton returned to her high school alma-mater to guide the team to two NYSPHSAA State Championships and has since dedicated the last two decades to coaching high school and club field hockey while growing and developing all levels of youth and high school programs in New York. The Club Director of WNY Field Hockey Club, a USAFH Level II Certified Coach, USAFH Level II Nexus Site Head Coach, and USAFH Regional Jr High Performance Coach, Dalton has made it her mission to provide comprehensive support to student-athletes, with a focus on improving skill level and knowledge, maximizing sport-specific fitness, and fostering a positive environment of sportsmanship and integrity.

We are honored to recognize Dalton Beaver for her outstanding contributions to the field hockey community during National Volunteer Month.

Q: What motivated you to volunteer within the NFHCA?
A: I became a member of the NFHCA when Hall of Fame coach Kris LaPaglia of Williamsville North High School signed me up. Her generosity piqued my interest in the organization, and over the years, I discovered the immense outreach that the NFHCA provides to the field hockey community. I volunteer because I want to be part of the growth of our sport. We have a small community, and each member contributes to their region and state. I find it enjoyable to connect with other members. 

Volunteering has been ingrained in me from a young age as I watched my father participate as a board member of several youth organizations. Even today, he continues to volunteer his time assisting with many local field hockey events. 

Q: You’ve volunteered a lot for the NFHCA! Can you tell us about the various committees and groups you have been a part of.
A: I’ve been a member of the Hall of Fame Committee, All-American Scholastic Committee, and Scholastic Committee. I encouraged SportsRecruits to reach out to the NFHCA, and now the two organizations have a formal partnership. I recently joined the Campfire Mentoring Program. 

Q: What is one thing you learned about yourself during your time volunteering with the NFHCA?
A: Volunteering requires a growth mindset. I have been involved in passionate discussions and have always walked away with a new appreciation for other members’ perspectives. 

Q: Tell us about a mentor that helped guide you and challenge you.
A: This is a tough question because my list of mentors continues to grow. My first mentor, my dad, has been a staple in my career as a player, coach, and organizer. He has taught me many lessons over the years and remains supportive of my endeavors. Many people have guided me over the years, including Kris LaPaglia, Kathy Majeski, Pat Marvin, Lynn Shannahan, Barb Wachowiak, Laurie LeGoff, Dawn Kauderer-Kromer, Sharon Sarsen, Nicole Huston, Jen Sykes, Wendy Andreatta, Craig Parnham, and Liz Tchou. I could go on. 

Ange Bradley, retired Syracuse University coach, is someone whom I respect and who has always pushed me to evaluate every aspect of my coaching career. She taught me to embrace and seek out people or ideas that differ from my own as a way to challenge my thinking and elevate my understanding of the task at hand. I found this message valuable in coaching and in my career. 

Q: As a scholastic head coach, can you explain the value you see in the NFHCA?
A: The NFHCA provides scholastic coaches with the opportunity to become involved in the community both virtually and in-person. The depth of online coaching resources is tremendous, and the networking and camaraderie provide coaches of all levels with a way to connect and cultivate new relationships. 

Q: Give us your elevator pitch as to “Why should other scholastic coaches volunteer within the NFHCA?”
A: Scholastic coaches should connect with their local or regional representatives and learn ways to volunteer through the NFHCA and within their community. Through local and national connections, coaches have the opportunity to work together to improve our sport. 

Q: Where do you see the NFHCA five years from now?
A: I see the NFHCA working closely with other governing bodies to promote youth and adult hockey opportunities. 

Rapid Fire Questions

Q: Most memorable field hockey moment.
A: Learning how to hold a stick and figuring out there is no”backhand” like ice hockey.

Q: Your top three hobbies outside of field hockey.
A: Reading, traveling, and studying art and architectural history.

Q: You win the lottery tomorrow and it can only be used for travel – where would you go?
A: Japan, Nepal, and New Zealand. 

Q: Would you rather coach in 90+ degree heat or in a snowstorm?
A: Snowstorm! I like to channel my inner Randy Parker from A Christmas Story. 

Q: #1 life lesson you have learned while coaching.
A: By continuously learning and adapting my strategies and philosophies, I feel I am most prepared to have a lasting impact on player, team, and program development. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to spotlight Dalton Beaver, an accomplished and dedicated coach, during our quarterly spotlight on service and National Volunteer Month.

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The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to champion, strengthen, and celebrate field hockey coaches and the game. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.