(Written by Jaclyn Hawkins, Founder of Women’s Hockey Life and WHL Academy)

Back in 2017, my kids were 11 months old when I started to formally create what is now WHL Academy. I was in a dark place. Postpartum depression hit me HARD after giving birth to twins.

I was no longer a hockey player. I was no longer a hockey coach. I was no longer “in the game”.

My identity had been stripped from me. All I knew was that hockey was where my passion burned brightest.

I went from an elite athlete and NCAA coach to a full time stay-at-home mom of twins.

I was in uncharted territory, having no idea how to beat PPD, let alone how to keep two tiny humans alive. They’re 6 now, so I think I’m doing something right 😉

I love my kids more than anything in this world, but I needed more. I needed to be stimulated in ways they couldn’t provide. In ways only the game of hockey could. I needed to remember why I fell in love with the game in the first place.

They were 11 months old when I finally started to see the light and made the choice to invest in myself and our company. To find my way back into the game that has given me so much.

My nights, their naps, and any free time I had, I spent diving into making Women’s Hockey Life what I always envisioned it could be. I was remembering why I started it in the first place, which I had lost sight of in those dark days.

Plain and simple, hockey helped me beat postpartum depression.

I am most proud of WHL Academy and our team behind it because of the impact we are having on so many young females. It’s about so much more than them finding a school to play for. We are helping them grow from young girls into strong independent women 💪

It works only if you make it work.

I had a call a while back with one of our players who was offered a roster spot by two NCAA Division 3 schools, only two days apart.

The coolest thing about all of this, in my EXTREMELY biased opinion, so take it with a grain of salt 😉, is that my team and I had never seen her play. Not once. Not even in video. We never once called a coach on her behalf either. She did it ALL. We simply gave her the roadmap, tools, and walked beside her.

From my darkest days came my proudest creations (my twins 👫 and WHL Academy 🏒)

My point? When you have a deep burning passion, a dream, and you can’t see the light on those dark days, and you are waiting for someone to save you … all you have to do is look in the mirror. You are an incredible human being with a beautiful soul and a gift the world needs to see. You just have to go back to remembering why you fell in love with the game in the first place.

You have what it takes to live out your wildest dreams, but only if you are willing to invest in yourself ✨

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