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A Non-Soccer Fan’s Reflection on the World Cup

July 11, 2019
by Becky Ferrigno

I’ll be honest. I am not much of a soccer fan. There is too much running back and forth without scoring to keep my attention. It’s why I like basketball, the scores are big and the action is fast. That being said, I admire the strength and mental discipline that it takes to play soccer. The idea that you can run the length of the soccer pitch over and over again knowing there is a slim chance that hustle is going to having a successful result? That takes grit. More grit than I have in my own physical reserves. 

Since the start of the World Cup, the USA Women’s Soccer Team has shown us what it takes to be a strong person. They have defended their names both on the field and in the media. I am personally a huge fan of Alex Morgan’s interview about her tea cup celebration. I encourage everyone to check it out. In the face of a lot of people hoping for them to lose, they continued to rise. Against all odds and with the training to support their game, they won. They unequivocally displayed what it looks like to be mentally and physically on the top of your game. In truth, success always comes down to preparation. The people who have trained themselves physically and sometimes more importantly mentally always come out on top. This is something that both men AND women can learn from. I can’t say I have seen any NFL team do that in the last decade- I am looking at you Buffalo Bills.

I now regret the fact that I didn’t have my children watch the World Cup. I would love to see pictures of these athletes on their walls. Athletes that actually embody the values that we teach in our family- tenacity, incredible work ethic, poise, sportsmanship and confidence. I will read up on soccer and be an attentive observer at the next Olympics, I promise. 

But there is always a larger take away. It comes down to these three points for me. First of all, you need to fight for what is right, even when it is inconvenient. Starting a lawsuit with FIFA right before the World Cup seemed illogical but it was the right thing to do. Second, using your platform to bring awareness to a larger cause, is the right thing to do. Finally, putting in the work every day without fanfare or a camp of thousands of people cheering you on, is obviously the right thing to do. It seems to me that the women of soccer are the only ones walking away with the prize.