This weekend a women’s sporting event broke television records – the final game of the World Cup was the most viewed soccer game ever in the United States, with 25 million watching it on TV. When the American women’s soccer team won, it was a cause for celebration throughout the country. And festivities there have been – including plans for the first ever ticker tape parade in New York for a team of female athletes.
These players worked together to become World Cup champions. What can we learn from them about how to achieve the success we are seeking ourselves? Here are some values they embody which can guide us all:
Determination. After loosing to Japan in the last World Cup finals, they persevered in their workouts, adding to their already outstanding physicality and speed. Rather than being defeated by that loss four years ago, it motivated them to work harder to accomplish their wins this year.
Trust. When their longtime head coach resigned and her replacement wasn’t doing well, the team followed the guidance of a new coach, Jill Ellis, who made significant changes in the line-up by benching a star player, Abby Wambach.
Cooperation. While midfielder Carli Lloyd was able to achieve a hat trick in the first period, it wasn’t due only to her individual skill. The communication between all of the players on the field allowed them to work together to make that a reality.
Generosity. Team members were able to share in the limelight as Carli Lloyd transferred the captain’s armband to Abby Wambach, paying tribute to her legacy. All of the players expressed their gratitude to each other over and over for their part in the victory.
Respect. The team honored the prowess of their opponents by not taking anything for granted before the match-up and deferred to each other’s abilities in their exquisite passing throughout the game.
Friendship. They supported each other and worked together to accomplish their goal of bringing the U.S. a third World Cup victory. They demonstrated that they cared for each other as people, not only teammates.
The members of the team, with the values they personify, can serve as role models for us all, just as Olympic athletes have done in the past. And, as they inspire, they attest to the importance of supporting women’s sports as a means of developing solid physical abilities, a drive toward excellence and remarkable leadership skills.