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Alex Morgan is one of the most popular players in USA women’s soccer. Along with other young soccer players around the world, I wanted to understand the controversial experience that Alex Morgan had to go through to become the professional that she is. FIFA states that Alex Morgan is a talented goalscorer that is nothing short of a media phenomenon, but she is looked down upon for being a woman. FIFA proves that there was a negative reaction to the win that the USA women’s national team got as they accepted their trophy. The team beat Japan in a tremendous 5-2 victory Sunday night during the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. I went into being a soccer fan with a naive sense that every player was treated with equality once they entered the professional level, however that is wrong. To become a star, especially on the women’s team, you have to put in a lot of work, obtain endless motivation, and put forth extra effort to be recognized.
Soccer is more than just running around and kicking a ball. It’s not just about the physical aspect, but more than anything it’s about the mental aspect. Mental attributes such as dedication, professionalism and work rate, often separate average players from good, or potentially great, soccer players. Long-term success in the game requires a positive attitude. Soccer scouts, for example, don’t just look for the most skillful young players. They also look for determined, passionate and strong-willed players. The author of a mental toughness book, John Lefkowits, elaborates on how mental soccer really is. The author writes, “Mental toughness is more than just mental. It’s also physical and emotional. In order to be mentally tough on the soccer field, you must have talent and be in peak physical condition. Your technical skills have to be sharp. It is also important to recognize that the physical, emotional and mental sides of your self affect each other. Mental toughness training allows players to tap into emotional and mental resources that keep play at its prime as often and consistently as possible.” (2) Attitude is one of the most important qualities an athlete can portray. For instance, a player can walk on to the field expecting to win a game, and the amount of want to is what pushes the player to becoming a champion. Alex Morgan is the perfect example of a positive attitude. She started as one of the youngest players in the league forcing human nature to push her to the bottom of the food chain. Although she had every possible obstacle in her way she worked harder than expected to make she she earned her spot, she kept a positive mindset, and she never gave up on what she wanted. She is able to guide others confidently throughout changes. This knowledge, combined with her coaching skills, truly empowers herself as well as others to release their potential into action. Soccer is not a physical sport unless you make it a mental one first.
Another important concept to live by to be one of the best and most successful soccer players is to remain disciplined. Discipline is important on and off the soccer field. On the field, you must respect the laws of the game and the referee’s decisions. Jeff Pill, NH Director of Coaching explains about discipline. He says, “Discipline is crucial to the overall success of any team endeavor. Not only do disciplined teams perform well on the field, but, if teams are able to maintain good discipline both on and off the field, the overall soccer experience is far more positive for all involved; parents, players, coaches and administrators.” (1) If you develop a reputation as a hotheaded player, coaches will hesitate before making you a regular part of the starting lineup. Off the field, you will need to make some sacrifices. Your diet and other lifestyle choices need to be those of an athlete. As a disciplined athlete, you are held to a higher standard. Alex Morgan is a great example of how to maintain that higher standard, and how to obtain the physical attributes it takes to play.
I know many people will disagree with me that soccer is one of the most difficult sports to become skilled and successful at, but the fact of the matter is anyone could do it. Not over night, but anyone could if they took the right advice and made themselves the player they had the potential to be just like Alex Morgan did. Being successful is not just your attitude, and it’s not completely physical as we proved before. Soccer is a game of thinking before anything takes action, and understanding that intelligence is what wins championships. Good players, such as Alex Morgan, have a certain type of intelligence referred to as a soccer brain. There are six areas that make up the knowledge of a soccer player. They are, vision, awareness, instinctive reaction, adaptability and inventiveness.n Alex Morgan shows all six of these different areas throughout the game.
All youth and young soccer players look up to someone, and for the most part Alex Morgan is idolized by all players hoping to become as successful as she is. By doing that they try to follow the example of, having the best optimistic attitude possible, remember the concept of discipline and hard work, and using your intelligence throughout games as always. Soccer more than just running around and kicking the ball it’s a mental challenge.
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