Every game is a teacher. And some teachers are tougher than others. That's the lesson three members of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team are learning right now as they battle it out in Germany, laying it all on the field in an effort to bring home the W.
Over the years, Heather O'Reilly, Heather Mitts and Lauren Cheney have had some great teachers in the form of not just games and practice sessions but also family, friends and teammates.
For Heather O'Reilly, some of her best teachers were her coaches. "Growing up in New Jersey, the youth soccer programs were really strong," says Heather O. "I learned early on you can always control your attitude and your work ethic, and I try to remember that. I leave it out there every single game.”
Heather Mitts credits her family, specifically her dad, with giving her the solid foundation needed to be a successful player. "My dad taught me to never give up," says Heather M. "No matter what, just keep working hard because perseverance and hard work pays off. I’ve been able to overcome a lot of adversity based on that outlook."
The biggest teachers for Lauren Cheney have been her fellow teammates. “We’re such a young team; there are 13 of us who haven’t played in a World Cup before,” says Lauren. “We’re taking the lead of those players who have. Mittsy is a great quiet leader. She’s very encouraging, and Heather O. is the hardest worker I’ve ever met."
As they prepare to take on Brazil this Sunday, these three women will be drawing strength from all of the teachers they’ve had leading up to this moment.
When the competition gets fierce and the pressure is great, as athletes, you might question why you play at all. Is it love of the game (like Lauren), love of your country (like Heather O.) or something else? The next time you find yourself on the playing field, ask yourself why you play. Because often, the answer to why you play is the answer to why you’ll win.
Why do you play? Tell us below.
For a behind the scenes look at the making of the above video, including info on how these soccer greats have incorporated the TRX into their training, click here. Stay tuned for more from our interviews with Heather O'Reilly, Heather Mitts and Lauren Cheney...