Be ready for your moment

Maybe you are a freshman in high school waiting to get called off the bench.

Maybe you are a college player working your way back from an injury.

Maybe you are a national team member waiting to get your first international cap.

Maybe you start every game, and play every minute… whatever it is, BE READY FOR YOUR MOMENT.

I went to the USWNT soccer game the other night and was in a stadium with over 20,000 people- TONS of little girls out on a school night to watch TEAM USA.  I got chills when the teams walked onto the fields to songs like Brave (Sara Bareilles) and Fight Song (Rachel Platten).  It made me think about the stories of each of the women on the teams, and where they might be in their athletic careers.  I knew a couple girls were going to get their “first shot” that night, and I also knew there were people like Carly Lloyd out there who had done it many times before.  But in either case, they needed to be ready for their moment- ready to make an impact.  And we all need to be ready for when a moment presents itself, and we have to be ready EVERY day.  France came out hotter than the U.S. and won the game 3-0.  Any individual on the USA team who didn’t bring everything that night was punished by the French players who executed with passion and energy.  It’s not going to be story book if you don’t prepare tenaciously, and play with grit every time you step on the field.  I bet the U.S. players won’t let that happen again for a long time!   

The day after the soccer game, I went to a Georgetown University practice because I’m always trying to pick up new drills and ways to run training sessions (#AskQuestions).  Then my sister and I went to the Maryland/Boston College game (#WatchTheBest) where we got to connect with some of our Tenacity Alumni!  I again noticed some players firing on all cylinders from whistle to whistle, and then other players who had lapses-probably just a lack of mental focus in that moment.  Even in a practice situation, it’s so crucial to go game speed, because you never know when that great practice moment will translate into something you NEED in a game.  And little moments in the games will be the difference between a win and a loss at the end, but you shouldn’t have to check the scoreboard constantly if you are giving everything you have.  

One of my favorite sports memories is with my Princeton team when we played University of Maryland my senior year.  We had been 1-1 with the Terps in the two previous seasons, but we were the defending National Champions two years running, and undefeated going into this game in 2004.  There was a player on the Maryland team who was setting some sort of record with points in consecutive games that spanned three years or something crazy, and I know we had a target on our backs.  We had an awesome game plan that night involving multiple players working to stop their top threat, and EVERYONE won their individual moments throughout the game.  In the final seconds of overtime, we were tied, with the ball, but amidst the chaos, I remember the calm- it’s one of those memories that is slow motion for me.  I remember wanting the ball, driving SO hard but without a plan… seeing 3 defenders closing in… and passing to Tara Hardiman alone by the cage.  Tara finished with fury, and we were all SO PUMPED- that play, and the defensive victories ALL game- were such a great show of team work combined with individual focus and accountability, it may be my favorite!

I got to meet Tara Hardman Chadwick’s first baby last night, and as I head to Princeton today, the memories are rushing back combined with the ones from this week of watching soccer and lacrosse with my former coaches, friends, fellow alumni, and girls I have coached!  I can’t wait to see Tenacity alumni, Bryn Mawr alumni, US Under 19 team alumni, and the awesome coaches out there tomorrow making the most of their moments.  

I know many of our Tenacity Houston girls had games last night, our Tenacity California girls are prepping for Friday night games, or weekend NCJLA games, and our Portland Tenacity girls are gearing up for OGYLA Academy tryouts next Sunday!!  

Wherever you are, and at whatever point in your lacrosse journey, keep working hard one day at a time… work hard WITH A PURPOSE, to be READY FOR YOUR MOMENT!!