National team experiences - let's talk about it! No matter what sport, competing or coaching at a national level is a serious achievement. The amount of hard-work that goes into this level of sports, should not go unrecognized. As amazing as the experience can be, there are challenges that every coach and athlete face. It's about conquering those barriers, and breaking down those walls to reach your full potential. Listen here to what our coaches have to say about their own experiences!
Christina Murillo: Girls Program Director at Chicago Fire Juniors, located in Chicago, IL.
Sophia Mundy: Lonestar SC Girls Academy Coach, located in Austin, TX.
Manny Martins: Associate Head Coach at Oregon Women's Soccer, located in Eugene, OR.
Rico Guimaraes: Head Coach for Boys National U17 Team at USA Beach Volleyball (High Performance), located in Hermosa Beach, CA.
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Christina’s first camp experience was exceptionally challenging as she began her career not able to speak much Spanish. At the U17 World Cup, Christina played her most favored position as a central midfielder. As Christina continued her career on the Mexico Women’s National Team, the coaching staff transitioned her to play as a center back. Christina discusses how the challenges she endeavored showed her that she is able to push herself both physically and mentally past barriers that she previously thought she was not able to do.
As Sophia Mundy was playing professionally, she also began to coach at the club level. She joined Lonestar SC in 2012. While she was at the start of her coaching and playing career, she got called into the U21 USWNT to play and train with the team. She even has a photo going up for a header against the legendary Abby Wambach.
Manny Martins talks about how he got an opportunity to coach with the USWNT. He mentions a funny story about how he overslept and lost his cleats at his first camp. We also talked about the teams he was apart of, and how the players challenged him to be a better coach.
Coach Rico Guimaraes has experience as the Head Junior National Coach of the U17 Boys, as well as assistant experience with the U17 Girls National Team. His athletes earned gold and silver medals at the FIVB World Championship in Mexico in 2014. He also served as a recruiter and evaluator for Team USAV national teams and camps for ages U17 through U26.
With a combination of dedication and hard work, athletes can put anything they set their mind to, just like these coaches. The biggest takeaway is to never let challenges intimidate you from reaching your full potential - challenges will only make you a better, and stronger athlete or coach.
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