This past Sunday, July 5th, the US Women’s Soccer team took to the field to compete with Japan for the World Cup title. Tension was high as the US was facing the team who eliminated them from the previous World Cup in 2011. The 2011 game had audiences at the edge of their seats as the game went into triple overtime, and ultimately penalty kicks. The US eventually lost the grueling battle, an unexpected victory for Japan. But this year the US claimed the title of World Cup Champion, and they had to overcome many obstacles, both physical and mental, to earn their victory.
Just as the World Cup games begun, Hope Solo, the goalie for the US team, was involved with a controversial domestic violence charge. Despite the damaging headlines, and many critics arguing that the star shouldn’t even be allowed to play, Solo publicly pledged to remain focused on the World Cup. After only allowing one goal the entire tournament, she certainly held true to her promise to her team and fans, and in addition to the World Cup defeat, Solo was recognized as the best goalie in the world after winning the World Cup’s Golden Glove trophy.
In addition to the worries associated with their star goalie there was controversy regarding their former coach Pia Sundhage. Sundhage was the US coach during the last World Cup, and also led the US to win two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics before she returned to her homeland, Sweden, where she now coaches the national team. In an interview published by the New York Times, Sundhage made some hurtful comments about her former players, and in particular singled out three of the stars of the team.
In addition to the mental obstacles that could have negatively affected the level of play, they were also facing some physical challenges as well. Many key players were facing injury going into the tournament.
Despite a slow start to the tournament games and the many hurdles the team had to leap over, the team came into the final game with high spirits and determination. One player in particular who used the setbacks of the past to fuel her in a positive direction was Carli Lloyd. She was one of three players to miss her penalty kick against Japan in 2011, but it was clear in Sunday’s game, the previous loss was fuel to Lloyd’s unstoppable fire. She scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of the game.
‘Just getting super excited for the World Cup,’ Lloyd said of the moment. ‘It’s just crazy what the mind can do.’”
Our mindset has an immense impact on our performance. Even if we are the best soccer player in the world, if a negative mindset is present, performance will falter. Having an Adaptive Mindset is a key factor to success and wellness. So what does it mean to have an Adaptive Mindset? An Adaptive Mindset encompasses both Resiliency and Agility. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back in times of adversity and to see opportunities among challenges. It encompasses skills which combat viewing stress as a negative. The US Women’s Soccer Team showed resiliency in more ways than one to earn the 2015 World Cup Championship title.
Agility is the ability to generate positive change. Those who are agile are innovative and not only anticipate changes, but are the ones who are pioneering change. TRACOM is currently developing an assessment and course to enhance personal and organizational Agility.
To learn more about TRACOM’s Adaptive Mindset Model click here.