Abby Wambach is a retired soccer player and coach. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and the highest all-time scorer for the national team holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players.
Recently, Abby posted this on social media:
Be FOR each other.
During every soccer game there are a few magical moments when the ball actually hits the back of the net and a goal is scored.
What happens next on the field is what transforms a group of individual women into one team. The bench erupts. Teammates from all over the field rush toward the scorer.
It might appear that the team is celebrating the goal scorer, but what that team is really celebrating is EVERY player, every coach, every practice, every sprint, every doubt, and every failure that this one single goal represents.
Sometimes you will make a 60-yard sprint only to watch another woman score the big goal. Sometimes it was your tackle, your run, your heart, and your sweat that made that one goal possible.
You will not always be the scorer. When you are not, you better be rushing toward her.
Sometimes you will be the goal scorer. I was that goal scorer 184 times during my international career. If you watch footage of any of those goals, you’ll see that the moment after I score, I begin to point.
I point to the teammate who assisted.
I point to the defender who protected us.
I point to the midfielder who ran tirelessly.
I point to the coach who dreamed up this play.
I point to the bench player who willed this moment into existence.
Every goal I’ve ever scored belonged to my entire team. When you score you better start pointing. This goes for on the field and off.
Let’s amplify each other’s voices, celebrate each other’s successes and give to those who contributed to our own. And when one of us fails, let’s pick her up, and help her get back in the game.
Who are you pointing to and rushing toward?
Clearly, she’s not talking only about sports or only about women. Her question at the end is significant and pointed on many levels.
The takeaway for me is this. Only when we dig deep and honestly answer her question as it relates to our professional and personal lives will we know whether we are authentically FOR each other.
WOLFPACK, How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by Abby Wambach, is published by Celadon Books. www.us.macmillan.com