"There aren't many moments in women's sports that are purely unbelievable sports moments, but Abby Wambach's perfect header off of Megan Rapinoe's perfect feed in the 122nd minute against Brazil yesterday was one of those moments. It is a play that makes your jaw drop and that you must watch repeatedly and studiously to grasp how it might have happened, and even then you can't quite believe that it still happened that way, because it was perfect." This was the picturesque description of the United States women's soccer team snatching victory from Brazil in the 2011 Woman's World Cup written by Emma Carmichael.
I was mesmerized by the unbelievable play. It was very clear to me that the win was not an accident. It was obvious that the team had confidence and unbelievable mental fitness.
Emma Carmichael presented numerous quotations from the players that demonstrated the effect of mental fitness, confidence and never giving.
"Rapinoe is praised for her aggression (for the ability to friggin' smack it, for example) but not necessarily for exemplary control. But it took an aggressive soul to retrieve a ball from the middle of the field and to have seen — just barely in her line of vision — Wambach's right arm pointing towards the right goalpost.
Any person who has played a sport and played it well knows that feeling when a play feels instantly right. In the replay angle that shows Rapinoe's delivery best, she gazes up after making contact with the ball and then, against her momentum, takes a few steps back, staring after it like she knows that it will go exactly where she intended it to go.
The "beast" in question was Wambach, who had been — for her standards — off the mark in group play, especially in her aerial game. She stands about six feet tall in spikes, and her height brings a threatening element to her game. But even with some faltering, and even in a contest that had pitched every possible setback against her squad, Wambach said later that she never doubted that they would win.
A lot of people today are attributing this to the American team's mentality, and to a certain kind of American spirit in sports. Sundhage, who is Swedish, said that she found the American attitude of "pulling everything together and bringing the best [out] of each other" to be "contagious," Solo called it "a feeling" that can't really be coached, and Wambach said that the team always felt that "all it takes is one chance."
Even Marta had previously acknowledged it. The Brazil star has been around for five consecutive losses to the Americans, and when a reporter asked her what made the difference, she pointed to her head and explained, 'It's the mentality."'
Wambach never doubted that they would win. This is the expression of confidence based upon mental and physical fitness. From a mental fitness perspective, there is a mentality that will not allow a person to give up. No matter how bad or pressing circumstances are, there is always a solution or a victory.
Remember, We Live within the Environment Created by Our Choices!
Life and Mental Fitness Coach