By Matt Walker | July 13, 2011 | 0 Comment
“Confidence comes from preparation and we know we’re damn good.”
– @hopesolo quote after the game
Hope Solo in my opinion is my ideal and perfect athlete. Not female athlete, not girls soccer player, athlete. Because that is what she is. She is the ultimate competitor. She roams that field on a mission. Her glare, her intensity, the way she directs the team. She has it all.
Athletically she is extremely gifted. She is in great shape, she’s physically dominant, and she can make all the plays. But there is something stronger about her that I admire as an athlete. She is a shark. She is mentally tougher than the people she plays against. Her will to win is everything and that is what makes her the one of the best athletes in the world.
When I sit and think of the type of person I would like to coach, or I would want my kids to be like, I think of a player that works their ass off, but more importantly, I want a warrior. I want someone who lays it all on the line. Because if you give it everything you got, you will never lose. There may be teams that beat you on the scoreboard, but no one can beat you down. Players like this never settle for anything less than their absolute best. They are their own worst critics. They have passion for everything that they do. They took every gift they were given in life and optimized it to it’s fullest and that is all anyone can ask.
There are plenty of amazing athletes in this world, someone like LeBron James comes to mind. In many peoples eyes LeBron is one of the best in the world. But would I want LeBron in my team? No, because he doesn’t believe it. He doesn’t live it. He doesn’t seem to feel like he has a lot to prove. He has no chip on his shoulder. You don’t look in his eyes and feel his passion. You can’t feel his energy. He won’t step on your throat to win. That is why he has limited himself and his potential. Give me a 3 star athlete with endless drive and hunger rather than a 5 star athlete who is physically gifted but not as motivated 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. Because they will give everything you got and never take a play off. At it’s highest levels that’s what separates the good from the exceptional in any walk of life.
When you listen to Hope speak everything has a purpose. She believes everything she says, for better or for worse. In our sensitive society, it will only be a manner of time before someone like that says something the public will hang her for. But regardless you will always have to respect her, because she says what she thinks, works her ass off to prove it and then always comes back looking for more.
As the old saying goes “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true”.