The women's game. Women working in the sport of soccer/football, on the pitch and off. How to create a professional career in the sport you love. Stay in the game.
We're thrilled to tell you about a BRAINING opportunity. At the January Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia, United Soccer Coaches in partnership with the World Football Academy has announced a one-day educational event where Convention attendees can have the opportunity to learn from Raymond Verheijen and the World Football Academy. This is all things brain and the game - psychology, the role of the brain, brain performance, how to avoid brain fatigue, and so much more. CLICK HERE to read more and get details of the convention.
A quick update that the Stanford Women won the NCAA Championship! Check out the video for highlights. What an amazing accomplishment to play at such a high level. Are you doing all you can to play at a level to get you to the next step in your soccer career?
Overcoming underearning. I used to work for a wonderful resilient woman, Barbara Stanny. She’s an author who educates women about financial independence. This is not an ad; she crossed my mind today while thinking about women in soccer being underearners. I do recommend her books and website though - she’s legit, knowledgeable, kind, funny, and inspiring. Her story is a great lesson in bravery and self-awareness. Check her out and get educated on your finances.
It’s understood that women at all levels of soccer/football, both on and off the pitch, are not paid equally with their male equivalents. The reasons fall at many levels - on society's views around gender and money, on international governing body FIFA’s slow-to-change system and hierarchy, Federation bargaining agreements, Association player contracts or lack of, and corporate gender bias and inequality. I could go on, but I think if you’re reading this you’re probably pretty savvy on wage inequality for women. So as champions and leaders continue their battle to change history and get women paid equally, what can be done during the slow transition? One step is to become hyper-aware of your finances and earning potential. Awareness and education will get you much further in the game than holding on to a victim mentality and just wishing things were different. Keep fighting for change through advocacy, speaking up, taking leadership roles, and demanding fair pay, but also focus on the money you are earning and the potential for the future. Find resources to educate yourself and transform your relationship with money. If you’re one of the few women in the world to make a living off of playing professional soccer - I say, ‘bravo’. But, most women players, coaches, referees, and professionals have to find supplemental ways to bring in income to meet expenses, create savings, and enjoy life. This is where you must reflect on your skills and realize the value in what you do. I have learned about female players having to work several jobs or even a full-time job in addition to their playing or coaching career. Consider your talents, your knowledge, your time, and your resources. I used to be guilty of not charging a fee when asked by businesses to help with their social media or marketing. Or when I was younger, I’d work extra hours but not ask to get paid. This is common in the nonprofit world as well, the culture of volunteering even though you’re staff. I see a lot of corporate job postings for unpaid interns. These ways of working are unacceptable; people need to be paid for their work and time. It is so common and accepted to be asked to give away your time for the promise of recognition, exposure, and resume building. Time is money - cliche but true. Even letting phone calls, emails, and texts barge into your time is a way of losing money. Mastering the skill of saying no is an important part of taking control of your time and value. As is asking for what you need and for your worth. There’s a statistic which states, 57% of men negotiate their salary with a company, yet only 7% of women do. It seems the men don't mind asking.
Underearning happens at all income brackets and social backgrounds. I’m not saying everyone needs to make six or seven figure salaries. I’m saying each individual needs to make a holistic plan for their own circumstances and desires and be paid their worth. Money is a touchy sensitive subject for many, with most people having formed their relationship and values around it from childhood. Watching mom and dad’s roles with money form a lot of personal ideals around it. People don’t usually like to discuss the subject. It's uncomfortable and awkward. Companies use this discomfort to perpetuate an opaque unspoken rule and culture of taboo around discussing salary at the workplace. This is how unequal pay is able to continue - silence and secrecy. Speak up and take control.
Here are five things to consider to climb out of an underearning pattern:
Make a career plan - know where you want to go and plan it out, including what salary you want to make.
Ask for raises, charge for your time, and speak up about your pay. Don’t give away your time for free.
Make a plan for retirement. Don’t assume a company, a partner, or a parent will take care of this for you.
Educate yourself on personal finance. Get a mentor or pay a coach.
Take control of your relationship with money. Determine whatever financial baseline you want for a fulfilling life and work your plan to reach those goals.
* If you’re playing soccer professionally, get a contract and get someone you trust to help you with it. See if there’s a players’ union. Keep a copy of the contract. Seek help if the contract is violated (this is the ‘catch’ and sometimes impossible task in women’s soccer). Another part of the challenge is when and how to speak up, for fear of retribution. I don’t want players to be fired or lose the little money they make, but it’s also a huge problem that needs reform. The best I can advise is to seek advice from family, friends, and those who’ve gone before you.
The data is consistent, women are underrepresented in executive positions and on board seats. We’re advancing and taking on leadership positions, yet women still face overt and subtle gender discrimination and harassment. These challenges apply both on the pitch and off for women working in the male-dominated sport of football/soccer. Professional development is an important part of taking your career to the next level, with mentoring, coaching, and leadership workshops to help in guiding your career. Taking responsibility for your own path and future success means using these tools to support you and assist in shifting the culture of women in leadership positions. Talented capable women are being overlooked instead of identified and nurtured. You must manage your own career and intentional professional development is the route to advancement. Seek out opportunities; here are a few below.
The story is causing a Twitter storm as it expands and deepens - it's everywhere in my scrolling feed - the progressing drama surrounding one of England's best football players, Eni Aluko. Here's a link to a thorough article by The Guardian on the latest, but I wanted to write about what I'm learning in regards to the culture of fear around speaking up. Aluko is a lawyer and I assume has a better than average understanding of how grievances work. She spoke up about her perception of comments and treatment from England's manager, Mark Sampson. There was a subtle hint of the story going around the media, but she was not speaking publicly and was quietly letting the Football Association (FA) investigate. The allegations are ugly and please do read the article to get a better understanding of the now sordid situation. The accusations relate to racism and now add to that a farcical investigation by the FA. Aluko spoke out about perceived racism by her manager; she then suffered alleged retributions for speaking up. This is unequivocally wrong. She has said that the players are "terrified" to speak out and that there is an "environment of silence within the FA." She was quickly dropped from the team by Sampson without explanation. Another player, Anita Asante, has come forward to support these claims. The drama is being regularly updated in the media - is this what it takes to get good media coverage for women's football? *update - I just read the drama is escalating, with the brother of Sampson bullying Aluko on Twitter. This is out of control. Seriously, read the article.
There are many examples at the highest level of the game, of players being cautious about shining a spotlight on wrong-doings. Then there's Hope Solo. Solo is not shy about speaking her mind. Solo has been public in her belief that the US National team dropped her due to her advocacy around gender inequality and equal pay. She is often the spokesperson when the US team speaks about the inequality of the pay gap in US soccer. She believes this is the reason she was suspended from the national team.
In 2014, a group of the largest names in women's football sued FIFA for gender-discrimination for having to play the World Cup on artificial turf fields. Several players ended up dropping out of the lawsuit, stating they feared reprisal from FIFA and some said they were threatened their national team spots would be taken away if they continued in the lawsuit. The examples are out there, the fear is real.
Women are afraid of retaliation for speaking up about unfair treatment. The above stories are about national team level players, but what about at the lower tiers of the sport? Many players don't even have contracts or the contract agreements aren't held up. If the women speak up for themselves, they often risk losing their playing time, being dropped from the club or transferred. When facilities are second class or the transportation isn't paid, players are at risk for speaking up in the multi-tiered system. There are coaches, club owners, associations, and federations to consider when thinking about voicing concerns or fighting for your rights. With no chance of making a difference without trouble, many players are leaving the sport prematurely. FIFpro, a worldwide players' union, report that hundreds of top players are leaving the sport in their 20's for a more sustainable career. 87% of players surveyed report they will probably leave their career early. They're not getting paid in full or at all, they often have poor playing conditions, and even the top players in the world say they have difficulties affording to stay in the game. With a culture of having to remain quiet or risk all their hard work, it's heartbreaking and contemptible to know this is going on and players are having to put up with such circumstances.
There are a few organizations and programs attempting to right the wrongs.
Kick It Out, football's third party reporting bureau in the UK accepts tips about inequality, racism, accessibility, or any discrimination. FIFA had an anti-discrimination monitoring system and Task Force, although in 2016 they ridiculously ended the program, declaring the job done. Huh? The previously mentioned FIFPro is representing women players in an attempt at better conditions as well as using education and advocacy to inform players and associations of rights and proper conditions. CONCACAF has an Embrace Diversity program which promotes inclusiveness, respect, and fair play. I'm glad these programs are out there and efforts are being made in both the men's and women's games, but can't help feeling it's not going to be enough. The power and culture at the top of the game are not easily shaken and reformed. It will take brave individuals making a difference at the grassroots level. I'm not advocating for every female player to speak up and put themself, their career, and livelihood at risk. Each individual will have to consider their options and circumstances and possibly seek a trusted mentor to weigh their options about when to speak up and about what. Those in leadership roles must be the ones to do the right thing and affect change in long standing customs and professional behaviors which need to evolve and transform. Here's a short video from the brilliant Moya Dodd, a football official, and former player. She offers great insight into what needs to change and why.
This is a must watch video from Beast Mode Soccer and U.S. National Team star Alex Morgan. Her power and fitness are undeniable in this video and will hopefully inspire you to train harder and faster. Below are links to the training products used in this video. Have a look and see if they fit your needs or pass it on to a coach who might want to add it to the team's gear.
disclosure - I am an affiliate and will make a small commission off of sales. But, I only recommed quality gear I believe in.
Now, what do I do? After 30+ hours of travel, I have arrived in Zagreb, Croatia where I’ve rented a lovely little studio apartment for a month. I am a vagabond now, with no permanent home and most of my belongings in luggage with me here in the beautiful capital city. I have read that Game of Thrones has several shooting locations in Croatia, now if only I’ve watched it. Yes, I’m one of the few who hasn’t seen it. I want to but haven’t had the opportunity, yet. The headlines for some current plot twist are everywhere right now, and I have to keep dodging tweets and posts to avoid spoilers. Okay, I’ve established I haven’t seen GOT, and I’m vagabonding in eastern Europe. I’ve been here a couple weeks and have been taking the time to acclimate. The jet lag was a challenge this time traveling and the heatwave hasn’t helped. I’m in my early 50’s now and bounding across time zones means a longer recovery period for me. Temps in the 90’sF have brought struggles, but I’m not complaining knowing my prior residence, Fairbanks, Alaska will soon start to freeze and go dark for the winter. I won’t miss that.
My plan is to begin networking and meet women working in soccer/football, to interview them for the blog and tell their stories to the world. Croatia’s women’s team is currently ranked #54 in FIFA’s ranking, and I’d like to learn about the challenges that come with that and the successes.
I believe it’s important to share stories and images from around the globe of how women in different cultures experience football. Learning these stories broadens our perspectives of what is happening currently and how one person’s experiences impact the past and the future. Stories from female footballers and women working in the sport can model what needs to change and for others show what is possible. It’s all perspective, and I’d like to share as many personal experiences as possible to put faces to cultural practices both positive and negative. When we see these strong wonderful images of women in football, we can believe it for ourselves or for future generations. Some readers may have never considered they too could make a career in football or to play at a higher level. Some may be inspired to create a career in football after their playing career. The images might broaden the thinking of prejudice against women playing football; misogynistic views might shift; mothers might say yes to letting their daughter’s play; more people might attend matches.
These are the thoughts that have inspired me to travel and meet you. I hope we cross paths: I’d love to hear your story. I hope to broaden perspectives and allow us all deeper into the game and further into the future. The future is female. The future is football.
Time won the match. But, I’m winning the tournament. I did end up finishing packing my carry-on suitcase, my son’s old soccer backpack with #19 on it, and a travel purse. But what about everything else? My little log cabin was a rental, and I’m not going back so I had to clear it out completely. I have downsized twice already in my life, so I did not have decades of accumulation to get rid of. Still, I had stuff, and I had to let it go. My intention is to be a nomad for awhile, with a goal of no storage unit. Days of purging meant a lot of hard work and emotions. Holding an object in my hands, which at some point in my past had meaning, and considering what it means to me now is deep personal work. And making the decision to donate or throw it out is a grand lesson in letting go of attachments to material things.My son packed all his belongings to go off to college, and the remaining keepsakes from his childhood I sorted and organized and got them down to three large totes, which he is storing at his father’s. My items were mostly photographs from five decades of life, important papers, and a few cherished gifts and memorable treasures I’ve had forever. Take a moment to imagine, all of your possessions able to be boxed up into one average size box. For some, this will seem awful and unthinkable, and I understand that. I’m a highly sentimental person so I get the importance of legacy and heirlooms. I’ve just decided to be extreme with my intention and to let go of things to make room for my second-half of life. I could have made the choice to stay home with stuff and be lonely as a single mom with an empty-nest and unfulfilled with work. But, I knew that wouldn't be healthy or rewarding for me, and I’ve been waiting for new opportunities, stories, and locations for quite a long time. I’ve put about three years into this idea; this adventure. I don’t regret letting go of things, and I’m excited about my future. So one box (and a smaller box of holiday heirlooms) are stored at my friends, and I’m off to look for your soccer stories.
I read a blog yesterday about individuals experience that left me frustrated, yet hopeful and inspired. Frustrated by a female footballer's story of the struggle to develop her football career since youth league, but also inspired that she is speaking up about unacceptable behavior within the games management. There are many headlines and social media posts regarding the governing body of FIFA growing the women's game, and I believe it and feel that is terrific news. In fact, I think most of you reading this, support that campaign and mission with enthusiasm. But, what is really going on for the female teams at the Association and club level? Ceylon Andi Hickman is the guest blogger today, as I give my blog space to share an article on her experience with England's Football Association. Please give it a read no matter what country you're in, then speak up in the comments if you're having similar set backs at your Association, club, or school. It's important for individuals to speak up, so that as a collective, behavior that doesn't promote the women's game will be called-out, recognized, and redirected to grow and support female players at all level
Ceylon recently graduated from King’s College, Cambridge with a degree in Politics. During her time at Cambridge, she was a stalwart of the university’s first XI. She is also a regular contributor to the podcast, A Team of John O’Sheas, and writes frequently on women's football in the UK. She tweets @ceylonandi.
Time for a quick check in. This is what a tiny log cabin looks like during the explosive sorting and packing phase of moving. The perpetual details seem to accumulate instead of diminish. How is that possible, with just 21 days until I depart for Croatia? I sold my car, leaving me hitching rides from my son and walking to meetings at coffee shops. My son drives off into independence and adulthood in 7 days. Yes, I cried a little today, when I caught a glimpse of him simply sitting on the couch. He looked so grown-up and ready to go. Am I ready? The tears say no, but yes I'm ready. The tears only last seconds and quickly turn to excitement for his future.
Tomorrow morning, garage sale!
To have influence, women must be seated at the table. Policies and missions are decided at the board level, and worldwide there is slow progress towards equal representation at the Director level.
Joining a board is a commitment, often for 2-5 more years. Do your research now to determine if the position is a good fit for you. To find a spot on a corporate board, it’s all about networking. Introductions to CEOs and senior level executives in your line of work will allow you to start the conversation and show your interest. Ask for referrals of others in the company you can speak with to ask further questions. Prior board experience is helpful, and non-profit Boards are a great place to learn the process and responsibilities of Board service. Choose a cause that matches with your interests, let’s say soccer/football, and investigate their website to see if their mission matches your personal and professional interests and goals. Make contact with a Development Director or volunteer coordinator to inquire about volunteering. Building a relationship first will give you a deeper insight into their way of doing business and the people involved with the charity. Most nonprofit boards are looking for new directors, so don’t hesitate to ask to speak with the chair of the board, or they may have a development committee you can meet with to see if you’re a good fit. Most charity websites have an ‘about us’ section and often include profiles of Board Members, check this out before meeting with them. Take in the list of questions below to help you make an informed decision about joining. Also, have in mind the experience and expertise you can offer them.
How is your board organized? Are there committees?
How would you describe the culture of the board and staff?
What is the organization’s mission?
What’s the length of service for board seat terms?
What are the expectations for a board member?
Is there an official orientation, and can you describe it?
When was the most recent financial audit?
What is your meeting schedule?
What is the financial contribution expected of me?
Can you describe the greatest challenge to the organization?
What is the most recent success of the organization?
Board service can be rewarding and is terrific for professional development and networking. Female leaders and decision makers are crucial to further equality and equal pay. Please consider stepping into a leadership position, and try a term on a board.
I think this is the first time I've bought a one-way airplane ticket. That means there are no definite plans to return to where I've been, and I'm fine with that. I want the fear and uncertainty, as it means I won't be living in society's box of working rigid hours and repeating daily routines. I'm aware those things offer comfort and reduced stress, but right now I want something different. I bought my ticket yesterday, Fairbanks to Frankfurt direct. A non-stop arc up over the top of the world, landing in Germany. Today, I'll figure out the next leg to my final destination, Zagreb, Croatia. Eastern Europe is attractive to me because of its architecture, warm people, love of football, and some Mediterranean-like coastal towns. I want to start in the big city as my base, and travel from there to find football, lots and lots of football. While planning my adventures, I'm also trying to get rid of most of my possessions and help my son and his best friend, who's just arrived from Hawaii, get sorted for college. They've planned an epic buddy road-trip down the Alaska highway to Los Angeles where their college is. I'm still working full time, getting a wildlife charitable organization up and running, but working from home as a contractor makes it a bit easier to get things done. It's quite chaotic in my tiny little Alaskan cabin right now, and I feel the pressure of time pushing down. It keeps me quite busy and helps distract me from the reality that my son's childhood is over and he's moving out. As a single mom of one child, we've become so close. It's a brutal breakup, bringing me to tears often. But, almost simultaneously, I'm full of excitement watching him plan his new life and craft his independence. Cheers to both of us, as we start our new lives.
I'd better go make another cuppa and buy the Frankfurt to Zagreb ticket.
Having my apartment booked in Zagreb gave me the reality jolt I needed - this is happening! Yesterday, I made the decision to stop procrastinating and go sell my car. I found the title, washed the car, drove across town, and handed over the keys in exchange for a check. I went out the glass door window into direct sun and much welcomed heat. I sat on a bench and closed my eyes and lifted my face straight towards the heat source. I think only people who live in the dark and cold for eight months of the year can appreciate the intense heat and light that penetrates the skin and warms every part of your body. It felt so good, I felt no remorse as the attendant got in my car and drove it away. Instead, I felt empowered that I’m actually making this happen! I’m fucking doing this - moving from my home of twenty years to no home at all. Moving into complete uncertainty, without plans longer than two weeks. What will happen after fourteen days in a large eastern european city? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out. I need to prove to myself I’m not too old to start over. Start over. Start over. I wrote it three times to see if it scares me or induces regret. No it does not. It’s quite the opposite. I get to begin a fresh new adventure. How lucky am I?! I’m anxious about the unknown, but enthusiastic optimism fills up the majority of space inside my inner dialogue. I want to live a life of adventure, meet people, and hear their stories. And those stories will become part of my story. The beauty in that drives me forward. I realize many will label me foolish, but one of the gifts of aging is the overwhelming comfort of not giving a fuck what anyone thinks. These are my dreams to chase. These are my dreams to realize.
...a package arrived from Seattle. I unwrapped a small box inside. I had no idea it contained something so incredibly valuable. It was a message of encouragement and love from my best friend, tc. A keepsake…”You’re never too old to dream a new dream.”
I’m originally from a suburb of Seattle, Washington, and moved to Alaska 20 years ago, driving up here on an epic road trip with my best friend. My first five years I was living in a remote village in the Arctic, a life of extreme adventure, marriage, and motherhood. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve had my fill of Alaska. I know it is admired around the world for the beauty and open spaces, but I’m absolutely done with it. Conditions can be brutal - the winter sometimes has worse air quality than China, the temperatures are around 0 Fahrenheit to 50 below zero Fahrenheit, and the darkness never leaves you. Summer’s long hot days bring beautiful scenery and mosquitoes at picnics. So many love living here, but I lost my enthusiasm a long time ago. I"ve had a lot of hard times physically and emotionally here. I’m done. Plus, it’s expensive to fly out of here to visit new places, and the next town is almost 400 miles away. It often feels like being trapped on an island. I’m just ready to do something new. Oh, and did I mention there’s no college or professional soccer here?!
My work career has been in the non-profit/charity field. I enjoy my work, but two years ago I knew I needed a new direction. I wanted to work on something I was extremely passionate about, soccer. I want to combine my charitable development skills with soccer, so I created Soccer Girl. My focus on the company has had to ebb and flow with making a living, being a single mom, and supporting my teen son. He’s just graduated high school and is off to college in California, so I had a big life decision to make. Would I move back to Seattle and get a non profit job and battle traffic? I really want to have time to work strictly on Soccer Girl and make it profitable, enough to support me. I was crippled by indecision for months and it worsened as time passed and the reality of giving notice to my landlord arrived. I want to be transparent on this blog, so I’ll tell you that just four days ago I was a wreck, crying all day over the thought of my son moving away and me not being able to make a fucking decision about my future plans. I froze up in some sort of semi-panic attack and scrolled through my phone, desperate for an answer, wishing I had an iphone so I could ask Siri what the hell I should do with my life. I was on my phone for eight hours straight, attempting to force the courage out of me. Skyscanner, airbnb, and Indeed job board were my whole world, not even leaving them to eat, pausing only to cry. I’ve hyper-developed a trait as a single mom - resilience, the capacity to recover from challenges and set back. There was one hour until my son arrived home from work. I had to pull myself together and not let him see the lost dysfunction oozing out of his mother. I re-opened Air bnb for the hundreth time, searched Croatia, found something that fit my needs, and hit the damn ‘book’ button! Wait, there were three other confirmation and payment pages in between fear and a decision. Final payment page, and I panicked and shut the app! Now what? I wondered what would happen if I just did nothing. Doing nothing was not an option. Something had to happen. I went back in and booked the apartment for 15 days in Zagreb, Croatia beginning August 3rd.
This is a short follow-up to my last post about the women climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to play a soccer game for equality. Check out their website, Equal Playing Field, to learn more about this fascinating and powerful project and see what's to come.
Here is their press release:
PRESS RELEASE| 25June 2017 Opportunity, Equality, Respect. Nothing More, Nothing LessWomen play record-breaking football match at top of Mt Kilimanjaro to call for ‘Equal Playing Field’ for women in Sport. On Saturday, June 24, women from 20 countries played a full 90-minute match officiated by female FIFA accredited referees in the crater of Mr Kilimanjaro, an altitude of 5729 metres. The thrilling match saw plenty of shots on goal but ended 0-0 with great saves from both goalkeepers.Laura Youngson said ‘We are elated to have made history. The game, in thin air and on the back of a 5-hour climb was one of the hardest challenges of my life. However we had incredible team spirit, and it was a joy to play together.’ Erin Blankenship said ‘This is just the start. We want every girl to have the opportunity to play this great game and we are excited about what the Equal Playing Field initiative achieves next. Up next is a series of football clinics in a number of countries over the next two years ahead of the Women’s World Cup in France, 2019
A group of women footballers are making a Guinness World Record attempt!
Players from around the globe are attempting to play a match on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, at 18,799 feet. Pay attention, because they're doing it for you. As a female playing soccer, you already know the discrimination and struggle for recognition and equality. The women's game has come a long way since I first stepped onto a dirt field in the 70's, but it continues to be dismissed and ignored worldwide. This project will be raising awareness of equality in sport and creating an equal playing field.
Women from 20 different countries will walk out on a volcanic ash pitch and attempt to play a full 90-minute, 11-a- side regulation game, officiated by FIFA referees.
They will be joined by a documentary team and a TV crew to try to spread the word as far as possible. If they succeed, they will break the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude football game ever played. The players, from almost 20 countries, include former German star Petra Landers, former Mexico captain Monica Gonzalez, Canadian National Sasha Andrews, Afghan nationals Zahra Mahmoodi and Hajar Abufazl, French nationals Sandrine Dusang and Julie Soyer, Egyptian Player of the Year 2011 Esraa Awaad, South African record goal scorer Portia Modise, former FIFA World Cup referee Jacqui Hurford (née Melksham) and pro players or competitive amateurs from Argentina, France, Indonesia, Jordan, Sweden, the UK, US and the United Arab Emirates.
Let's all join in with enthusiasm and cheer for their project - what a thrilling and meaningful adventure it will be. I can't wait to see the film they create from this fantastic mountaintop dream. Follow along on their Facebook page, and you can still support them financially at their web page. Good luck ladies, I'm in awe of your power and emotional about what this will mean to female footballers everywhere. CLIMB!!!
Prompted by today's trending Twitter hashtag, #bellLetsTalk, I wanted to write a short post about mental health and remind all of you that taking care of yourself is just as, if not more, important as your soccer fitness. The hashtag comes from the Bell company, and it's program to give to mental health initiatives when people tweet, text, etc. using their hashtag#
It's a great reminder that we should all make the topic of mental health part of our life and to not fall into the stigma that comes with it. It should not be an embarrassing topic, though society has created these myths and false ideas about it. Most everyone, despite their public personality, deals with their mental health every day, at some level. Many have a handle on it by methods which work best for them, counseling, exercise, medication, education and so on. The point is to not be afraid to discuss it with friends and family, or find a counselor if you don't have support elsewhere. Mental health issues should never be ignored, and you deserve to live your best life. Don't battle it alone. There is help out there. If you play soccer your mental focus and fitness will determine how well you'll do in the sport. Even if you're great but are hiding depression, anxiety, or other challenges, just think how much greater you'd be if you got some help in managing it. Or if your career is in the sport, keep mentally fit to bring focus to your work and leadership. Take care of the whole you. It's okay to ask for help. Email me if you can't sort it out email@example.com
Here's a US suicide hotline if you or a friend needs urgent help. Call 1-800-273-8255 Google for a number if outside the US.
Everyone says 'yes' when asked if they want a career in soccer. Women still playing are focused on making it as a professional player and pros are considering how to stay in the game after retirement or injury. Women who don’t play but love the sport want the chance to create a career in the beautiful game.
But how do you actually go about making this happen?
You must first know what you want. I’ll post a few links at the bottom which will help if you still are pondering what you want to do for your career. If you already know, below are some tips and tools for finding opportunities as well as some examples of what’s currently out there. I’ve compiled an assortment of the types of positions you will find in the soccer world. This is a very short list of vacancies compared to the job possibilities out there, and I haven’t even included high school and university soccer programs. I just wanted you to have a look and maybe one of the job titles will expand your thinking of how you can fit into the world of soccer career professionals.
There are several websites that you can use to peruse sports jobs and using a filter of the word ‘soccer’ or ‘football’ will produce a clean list of career options. These are the ones I used in America, so just do a google search for employment sites similar to these below, if they don’t work in your country.
Indeed - sign up for job alerts with the keyword ‘soccer’.
Linkedin job search app and alerts
NWSL - National Women’s Soccer League in the U.S.
- Communications Manager
- Player and Club Services Coordinator
The best resource for jobs in the UK is from one of my favorite groups, Women in Football, which is a network of professional women working in the football industry. Shout out - check them out no matter where you live!
These are a couple of the positions they had listed for the FA and FAWSL.
- Mens, Womens & Resource Performance Analysts
- Performance Analysis Education Lead (Maternity Leave Cover)
- Women’s First Team Coach - Brighton and Hove Albion FC (Women’s and Girls’)
- General Manager at Bristol City Women Football Club
- Watford Ladies FC is currently looking to recruit a First-Team Head Coach to join the Club.
- BBC Sport recruiting two Assistant Producers to join their TV Production team
FIFA Federation International Football Association. The big show - FIFA!
- Director Sales & Strategy
- Head of Compliance Operations & Strategy
- Senior Event Manager Corporate Events
- Project Officer – Women’s Football Football Federation Australia
- Management Assistant Operations
- Buildings & Site Manager
- Brand Production Coordinator
- Hospitality Production Manager
- Media & PR Coordinator
- English Translator & Editor
- Department of Amateur Football
- DFB Search Base Coordinator
I hope this broadened your thinking of the types of jobs available in soccer. Coaching and referee jobs are what I hear people talking about the most, but if those don't interest you, you can see there is a long list of positions that can keep you in the game. And please don't forget entrepreneurship - create your own company or charity around soccer and see where it takes you. Good luck. Let me know if you have questions or other tips I can pass along. firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the links below for past posts on figuring out what you want to do for work and how to set goals to achieve it.
We've all settled in from the fun and chaos of a new year, right? Some of you may have set New Year's Resolutions, but did you go to the next level and get specific about your purpose and passion in life? Below is a simple worksheet, created to get you started at thinking at the macro level of what you want your life to look like in the future so you can begin work creating goals and actions. Give it a try and let me know how it worked for you or if you have any questions email@example.com
CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW FOR YOUR FREE GOAL SETTING WORKSHEET