Have you been hit with Women’s World Cup Fever yet? With 2 rounds down, competition is hotting up to see if the USA Women’s Soccer Team (USWNT) can keep their title and win for a historic 4th time. This years’ competition is set to be historic… here’s why.
Here’s what you need to know and why this year the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a hot topic!
How does it work?
Held every 4 years, 24 teams qualify to play in the tournament and are divided into 6 groups. The teams play everyone in their group. The top 2 teams from each group progress to the next round along with the 4 3rd placed teams with the most points. Then – it’s on! It turns into a knockout format so, if you lose – you’re out!
Who’s going to win?
This years’ World Cup has been described as the most closely matched and hotly contended so far (since the Women’s World Cup officially started in 1991). The US Women’s Soccer Team are defending their title and have an amazing record (winning 3 times and never placing below 3rd place). Hot on their heels are Germany, host nation France and England. In good news, our own Matildas have a goal scoring machine on our side – Sam Kerr, who has been named Footballer of the Year, Golden Boot winner and is the all-time leading goal scorer.
- If USWNT win they continue their historic winning streak and stunning success record,
- If France win they’ll be only the 2nd host nation to win (2nd only to the USA) and back up the French male team win at last year’s World Cup in Russia – which has never happened before ,
- And, if Germany win – they’ll equal the USWNT record of 3 World Cup titles.
Off field drama
The US Women’s Soccer Team (USWNT) are without a doubt the most successful women’s soccer team. But their dominance on the field isn’t the only thing that’s setting them apart from their opponents – the US Women’s Soccer Team are suing the United States Soccer Federation for equal pay. Yep, even though they’re more successful than the men’s team and their games get more viewers, they’re still paid significantly less.
The lawsuit details that if the men and women teams each played 20 matches and both squads won all games – the female players would earn a maximum of $99,000, while the male players would earn an average of $263,320. Crazy right!?
This suit raises a really interesting point because a number of past pushes for equal (or at least a little better!) pay fail and the reason given – the male counterparts are more successful, draw more viewers and make the sporting organisations (and TV stations, and sponsors etc) a lot more money than the equivalent female teams. But – this is not the case for the US Women’s Soccer Team, who out perform their male counterparts across the board.
This is one to watch as the result could cause a ripple effect on other female sporting teams and athletes fight for equality and pay parity.
Viewing is up!
Women’s Soccer (or Football) is a growing in popularity and is one of the fastest growing female sports across the world. And it’s fantastic to see that it’s not just participation that is growing – viewing figures are too! TV viewing figures have been double the anticipated number for key games so far.
Want to get involved?
Inspired by this, we spoke to Dean Evans co-founder and head coach for The Football Centre to get his top tips on training with the mindset of a pro! So, if you’re not content with cheering on your team from the sidelines and want to get involved, here’s how to get started! Get ready Matilda’s – here we come!
The rise of female footballers and teams are increasing, giving women more opportunities to play at professional and higher levels. Achieving a successful career in sport can be difficult and requires hard work and determination just like any other job does. While sport can be a hard industry to get your foot into, the first steps to becoming a professional is training and thinking like a pro.
5 tips on how to train like a professional footballer:
Extra practice should come from within. If you have the drive and passion to want to further your footballing career, practicing after hours away from your normal football training at home or a local park is another step in the right direction.
Sometimes it means skipping social events to focus on your future goals which is becoming a professional. Making the right choices off the pitch i.e. food/drink/rest/recovery are always ways of helping you reach your goal.
Working hard to reach your end goal is a must if you want to play at the highest level. Every session you go into should be performed at your maximum to get the most out of your session. Don’t be afraid to do the extras before and after training to see your on-field performance improve. Ask for feedback which then helps you field your desire to continue working hard on your overall game.
Setting yourself realistic targets each year will help you with reaching your end goals in becoming a professional. Figure out some short-term goals that are realistic in reaching them in a short amount of time. Set long term goals for where you want to be by seasons end or in a few years’ time. Each year see if you’re getting closer to what you want to achieve and if you’re not then find out the reasons why and what you need to change in order to steal make that dream a possibility.
Striving to become the best you can be and making it as a professional doesn’t always come easy. More often than not you’re going to come across moments in your career where you suffer a setback. Being resilient and able to overcome adversity by bouncing back is something you must have in your arsenal of mental strength to continue on your end path to becoming a pro. Keep working, keep striving, keep believing and if you do that, things will turn from a negative into a positive.