The former Washington Freedom forward is considered to be one of the best female football players in history.
Over the years, we have seen any ageing football stars getting angry at being benched during the twilight years of their careers. But then comes Abby Wambach – two-time Olympic gold medallist, and a FIFA Women’s World Cup champions – who took to explain her opinion on the situation in an exclusive interview with Marie TV.
The 38-year-old said, “We all will have moments of being benched, every single one of us, in whatever way your benching is. It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to it.”
Watch: Abby Wambach’s interview with Marie TV
The former USA forward was a skipper and star forward of her national team, having represented the outfit in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 World Cup editions, and also in 2004, 2008, 2012 Summer Olympics. She was a part of the team which lifted the 2015 WC title, although she was a bench player.
Due to her age, she fell down the pecking order in her last tournament, but never went against her coach for benching her.
She continued, “So I had a choice to decide what kind of teammate I was. What kind of a person was I. It is the greatest test of my life, and it is one of the most difficult things that I had to go through. And I do know that looking back from my deathbed, it is one of the things that I am most proud of, because I instilled and held up my values and integrity through this, which was one of the hardest things in my life. It taught me everything I needed to know about leadership.”
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Imagine this: You’ve scored more international goals in your sport than any human being on the planet. You’ve co-captained and led Team USA to victory after victory for the past decade. And you and your coach sit down and decide together that you won’t be a starter for the remainder of your final World Cup. Instead, you’ll come off the bench. That was hard. But it taught me the most important lesson of leadership — Rule #3 of WOLFPACK: Lead from the bench. We won the World Cup that year. The pride I feel about how I handled that tournament rivals the pride I have about scoring any big goal. You’ll feel benched sometimes, too. You’ll find yourself taken off the project, passed over for the promotion, falling sick, losing the election, sidelined by the kid who doesn’t seem to need you anymore. You might find yourself holding a baby instead of a briefcase and fearing that your colleagues are “getting ahead” and leaving you behind. You are allowed to be disappointed when it feels like life’s benched you. What you aren’t allowed to do is miss your opportunity to lead from the bench. If you’re not a leader on the bench, don’t call yourself a leader on the field. You’re either a leader everywhere or nowhere. And, by the way, the fiercest leaders I’ve ever seen have been parents. Parenting is no bench—it just might be the big game. @marieforleo —I loved this conversation. I’m so grateful for you and all of the powerful conversations you lead. Check out our talk at the link in my bio ⬆️ or https://www.marieforleo.com/2019/04/abby-wambach-wolfpack/ ???????????? Abby
In an Instagram post, she quipped that she led from the bench in that tournament. She posted, “If you’re not a leader on the bench, don’t call yourself a leader on the field. You’re either a leader everywhere or nowhere.”
In world football, many times we see stars showing anger and discontentment on being benched or substituted, but there few players who stand out from the rest, and Abby Wambach is one of them.
A True Football Legend!