Sophie blog update

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Sophie blog update

Post by A_Fan on Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:30 pm

Budapest, Self Reflection and Lady Gaga (June 13, 2011)

Less than two weeks until the big show down. This past week has been filled with excitement.



The team travelled to Budapest, Hungary this past week for an exhibition match. To be completely honest, I did not even know that Hungary had a women's national soccer team. The trip was short and sweet. We flew in on the 6th, played on the 7th, and back "home" to Rome on the 8th. Driving through the heart of Budapest with the team bus was a tease. It is such a beautiful city with such unique architecture. Perhaps it is a place I'd like to come back to, without the sole focus being soccer. Once past the city, we drove through a forest wonderland. As a team we stayed in a soccer specific establishment (containing an indoor futsal court, beach soccer court, three grass fields and one turf). The game against Hungary ended in favour of us, win a score of 1-0. The score is not a true reflection of how the game unfolded, but does show that our pass or finishing in the final third needs more purpose. There is one more test in our final preparation before leaving for Germany to make some slight adjustments. It’s exciting to see months of work coming together. It also helps to have the entire team together now, including all the other WPS players.



A renowned Olympic skier for Canada made a little guest appearance for a day here at camp. Jennifer Heil, a Canadian freestyle skier, won gold for Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It was fantastic to hear another elite athlete's story, about the struggles she faced in the pursuit of her goals, what helped her in her journey, and ultimately reflecting back on a successful career. Coming away from such an interaction, I wish I was able to remember everything that was said. Unfortunately my mind came out with its own central message it wanted to focus on. That message being focused on: what is the definition of success and who defines whether or not we are successful? How an individual sport functions is different from that of a team sport but I think there are many similarities; after all, a team is comprised of multiple individuals with hopefully the same intended goal. It made me wonder… yes, I want to win the World Cup and I believe that it is most definitely possible with this team… but what if we don't. Does that make our World Cup a failure? I most definitely hope not, and that our fans also do not define our success based on this outcome. Perhaps there are a bunch of little things that factor into determining success. If it's defined solely based on an outcome such as a medal, then it might be a straight answer. However, for me, knowing that I prepared as best I could (mentally, physically), played with my whole heart, and gave all of me for those that bleed and sweat beside me… are all factors that play into how I reflect on a potentially successful World Cup. My definition or criteria is not concrete, as you can tell, but I invite you to think about how you would define success. Take into consideration that soccer is a team sport and you cannot control your teammate’s performance on any given day; also, is an individual’s success the same as that of the teams?



Camp life is really relaxed once off the field. Apart from playing, eating, sleeping, stretching and getting treatment there seems to be some free time at our disposal. Some of my teammates are taking classes… high school and university. Those that are not in school try to find activities to fill the time. The most popular options are: reading, tanning, watching movies, tv shoes, card games, and shopping.



In the rare event we get time away from camp, we are able to experience some pretty amazing happenings around Rome. The latest of which was a free concert during Roma Europride. Carolina Morace, our head coach, was kind enough to give an evening off for those that wanted to head into town to watch Lady Gaga perform. It was truly a unique experience. As a result of her performance (she only sang two songs) I have a new appreciation. She sang a beautiful acoustic version of Born This Way on the piano, and another song from her most recent album. :-) Music is near and dear to my heart. Currently I am trying to refine my guitar skills when I can find some space where no one can hear me. Also, music is a big part of most of my teammate’s pre-game routines. Each has their own special little playlist that is listened to on the bus en-route to the field. Once in the locker room, a team playlist is put on. After the game, a legend has been known to make the team break out into song. The one and only… Celine Dion… Power of Love. Words will not do the atmosphere justice; just try to imagine 21+ players belting along. :-)



Take care,

Sophie



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Re: Sophie blog update

Post by DaTruRochin on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:14 pm

Hahahaha it would be downright unpatriotic for 21+ Canadians to NOT bust out some Celine Dion. (At least it wasn't Nickelback)

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Re: Sophie blog update

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:59 pm

DaTruRochin wrote:Hahahaha it would be downright unpatriotic for 21+ Canadians to NOT bust out some Celine Dion. (At least it wasn't Nickelback)
It would really be too easy to throw in that South Park joke about the Canadian government apologizing for Brian Adams several times.

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Re: Sophie blog update

Post by A_Fan on Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:39 pm

World Cup Blog: Sophie Schmidt Entry #3

The University of Portland will have four alums competing at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. PortlandPilots.com is excited to have two of the four on board as World Cup Bloggers throughout the preparations and actual competition this summer. USA National Team and Boston Breakers (WPS) defender Stephanie Cox and Canadian National Team and MagicJack (WPS) defender Sophie Schmidt will share experiences periodically over the next three months, so make sure to bookmark http://www.portlandpilots.com/WorldCupBlog to follow their journey to Germany.

You can send Stephanie and Sophie any questions, comments or feedback that you might have by clicking HERE.

The Big Event is Almost Here! (June 24, 2011)

Less than two days until the big event!!! Team Canada arrived in Berlin on Sunday and the days have been flying by; filled with meals, sleep, video tactical sessions, practices, media engagements, doping control…. and who could forget little excursions to Starbucks. There were absolutely no Starbucks to be found in Rome, so our team was thrilled to discover about three within walking distance of our hotel… lead by none other than your very own, Christine Sinclair.



There are only a couple of English channels at our hotel and even though I am able to understand German, all I watch on TV is the sports channels (out of courtesy to my roommate who understands limited German). While watching, it has been great to see the coverage and publicity this Women's World Cup is receiving. There is a buzz in the air and it’s for Women's Soccer! How awesome is that!!!



The match on Sunday against Germany will be held in the historic Olympic Stadium in Berlin. This venue has an unbelievable amount of history associated with it. Starting with the official inauguration of the 1936 Summer Olympics by Adolf Hitler, the first televised broadcasting of the Olympic Games and the stadium where Jesse Owens (USA) won four gold medals! Some matches from the 1974 Men's World Cup were also played in this historic stadium and unforgettably it was the location of the final between France and Italy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup…. including the infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt! With the significance of those historic events and the potential of 70,000-plus fans attending this opening match, it will make for an electric atmosphere….which has never been seen in women's soccer and who knows when it will happen again.



Am I scared for the match on Sunday? Nah. Perhaps only a little bit nervous, but it is nervous excitement. It is the same feeling I have before every game. It shows me I care and am excited about the prospect of playing the beautiful game. I am excited to play… actually the word excitement does not do justice to how I feel. That feeling of putting on your country’s jersey, looking your teammates in the eyes and knowing exactly what they are feeling/ thinking, to know how proud everyone back home is of you (family, friends, past coaches, teammates, anyone that has been a part of your journey), those little girls across the country that you don't even know but have been impacted by and now share your dream…… words cannot describe, but a warm true smile from the bottom of your soul comes close. :-)



I received a question from a fan regarding my parent’s approach that made me successful…



It’s interesting the number of times I have been asked this question. Looking back its hard to say exactly what my parents did to push me along; in the sense of…. how much of the success is based on their support for me, or whether it is something within myself, or the coaches that I have had, or just the course of opportunity.

My early childhood years were spent in Paraguay running around and playing soccer with boys. Girls did not play soccer, so in a sense I am lucky to have had an amazing brother that I wanted to emulate. Once we moved to Canada, it took my parents two years to warm up to the idea to let me play soccer even though my brother started playing immediately after the move. I think that the dreams of my mother, for me, had to change over time. I wanted to play soccer more than anything. I loved it (even though I was a big kid back in my younger years), and because they saw how much I loved it they supported me unconditionally. They tried to protect me from only focusing on soccer and tried to promote a balance in my life. A balance between school, friends, family, piano, other sports and soccer. It is the best thing they could have done for me and I am so grateful for it now. Yes it was challenging to have so many things on my plate, but in the end it made me a stronger person and helped me realize that soccer was something that I truly loved and wanted to pursue. Even though I am still considered "young"… I know that how children grow up now has changed in the short time since I was a child. People told me the odds of becoming a professional athlete were so slim and the competition has only become more competitive in recent years.

My parents did right by me by not throwing their hopes and dreams on me and smothering me. They saw my passion, even if they didn't understand why, and supported me in it. As for my dad, he was always the voice in the back of my head telling me I had so much more to give and that I could be better… in the most loving of ways.

Thanks!
Sophie

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Re: Sophie blog update

Post by Geezaldinho on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:12 pm

Terrific post, on several levels.

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