Once upon a time before Mommyhood, I was a student athlete. I didn’t just play a sport, I was a very successful, competitive athlete. My teenage daughter knows about my “glory days” but other mom’s probably have no clue. Why? Because I know the pressure that comes with being a teen athlete. Every parent thinks their the coach, referees make bad calls and every child makes a mistake except for their kid. But instead of screaming, I study the game and support my daughter’s high moments and the occasional lows.
I know what it’s like to be teen athlete, more so how to juggle academics, my favorite sport and my responsibilities at home. But school and education always came first!
Now that I have my own athlete, I support my daughter in her decisions when it comes to sports and education. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one that supports and encourages young women and sports. JCPenney has a partnership with Gonzo Soccer and their commitment to help support young women in areas of sports and education.
Gonzo Soccer is a soccer and leadership academy that provides underprivileged girls ages 8-16 with premier soccer training. I have a very hard working yet poor family as a child. I appreciate that Gonzo Soccer allows young women to empower themselves and reach their full potential as athletes and as students to underprivileged students.
On September 30th in Houston, Texas, JCPenny & Gonzo Soccer will host a community event and free soccer clinic featuring Monica Gonzalez. Monica Gonxalez will be teaching girls ages 8-16 soccer drills, tips and tricks. JCPenney will also offer girls that attend the opportunity to personalize their own Xersion active wear shirt and treat them to the latest sporty hair trends by jcp salon. In addition to this event, Gonzo Soccer runs year round and has academies in Chicago, Houston, Austin, Del Rio as well as Tijuana, Mexico and San Andres, Colombia.
I can’t think of a better way to empower young Hispanic girls during Hispanic Heritage Month. The confidence and self-esteem these girls will receive thanks in part JCPenney with the help of Gonzo Soccer and Monica Gonzalez girls will secure a bright future for these young ladies.
About Monica Gonzalez:
Mónica González officially joined ESPN in September 2011 as a soccer commentator, following her successful debut as a studio analyst during the network’s unprecedented coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. She has been a sideline reporter for both U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams on ESPN, studio and match analyst for the 2013 FIFA Under-20 Men’s World Cup, the Longhorn Network, and a contributor to ESPN W, ESPN’s digital platform for female athletes and fans.
Monica Gonzalez’s Soccer Tips for New & Beginner Players
If you have a young daughter that is learning how to balance her love for soccer and school, Monica Gonzalez has some great tips to offer. Knowing that she has risen to the challenges that present themselves as a student athlete, I can appreciate her opinions and advice.
1. Set goals Why are you playing – for fun? To become a pro? Keep your goal in mind and create actionable steps to reach it.
2. Get as many touches to the ball as possible – the more you practice, the better you’ll become.
3. Play at your level, and find a team or league that’s just above your level. That way you’ll be challenged to improve your game and reach the next level.
What advice do you have to a young teen trying to balance school and education? How can we support young women in areas of sports and education?
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Hashtag: #JCPFanaticas and #HispanicHeritageMonth
JCPenny Twitter: @JCPenney
Monica Gonzalez Twitter: @MonicaGonzo
Gonzo Soccer Twitter: @GONZOSoccer
Monica Gonzalez’s Website www.gonzosoccer.org