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Jan, 2021

Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Shares Inspiring Story with New Jersey ODP Players

Players from the New Jersey Olympic Development Program (ODP) recently had the unique opportunity to relive the extraordinary journey of U.S. Women’s National Team veteran and three-time Olympic Goal Medalist Heather Mitts. Hosting an exclusive webinar with Mitts was NJYS Technical Director James Galanis, who was also her personal coach for over a decade.

“Our goal is to continue to make our players aware of the mental tools needed to play at the highest level,” said Galanis. “Heather's story highlighted how important having a strong mentality really is.”

Mitts took the audience through her younger years and emphasized the sacrifices she had to make in order to reach the next level.

“I like how relatable Heather was to us,” said Alex Farina (2005 White). “She was in our exact position (playing ODP). And we learned that she struggled at first, but eventually was given the opportunity to show her talent. She was persistent and never mentally gave up. It acts as an inspiration to every young player.”

With over 100 games for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Mitts shared many adverse moments that further fueled her career and presented the opportunity to play in one of the best eras of U.S. Women’s National Team history. 

“It was an incredible opportunity to have Heather Mitts share her story with my kids,” said Josh Schultz, whose children Hayden (2008 Red) and Madison (2007 White) play ODP. “They loved her story of fighting through adversity and always giving 100%. These are lessons that will stick with them for a long time to come.”  

Mitts also took the opportunity to present her fitness app Train Like Legends. This soccer specific fitness app gives users the opportunity to apply the same fitness techniques that helped her throughout her career.

“Fitness was something I knew I could control,” said Mitts. “Being fit gave my coaches the confidence to play me. They knew I would have the ability to work hard for an entire game.”  

This Mental Toughness webinar is the first of a series of webinars to be held this winter for New Jersey ODP participants. Almost 600 players from more than 50 clubs around the state tuned in and benefited from the inspirational story behind Mitts’ success as an international soccer player.

“I believe Heather Mitts has inspired a whole new generation of youth soccer players to be all they can be,” said ODP head coach Mark Dutton. 

For more information about New Jersey ODP, please email [email protected]. Additionally, make sure to like the official New Jersey ODP Facebook Page.

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Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

569 Abbington Dr, Suite 5
East Windsor, New Jersey 08520

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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