Dirk Hilyard is a fan of all sports, but he’s particularly a fan of athletes who set the proper example for the next generation. In one of the greatest examples in recent history, Giannis Antekounmpo has come out and said that he does not want to be asked questions about his MVP season last year. The proud 2018-2019 NBA MVP has set his sights on next season. More focused on the team and their inability to hoist the NBA championship trophy, Giannis has asked all journalists to judge him on the upcoming season and stop talking about the past.
Dirk Hilyard believes that most of the athletes of today are more focused on “Me” then they are on “team.” In a media environment that celebrates social media followers, shoe deals, and monetary status, Anteokounmpo shows the next generation that some things are more important that an individual’s status. Dirk Hilyard uses Giannis as an example to students he has coached in soccer and other sports. The truth is every athlete has an obligation to play for the name on the front of his jersey as opposed to the name on the back.
Dirk Hilyard is a lifelong soccer fan and follower of the national teams for the United States of America. As American enters the elite 8 of the Women’s World Cup, Dirk Hilyard is uniquely qualified to offer his thoughts on what it will take for the U.S. to repeat as champions.
The biggest factor that Dirk Hilyard says that the women’s soccer team will need to rely on moving forward is their leadership. The club has decided on three captains: Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. The three captains are three of the most decorated winners in Women’s World Cup history. In the biggest moments, their leadership will need to pay off. It’s not just that the leadership are three of the most decorated players in history, the team also has an incredible amount of experience. 12 of the members of the team have played on the World Cup stage before.
Only 16 women in international history have scored 100 goals for their country and two of them will be suiting up for the United States in this World Cup. Alex Morgan and Carly Lloyd lead the way but the whole team should continue to be aggressive and put balls in the back of the net. The team is at it’s best when it’s free-flowing and creative in the offensive half. Leadership will have to ensure that the team doesn’t tighten up as the spotlight gets brighter. This is especially true during the incredible impending matchup with France on Friday.
Finally, Dirk Hilyard says that luck will play a role. There’s some truth that every team makes their own luck, but avoiding injuries is key. The team must stay healthy as they go deeper and deeper into the tournament and the competition gets that much stiffer.