Last Monday, the Manchester City and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley attended a webinar about women’s football, held by the Sports Business Institute Barcelona.

She explained her vision about the growth of women’s football, the importance of the mental work for a professional athlete and her journey to elite football.

Here are my main takeaways from Karen’s contribution:

  • Success comes and goes. Women’s football needs to reach an enough sustainable and solid level in order to avoid intermittent success. Workforce, players or sponsors come and go. National leagues need a minimum and constant financial back-up.
  • Major events are catalysts. 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, 2015 Canada World Cup and 2017 Women’s Euro have been massively important to push the game forward. Big scale impact to challenge mind-set.
  • Big clubs are making it possible. Financial back-up from major clubs are allowing leagues and players to be professional and dedicate fully to the game.
  • Private ownership can be very risky. In a heartbeat, a club can go from building a women’s team to letting it disappear if the decision is in someone’s hands. A step in the right direction would be not allowing women’s teams dissolve if any owner gets tired of it.
  • Focus on your influence. According to Karen, “at the end of the day, success it’s about what you can control, as your attitude, actions or relationship with your teammates”.
  • You are your best teacher. We know ourselves better than anyone else. Being a good listener and always aiming for feedback are a very powerful combination for constant improvement.

Very valuable insights directly from one main character in women’s football, another essential and differentiating asset in women’s football.

Photo credit: FourFourTwo

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