In episode 23 I am joined by my incredible and inspirational cousin, Jazmin Cardoso. Jazmin will discuss how the soccer culture and environment around her shaped her development. Jazmin is a gifted soccer player with an infectious smile and personality. During the podcast Jazmin takes us on her journey which began by imulating her older brother that played soccer with his friends. Because she was younger and couldn’t play yet with the boys, she would juggle a ball on the sideline. At 7 years old Jazmin immigrated to the United States and began playing soccer with neighborhood boys. Eventually her brother and cousin noticed her passion and ability and signed her up for a recreational league.
At only 9 years old her talent was seen by several parents that had children playing at a local club. They quickly convinced Jazmin to play on their team. From that moment, Jazmin took the local soccer scene in Harrisonburg, VA by the horns. She quickly set out to break records and take her high school to new levels, and eventually landing at George Mason University. Today we get a chance to examine the journey, soccer culture, and path that took Jazmin Cardoso from a little girl dribbling on the sidelines, to leading D-I college soccer programs and getting call-ups from the Mexican National team.
Jazmin discussed how she fell in love with soccer and recalls watching the world cup with her brother. She saw the passion he had for the game and it quickly grew on her. The culture and environment that surrounded her would shape her view of soccer forever.
Jazmin developed not only by practicing with a team, but also playing with friends. She discussed how she would go play with friends outside formal training hours and even after youth soccer games. It was never over.
Even though Jazmin never had “professional” training, she was already ahead of other girls in the club who had been training under coaches. This demonstrates the power of Free Play. She credits the hours of free play for developing her into a creative player on the field.
Jazmin discussed a very important topic regarding player development. The decision to specialize. She explained that she spent most of her time playing soccer, which she was more committed to, but also played other sports like volleyball. She never viewed the thousands of hours she played soccer as “specializing” because she loved doing it and it wasn’t always training with coaches. She explained that she loved playing so much, she would go play pickup games after playing travel games.
One of her lowest points in soccer was after leaving New Mexico State, she had to sit out a year. Going into her junior year she was not playing as well. For the first time in her life she was sitting on the bench. She discussed her feelings and how she overcame that obstacle through perseverance.
Jazmin was asked how she would improve her player development if she was 5 years old again. She stated that she would do the same, go play outside in a rich soccer culture, get as many touches on the ball as possible, watch games, and try new things to make mistakes and learn from them. What a great answer.
Jazmin’s bio at New Mexico State http://www.nmstatesports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1900&ATCLID=204773086
Jazmin’s bio at George Mason University http://www.gomason.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=25200&ATCLID=205056141
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