Campus News

Bowdoin Students Coached by a World Champion

Story posted November 05, 1999

Aiming for your dream—your real dream, not just what you think is logically attainable—and visualizing yourself reaching it is the key to succeeding. That was the message brought to Bowdoin Friday by Tony DiCicco, former head coach of the world champion, U.S. Women’s Soccer Team.

DiCicco was the featured speaker at Common Hour only two days after announcing his plans to step down from coaching the U.S. Women’s Team to spend more time with his wife and sons.

"We have the power to create our own reality
.I’m also convinced that we create our own limitations," he told a standing room only crowd gathered in Morrell Lounge of Smith Union.

Often when asked what our dream is, we sell it short, DiCicco said, we say we want to make the team, when really we want to be a star. DiCicco urged students to determine the true nature of their dream, and to work to create a vision of it as reality.

After realizing the importance of not setting limitations for oneself, DiCicco said he began having the team imagine themselves as Olympic gold medallists and as world champions. He went so far as to borrow a gold medal and allow team members to try it on to recognize what it would feel like to reach their goal. When they won the gold, some members of the team said it felt as though they’d been there before, DiCicco said.

As focused as he has been on success, DiCicco acknowledged the inevitability of failure. Shortly after he became head coach, the team lost a world championship. In spite of the failure, he said, the team was strengthened, because no one on the team blamed the loss on anyone but herself. They also used their failure, and the feelings that came with it as motivation to succeed in the future, DiCicco said.

DiCicco is moving on to a new vision of himself, other than that of world champion coach, he said. He is constructing a vision of his life as a balance between career and family, which is why he is leaving the team.

He ended with a quote from James Stewart that he said could provide guidance for decisions to be made in life, "God judges a man not by the distance he has covered, but by the direction he has taken."

Clips from DiCicco's press conference at Bowdoin is available on the Bowdoin Cable Network Web site.

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