By Andy Shane
When I first met with Brent Coralli, I didn’t know what he was about or what to expect. My kids play soccer, but certainly wasn’t a fan of the sport, hadn’t heard anything about Sting Soccer and didn’t quite understand the passion surrounding the sport.
The thing is (there is always a thing), Brent Coralli isn’t about soccer. Sure, as CEO of Sting Soccer, Brent represents Sting – – the oldest, and arguably, the most decorated girls club soccer group in the United States. However, Brent Coralli is less about X’s and O’s on the field and more about showing young girls that it is okay to take care of themselves, to be confident and leaders off the field.
And that is something I both understand and am passionate about.
My “assignment” was/is to promote Brent Coralli and Sting Soccer. When we first spoke, he told me one of the main reasons he got involved with Sting is to encourage young girls to believe in and love themselves and; that it’s okay to be strong and not have to rely on men.
As the father of two daughters (and a son) it was important that his daughters’ embrace that they can do anything they want to if they set their mind to it. At Sting, they believe in ‘The Education of Life Through Soccer’ and teach their girls the importance of Pride, Tradition, Character, Commitment and Leadership. These attributes can be seen on and off the field.
Sting girls have a rigorous schedule – – whether it is practicing two to three times a week, traveling to games throughout the country, keeping up their grades and participating in community service – – they are still netting real results. This year alone, Sting girls received scholarships – – many of them full-rides – – to colleges like Notre Dame, Kentucky, A&M and many, many others.
I recently pitched the “Bossy Girls” idea to media here in Dallas. For those uninitiated – – earlier this year, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, grabbed headlines with her ‘Ban Boss’ Campaign. According to Sandberg: When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.
The campaign generated positive interest and – as so often happens when national attention is given to a particular topic – its share of detractors.
The local Dallas CBS-TV affiliate bit, and KTVT-TV – aired a story in which they spoke with Brent. His feelings made sense to me – – “We don’t have time for name calling or labels. Honestly, we really don’t put much thought to it. I’m very proud and humbled to say our girls do the right thing on and off the field and have the confidence and self-awareness within themselves to embrace and love who they are – – we know we cannot control what others say or do toward us,” Brent said (now this didn’t make it on air, but that is a story for another day).
If you still doubt or question the method behind Brent Coralli’s madness, check out Brent Coralli’s Sting Soccer Highlight Reel. It’s long so start at the 11:22 mark – Sting Lifers – and tell me Brent isn’t making a huge, positive impact on the lives of many young girls.
For me, Brent Coralli is an MVP to hundreds of young women. Every day, he shoots and scores.