In 1999 soccer star, Brandi Chastain became a household name when her goal led the United States soccer team to victory at the Women’s World cup. To this day, 14 years later, youth of all ages continue to look up to the legend and aspire to be just like her. Brandi has teamed up with the Active Family Project to Play For A Change to encourage youth and their parents alike to get active and “take charge of their health and wellness and all the while impact underserved communities at the same time.” Chastain was kind enough to join me recently to discuss her role in the Play For A Change initiative, share some of her favorite soccer tips and dish on where fans can see her next!
Candace Rose: You’ve teamed up with the Active Family Project to Play For A Change. Can you tell us about it?
Brandi Chastain: “Absolutely Merk’s Consumer Cares, Active Family Project and Play For A Change Initiative is about getting families to get out there to be active, to take charge of their health and wellness and all the while impact underserved communities at the same time.
I love this project for two reasons: one, I’m passionate about about soccer and the fact that Merck has joined U.S. Youth Soccer in this project makes me so happy. I love that soccer is making a change for families on a daily basis, and two: I’m a mom with two boys who play soccer, who I love to take to the park, to the soccer field, to the basketball court. I love having fun with my kids and anytime I can influence them by being an active role model, the better.
I’m thrilled, and the way that you and your viewers can help me and our project is by going on Facebook.com/ActiveFamilyProject and liking us. And if you want to make a comment, you want to share a story- even better! But the more likes we get, the more Merck is going to donate. Right now they’re going to impact 75 communities with kits, which is goals, balls, cones- everything you need to play soccer. The more we get, we can even go up to 125 communities. For more information, you can go to ActiveFamilyProject.com, and you can click on the soccer fields and you can see all the soccer fields across the country and there might be one next to you where you can take your family out to play. There’s other helpful tips on family activities that you can do- scavenger hunts, being active together; you can plan a day of free family fun.
You don’t have to spend money to have fun with your kids and have family play dates. We started these family play dates where I live on Friday afternoons after work, we bring a dish to the park and all the families would have a potluck and we’d play parents vs. the kids, and the kids think it’s super funny that the parents think they can play sports. And we just have a great time, and we laugh and we play. These are where family memories are made.”
Candace Rose: I hear you’ve also shared soccer tips on the site!
Brandi Chastain: “Absolutely! We talk about the things that kids can do or the things that parents can help their kids do to enjoy and hopefully enhance the excitement of soccer- spending time with the ball, if you don’t have someone to play with…kick it against the wall (make sure your parents are okay with that) or go to the local school. Get your friends together to play two on two or one vs. one. I used to take my dog on, actually in the backyard, he was a pretty good defender!
So anything with the ball is good. The time that you spend with the ball will help you really have no problem when the pressure comes in the game because you already know how to dribble, how to shoot, how to pass- so just have fun with it.”
Candace Rose: Youth of all ages look up to you, what advice do you have for those looking to play soccer at the next level?
Brandi Chastain: “Well, I think for anybody, no matter what it is- and it just happens to be soccer that we’re talking about- but when you find your passion, the more time you spend…the more success you’re going to have. Those two things are directly correlated. I think ultimately you have to have fun, you have to encourage the people that are around you to challenge themselves. I notice that when I was on the National team, when I challenged my teammate to do better, and she raised her level, I would push myself to raise my level and all of a sudden here we go, we’re climbing to new heights.
There’s nothing wrong with competition. There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself. It’s not a wins, loss thing. It’s really about self improvement, it’s about how can you impact your teammates and others around you. That’s why I love this Play For A Change initiative that Merck has through their Consumer Cares Active Family Project because by playing as a family, I can influence other families to do the same thing.”
Candace Rose: Where can your fans see you next?
Brandi Chastain: “Here with you! I have some projects coming up, but I help coach women’s soccer at Santa Clara University and we’re in the middle of our season right now, that is really one of my big priorities. I’m on the soccer fields across this country all the time helping people. I can tell you there’s going to be something on TV soon, but I can’t tell you what it is, but stay tuned.”
Candace Rose: We’re looking forward to it! Thank you so much Brandi, where can we go for more information?
Brandi Chastain: “Again, to go for more information online at ActiveFamilyProject.com– you can click on the soccer fields, you can click on all the free fun activities that are available for parents. And remember go to Facebook.com/ActiveFamilyProject, because we’re really fun and we’re doing some good stuff. And the more people that do, more communities get impacted.”