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Mia Hamm Inspires a Fourth-Grader to Live Fearless in School, Soccer and Blogging

By Harper Vulcan | August 9, 2016 | Explore NC

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Harper Vulcan, 9-year-old daughter of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Communications Specialist Ryan Vulcan, interviewed Mia Hamm at the Live Fearless Soccer Clinic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina at the WRAL Soccer Complex in Raleigh. This is Harper’s first blog post.

“I was emotional. I was excited, nervous, proud – all those things bundled into one.”

That’s how Mia Hamm felt when she walked onto the field at her first Women’s World Cup soccer game. And it’s also how I felt when I got to interview Mia.

I have been a fan of Mia for my whole life. I am nine years old and I am in fourth grade. When my Mom asked me if I wanted to interview Mia and write a blog, I said yes right away. I was already reading a book about Mia and I thought that book could help me decide what questions to ask her.

I’ve been playing soccer during the school year in the spring and the fall for a few years. I play midfield and right forward. I like soccer because I get to have a good time with my friends. Most of all, I like soccer because I like running. Running is good for me. Running makes me strong and gives me energy.

Sometimes trying new things makes me nervous, but I usually end up liking them after I try them. I wanted to ask Mia about what she tells people who want to try something new, like a new sport or a different position in soccer.

“Just don’t worry about making mistakes,” Mia said. “Just go out there and play. Rather than worrying about what things might go wrong, just focus on the things you do well, keep working hard and have fun.”

One Special Thing Every Day

In school, I try to have fun every day, and figure out one special thing that can happen every day, even if it’s just another school day. There’s something special that happens every day.

During the school year, I have soccer practice after school and games on Saturdays. I also have a lot of homework and studying for tests. Sometimes it’s hard to get all my homework done and still do my best at soccer.

Mia went to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and won championships there. I wanted to find out if Mia thought it was hard for her to play soccer and get all her homework done at the same time.

“I felt that I did better in school when I had soccer because it really helped me organize my time,” she said. “In college, the off-season was especially hard for me because I felt like, oh, my gosh, I have all this free time. During the school year, I could always do my studies or I could always go practice. I loved doing both because they gave me structure and balance and helped me with my time management.”

I think I’m going to try to be happy when soccer and school are both busy. If Mia can get all her school work and soccer practicing done, I can do the same thing.

The soccer clinic was a Live Fearless clinic and the coaches that were there wanted all the girls who came to the clinic to be confident and healthy and be nice to each other as teammates. I wanted to find out what Mia tells her kids about living fearless.

“I tell them to go out there and be themselves,” Mia said. “They have so much to give, they’re great kids. Kids need to be themselves, that’s the best, most important thing.”

Inquiring Kids Want to Know

When I was thinking about what questions to ask Mia, I wanted to ask her a question that kids my age would want to know the answer to. So I asked her what is her favorite emoji. She said she likes the winking emoji.

I wasn’t so surprised that Mia likes the winking emoji, because that’s a popular one. My favorite is the nerd emoji. Other people like the devil one or the money one. I’m glad Mia didn’t say she liked the devil one or the money one.

At the soccer clinic, Mia told us all about being a good teammate, trying our best and not being afraid to Live Fearless and try new things. At school, if the teacher asks me a question, I have to be confident when I say the answer, even if I might be wrong. But I also might be right, so I shouldn’t be afraid to answer the questions and learn new things.

During the camp I learned new soccer skills and how to eat the right way as a player. It was also good when Cindy Parlow Cone told us about what it feels like when you get a concussion. She also went to UNC and she is a great soccer player. Hearing about concussions was good because now we can help our teammates by telling a coach if we think somebody on our team might have a concussion or if we think we might have a concussion.

This is the first blog post I have written and I was nervous to do it. But I learned what blog posts are and I found out that writing a blog post is kind of fun. It’s a little bit hard because you have to think about what you want to write. But just like Mia told us, we should try new things and learn new things. That way, we can find out what we really like to do and what we’re good at.

I’m going to try to learn a new thing every day at school and encourage my friends to try to do the same thing because everyone at school is on the same team.