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Ateneo alum Cam Rodriguez takes on triple role in UAAP Season 86

Cam Rodriguez is spreading her wings by taking on different roles in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Football Tournament.

Rodriguez, who played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles from Seasons 75 to 79, is now part of her alma mater’s coaching staff while also undertaking commentating duties for the UAAP’s broadcaster.

For the 31st Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, it is about making the most out of the trust afforded to her in fulfilling these new roles.

“Connecting this to opportunity, it just opens up different pathways on what these athletes can pursue after playing,” said Rodriguez.

“They could be sports psychologists for a team, they could be team analysts like I am right now for UAAP, or they could be players and do it all at the same time. At the end of the day, it’s really the opportunities given and the experience that I give value.”

Competing in any event in the UAAP requires mental toughness amid the scrutiny and pressure to win. It is not only technical preparation that is important but also teaching the mind how to deal with setbacks.

As a psychology graduate, Rodriguez hopes to pass on her learnings to the current batch of Blue Eagles, particularly on how to handle the stress of playing at the collegiate level. She will try to impart to them what she has learned when it comes to mental toughness.

“What I bring to the different roles that I have right now is really perspective and experience. I am part of the Ateneo Women’s Football Team as a sports psychologist,” she said.

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“This is a budding field that’s very important, and I will continue to push for athlete wellness,” she added.

“It’s something that is new, and hopefully, with the opportunity that is given to me by Coach Bob (Manlulo), we could work together to not just equip our football players with good physical and technical skills but also good mental skills that they can bring into their lives.”

Women’s football in the Philippines has grown exponentially within the last two years. The Philippine Women’s National Football Team’s recent success in the international arena has revitalized the sport in the country.

It is only fitting that elimination round matches in the women’s division of the UAAP are finally being broadcast for the first time. As one of the proud products of the league, Rodriguez has been tapped to serve as one of its commentators.

“Definitely, the language of commentating is different,” she said. “At the same time, the perspective, you have to read the game but also call it and really try to translate what’s happening.”

While she is still learning the ropes when it comes to being on the broadcasting side, the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship gold medalist pointed out that this is a concrete sign that women’s football is on the rise in the country.

Rodriguez is hopeful that this growth will be sustained in the years to come.

“I believe we can be what we can see. This gives the opportunity for all the Filipino boys and girls to know that women can play and women can commentate, women can officiate, as we can see here,” she said.

“This is really an opportunity for these girls to embrace this new opportunity for them and a reality that was not possible during my time. It is really telling that football is growing, with the support of the media and broadcasting that they’re growing with us.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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