You might expect that one of the most decorated players in women's football would not have much more to learn about the game. In fact, few players – women or men – can even come close to matching Mia Hamm's accomplishments: 158 international goals and 144 assists in 275 games, two Olympic gold medals and one World Cup title.
But along with former coach Anson Dorrence, Hamm visited Arsenal's training centre at London Colney on a fact-finding mission. Their goal was to take lessons learned about the techniques and practices used at Arsenal back to the United States.
After touring Arsenal's facilities and observing training sessions, Hamm was left duly impressed - and perhaps a bit jealous - by everything from the high-tech training gadgets to the pristine pitches.
Every staff member is invested into Arsenal Football Club and making sure that every player who walks through that door has everything they need to reach their potential.Mia Hamm
"I would have loved to have just competed on surfaces like this," she told Arsenal Player. "The grounds are stupendous.
"But to see what these athletes have at their disposal – from GPS tracking devices to the training pitches to the training room to the sport and fitness facilities, everything is there to make them the best they can possibly be.
"It takes a lot of the stress off in terms if 'why do I feel tired as a player?' That's something I always remember: 'Man, I'm just dragging today!' These athletes have the ability to get that feedback instantaneously."
Hamm also had special praise for the staff at the training centre - and the techniques they employ.
"What you see is every staff member is invested into Arsenal Football Club and making sure that every player who walks through that door has everything they need to reach their potential. For the players who are lucky enough to be here it's a tremendous experience."
But the centrepiece of her visit was a long lunch with Arsène Wenger while discussing football philosophy.
"What we talked about I think it translates to both the women's and the men's side. It's about people and how you train them and how you motivate them to reach their potential.
"One of the things he was talking about was the vision of a player and how you develop that. How do you see it? What are some of the important attributes he sees as a manager. Asking him about how you manage personalities because at this level that's incredibly important to make sure you are all on the same page and are committed to one common goal.
"It was a very special opportunity and we were so grateful for it. Seeing the players train, seeing the intensity and their commitment. These are experiences and stories you can share with people because you have seen the best of the best do it."Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Apr 2014