The Soccer Queens Podcast is a show dedicated to empowering young female athletes, building them into strong women, and inspiring them to live with confidence and purpose. I interview coaches who are walking the walk, practicing what they preach, and who are encouraging girls to find their gems. step into their power, and excel on the pitch and off.
A lot of people think I have some big secret on my athletic and professional success. Whether you’re an athlete who wants to play Division 1 or professionally, or become the best version of yourself on the pitch and off, you have to put in the good old-fashioned hard work. To become a high performer, you have to put in the reps day in and day out, lean into discomfort, tackle failure with tenacity, and continue the lifelong pursuit of leveling up, as an athlete and human. You better work, Queen.
Leveling up on the pitch means optimizing all components of performance – from physical training, to stress management and recovery, to nutrition, to sleep, to relationships, to purpose, to community – in order to be your best self and show up empowered and resilient, you must take inventory of these seven pieces. The hard truth is being relentlessly consistent with being aware of your weaknesses, analyzing where you fall short, and taking the daily actions steps to improve. To become your best on the pitch and off, it’s time to be strict with yourself and get out of old habits that weren’t serving you.
As long as you are an athlete, you will compare yourself to others who are crushing it. While you cannot totally end comparison, you can turn it into productive energy to focus on your own strengths, get to work on your weaknesses, and continue to level up. Do not let comparison be the thief of joy. Let it be an impetus for personal growth and empowered action.
Preparing yourself as much as possible, in fact, over-preparing and dialing in relentlessly on your training and mental wellbeing, allows you to walk on the field with confidence and conviction. You also have to prepare yourself relentlessly for the challenges and rock bottoms in life so you can handle anything that comes your way, especially during times of COVID-19. My guest Dr. Tommy John, a holistic human builder with over 20 years in performance and healing, gives the tough love young girls need to play sports fearlessly, and to approach life fiercely during this fear-based time.
Former college teammate of mine, Sarah Gieszl, comes on the show to discuss her battle with bulimia and anorexia as a college soccer player. Her story is one on hope, friendship and strength. She shares how she crawled out of rock bottom to completely shift her life in a new, empowering direction, and become fully healed today as a strong woman now in medical school.
No matter how strong, fast and prepared you are physically, the potential to crack under pressure due to a poor mental state will kill you. This episode dives into how to begin meditating as a daily, non-negotiable practice, so you can calm your internal state for better focus, creativity, and motivation to perform at a high level.
It’s tough out there for a young female athlete. There’s injuries, gossip, degrading coaches, tight competition, recruiting stress and so much more. In order for a young girl to shine her brightest, it becomes paramount to remember her strengths, calm her internal state and walk onto the pitch with confidence. Coach Shay Haddow provides actionable steps for female soccer players to feel their most empowered on and off the field.
Having only superficial meanings to train – get the scholarship, get the awards, look good, get faster, etc are not enough. Stop. Right. There. There is a far greater secret to accomplish anything on the pitch and in life. What is it? Find out in this next episode where I force you to dig deep, get clear on your values, and find meaning with who you wish to be.
Injuries suck. No one wants to be sidelined and watch the rest of the squad training and having fun and going hard. However, in order to truly heal and come back stronger, you have to analyze what has been causing you pain, and tweak accordingly. This episode discusses several ways to heal yourself, and how to outsource to a professional to come back better than you were prior to injury. It’s not enough to be pain free. How are you adjusting your life so you can return to the pitch more explosive, more powerful and stronger than ever before?
This week’s guest, Darien Pyka, is a total powerhouse. She played college soccer at the Division 1 level, and now is the strength and conditioning coach at University of Southern California. Her coaching philosophy revolves around building the female athlete as a human first, and ensuring she moves well, nourishes, and manages stress so she can be the most powerful and strongest expression of herself in her athletic pursuits.
This week’s guest, Mike Whiteman, is the performance coach of the Riverhounds Academy, working with hundreds of youth female athletes on speed, strength and power development. He discusses why it’s important for the young girl to master efficient body movement first during the critical years of growth, and then how she can progress into a lightning speed athlete as she goes through high school and beyond.