“Fitsoccerqueen!” a man exclaims at the National Soccer Coaches Convention.
I look behind me and see him sprinting with a smile on his face, and with eagerness in his body language.
I reply with warmth, “hi, I’m Erica. Nice to meet you.”
*his jaw drops*
I’m not sure if he was flabbergasted I had a real first name, or how calm I was in my demeanor. Or both.
You see, this whole Fitsoccerqueen thing is a tiny depiction of who I am.
This persona, to that end, is not something I pulled out of thin air. Rather, it has a deeper meaning that extends far beyond being click bait and a catchy name for social media.
It defines my essence.
And it perfectly juxtaposes all facets of my personality: feminine, athletic, gritty, bold, reserved, intense, mysterious, serious, empathetic.
While I’m a walking tomboy with a love for sports, physical activity, and sweaty activities, I’m also a walking goddess with a love for the fashion industry, personal style, and French manicures.
And taking the conversation to my coaching career, I embody both the masculine and feminine energies that play to the Fitsoccerqueen character perfectly.
Some days, I’m the hard coach who drops tough love on my athletes.
Other days, I’m the empathetic coach who actively listens to my players’ problems.
Some days, I yell with tenacity, “put in the work!”
Other days I advise with a stoic demeanor, “it’s up to you to own your development.”
Some days, I’m the logical coach who approaches every session with a plan.
Other days, I’m the creative coach who goes into the session with total improvisation.
Some days, I let a college female athlete come into my office to cry her eyes to me for an hour.
Other days, I urge the same female athlete, “let’s forget the drama and get after it today.”
Some days, I program high intensity conditioning.
Other days, I take my girls to my boxing class.
You see, Fitsoccerqueen isn’t just a hype name.
It’s just me.
And while the queen may sound pompous to most, I beg to differ.
I believe all female athletes should own their strength and confidence, and step more into their power.
It’s okay to boast and use empowering words like “queen” or “goddess” or ” boss lady.” And if anyone says it’s bragging, they’re not taking action themselves. Nor are they owning their power.
Female athletes are all Fitsoccerqueens.
They all have the capacity to sweat, crush at their sport, build muscle, be powerful, and have powerful bodies like Serena Williams, all while being beautiful and caring women, and playing the part of magical goddesses.
While I initially created the Fitsoccerqueen name for myself, I realize it permeates onto all female athletes.
Even though I’m naturally shy when you meet me in person, I confidently own who I am on the inside and can comfortably fly under the radar at a party and allow others the chance to shine.
Don’t believe me? Put me in a room with 50 male coaches and I’ll let them gloat about themselves, as I quietly sit to myself, pierce them with my blue eyes, and be okay with who I am. Don’t need to prove anything.
Or put me on the phone with a parent who interrogates, “do you have anything to say for yourself and why my kid should train with you?” and I reply with, “just Google me or ask others. I don’t have much to say.”
Or put me on the phone with a colleague and I ask about how they are doing, how I can help them, or what new, exciting projects they are working on. I hate talking about myself.
Or bring me to a family party and everyone asks about how my work is going. I reply with, “good.” That’s it. Don’t need to explain. And don’t need the external validation.
That’s who Fitsoccerqueen is. Confident, humble, reserved, empowered.
Are you her?