21 results for tag: Soccer

Out With The New, In With The Old – Some Things Never Change

index   A lot has changed since my childhood in the 80’s. Some obvious examples are, there were no cell phones, people actually used payphones or home phones, pen to paper was a thing - computers were just being introduced into schools, my mullet was in fashion, and Fuller House was on television, Oh wait. Full House. But I’m here to talk about sports, soccer specifically. The opportunities for young female soccer players today are remarkable. There has been considerable growth in the participation of female soccer players. According to U.S. Youth Soccer there were roughly 400,000 active youth female soccer players in the mid 1980’s compared to the 1.6 million currently. It’s an exciting time to be a female athlete and simultaneously a difficult time as well. Due to all the opportunities and options at every level of play it seems we have created a fear based model for our athletes. We have them specializing in one sport at a much earlier age and feed them with nonsense such as “If you don’t play on this team you won’t stand out. If you don’t go to this tournament you won’t be seen by college or youth national team coaches.”... More

Lessons Learned

IMG_2856 On December 21, 2014 I was carried off the field after helping my Australian team win the championship game. This was my final professional soccer game before hanging up my boots for good. Fast-forward 453 days and my alarm goes off at 4:45am – time to train. Not myself, but our first group of clients at Ambitious Athletics. It has been a whirlwind of a year, one filled with a ton of new experiences and lessons. The biggest lesson has been the transition from an athlete’s mindset to a coach’s mindset. Now after a year under my belt as a full time coach I thought there was no better time to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve come to understand. I realized that many of the life lessons I learned from soccer are the same lessons that I’ve applied in my first year as a coach.... More

The Power of Play

IMG_4172Talking to young Samoan soccer players. Photo credit: Ola Thorsen

 

I just returned from 2+ weeks of travel to New Zealand and Samoa. I was traveling in conjunction with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Soccer. We packed a ton of work into a short amount of time and besides the fifteen-hour flight to and from Auckland there was quite a bit of travel within the travel.

Needless to say, I was busy, but overall the trip was fantastic. I trained young athletes, met with educators on how to grow the sport of soccer, and spoke to LGBTQ advocates about my experience as an out athlete. I love this work. As I’ve been afforded so many incredible experiences through my playing career it’s wonderful to be able to share my stories and help those who haven’t been as fortunate or need a bit of guidance in their journey.... More

A Look Back – Women’s World Cup 2015: The Foundation of Success

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Photo: Michael Chow - USA Today Sports

  Originally written July 2015

Wow! I can’t believe it!

It has already been a month since the Women’s World Cup final, and yet I’m definitely still experiencing a high from all the emotions of that momentous final match. Can you imagine the elation the women felt when the final whistle blew? Can you imagine the relief they felt after beating Japan in the final when just four years earlier they had fallen short? Can you imagine how many games, training sessions, gym sessions it took to get there? I was fortunate to be able to travel to Canada, not only for the final but also for a number of the U.S. Women’s games. The enthusiasm surrounding each game was contagious and you could feel the excitement grow with each U.S. win.... More

#RepsForRapinoe – Side Plank

Building a strong and stable core is a crucial component to improving athletic performance and staying healthy. Did you try the Pallof Press yet?! Sneaky, hard exercise, right?! What about the:
  • Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Band Pull-Aparts
  • KB Goblet Lateral Lunge
  • 1-Arm Standing Band Row
These are great exercises to add to your repertoire.... More

#RepsForRapinoe – 1-Arm Standing Band Row

Posture affects all aspects of life. Due to hours of being slouched over at computers and cell phones, we have created a society of rounded shoulders and forward head posture. Posture has a direct effect on our performance and is the key to keeping us healthy and injury free. A great way to negate said poor posture is by performing more pulling exercises (i.e. rowing) than pushing exercises (i.e. push-ups).... More

#RepsForRapinoe – KB Goblet Lateral Lunge

Most of us live our lives in the sagittal plane, meaning that we primarily move in a forward and backward motion, neglecting any other direction. Sports are played in all three functional planes, therefore it’s beneficial to train in these different planes to maximize performance and prevent injury. The same goes for everyday life.... More

#RepsForRapinoe – Pallof Press

When it comes to core training most of us think of sit ups and crunches or exercises that require excessive movement in the core. However, these exercises lack the true function of the core, which is the ability to stabilize and resist rotation. That’s not to say these exercises are bad or there isn’t a time and place for them but there are other modalities that can access the full potential of the core.... More

#RepsForRapinoe – Band Pull-Aparts

Strength training doesn’t only include lifting heavy weights. In fact, some of the most effective and important exercises use only your bodyweight or resistance bands. The band pull-apart isn’t only a strength exercise but also a corrective exercise, it will help improve our posture and keep our shoulders healthy. With the majority of us sitting all day, playing on our phones and typing on computers, we have created a society of rounded shoulders and forward head lean.... More

#RepsForRapinoe – Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat

One of my all time favorite single-leg exercises is the Bulgarian Split Squat or the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat. It has been a staple in my programs for as long as I can remember - mainly because you feel like a badass when performing them but also you get the most bang for your buck with single leg training.... More