As a mom with two boys consumed by the sport, we watch A LOT of soccer. So, you can imagine my excitement when presented with the opportunity to interview Lindsay Tarpley, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with the US Women's National Team. Lindsay will be working with kids during the Disney Soccer Academy here at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this summer.
In addition to her two Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008, she was also a captain of the US Women's U-19 World Cup title team (scoring the winning goal in double overtime), a member of the University of North Carolina's national championship team and was voted the 2003 NCAA National Player of the Year. With a resume like that, I couldn't wait to hear her story!
Q: When did you start playing soccer?
I started playing soccer when I was four. My older brother played and I wanted to do everything he did. He continued to be my inspiration throughout my career. Playing with him and his friends really instilled my desire to challenge myself and be the best I can be. They always included me, but never let me win! I credit my entire family for supporting my dreams.
Q: How did you transition into professional soccer?
When I was 12 years old, I started playing in the Olympic Development Program. I was first called up to the U.S. National Team at age 13 and stayed in the program throughout my career. I played school and club soccer during high school, with my parents often driving me two hours each way for club practice.
Q: What is your training and diet regimen for peak performance?
To reach peak performance, I would train six days a week, usually twice a day. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is so important. It's also ideal to have a recovery snack immediately after a training session. Bananas and chocolate milk are great.
Q: What advice do you have for young, aspiring soccer players?
Have fun! No matter what level you reach, you will always look back at your journey to get there. It's also important to get touches on the ball every single day. When you don't have practice, take the time to juggle. I used to play on a tennis court to get better at playing on a faster surface. The more time you have a ball at your feet, the better player you will be!
Q: What does a day look like for Lindsay Tarpley now?
First and foremost, I am a mother to my son, Jacob, and daughter, Alexandra. I stay busy hosting soccer camps and recently launched a company with four other women's soccer players.
Q: What can parents expect when you visit Disney Soccer Academy?
I am very excited to be at Disney Soccer Academy. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the kids. I am passionate about spreading my love for the game to our future athletes.
Do you have a soccer player between the ages of 5-18? Join Lindsay at Disney Soccer Academy this summer.
Lori is a member of the 2016 Disney Parks Moms Panel representing ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. She is here to answer your questions and help you plan your team's next trip.