★FitStars: U.S. Women’s Soccer Star Julie Foudy
Have soccer fever? Us, too! We seriously couldn’t be more jazzed at how well the U.S. Women’s soccer team is doing in the World Cup. And just in time for the Women’s World Cup final, we got the opportunity to chat with soccer super-star Julie Foudy. (Yeah, we geeked, too.)
Julie has played in a total of four World Cups (two of which she won!) and three Olympics (racking up two gold medals and a silver), and a few years ago she was inducted in the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame. Since retiring from the field, Foudy is still very, very much active in soccer, doing sports broadcasting for the Women’s World Cup and heading up the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy (love!). Read on for her take on the 2011 Women’s World Cup, why she loves soccer and her everything-in-moderation approach to healthy eating!
Interview with Soccer Star Julie Foudy
- FBG: You’ve accomplished many, many things in your career. What stands out as the biggest accomplishment and the one you’re most proud of?
- JF: Hmmm, hard to say. Each World Cup or Olympics seemed to get better and better, which is why they could never get rid of us! Probably the last Olympics in 2004 when we beat Brazil in the final, as it was our last big event, and for those of us retiring (Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett and me), we wanted to end on a high note, of course.
- FBG: Does watching the World Cup this year bring back memories?
- JF: Of course. All great memories of how hard you work together as a team for something that only happens every four years. All the preparation, training and time together to see if you can bring it all together for three weeks during the summer. It is the best. I miss that adrenaline rush.
- FBG: Why do you love soccer? And how does it help your fitness?
- JF: I love soccer as it allows me to run around outside in the sunshine with friends…to laugh, play, sweat, be competitive, feel strong and learn from teammates around me.
- FBG: If you’ve never played soccer before, how can you get started?
- JF: Buy a ball and just start juggling (no hands, not that kind of juggling!). Do as much as you can with a ball and sign up. Try it, find a team that you love. Find a club that fits your goals and style. And then laugh lots.
- FBG: What are the benefits of soccer?
- JF: I need a book for this one. It is why we started the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academies and what I love about PUMA’s commitment to women’s soccer. Sports is so much more than just about being active and healthy. Those are two huge reasons I love the sport, but I also love that sports define you. Sports give you the tools to be a confident, strong, grounded young woman and the skill-set to lead on the field and off. I’ve always believed that sport is one of the greatest gifts in life, and with PUMA we can continue spreading the message of positivity, self-confidence and leadership to young athletes.
- FBG: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- JF: Billie Jean King told me, “Pressure is a privilege.” I love that. Also, from Dr. Colleen Hacker, who worked with our national team for many years, when I asked her what to do about the pre-game nerves….she said, “Butterflies are great; just teach them to fly in formation.”
- FBG: What’s the best piece of advice you can give our readers?
- JF: FIND THE FUN. Sports are meant to be fun. Laugh lots, dream lots, be competitive and remember that setbacks are what make you stronger.
- FBG: What is your typical workout routine and healthy eating plan like?
- JF: Donuts in the morning with my coffee. Then waffles with my kids. Then pancakes. No, actually, even though I love my donuts and think they are good for the soul, I try to limit them to once per week (try). And I balance fruits with protein (meat, eggs are my top two), plus a healthy dose of carbs ’cause I love my bread and pasta. I stay away from fried foods, and have learned big salads with lots of veggies, beans and cheese (plus ranch and salsa) make them yummy.
- FBG: What’s playing on your iPod and why?
- JF: Adele’s 21…David Gray…and Elton John—because our driver over here at the World Cup in Germany performs Elton John on a grand piano (no joke). I have not sung as much “Daniel” in the last two lifetimes as I have in these two weeks.
- FBG: Any other thoughts?
- JF: Yes, a couple cool items that I am working on with PUMA. I’m excited to be involved in PUMA’s Project Pink initiative this year. I love that this is a program that came from a group of female soccer players who wanted to get involved and support the fight against breast cancer, and that PUMA took the initiative to grow it from there. Their mission of empowering young women to do good within their communities aligns so well with the mission of my leadership academies, and I’m excited to incorporate Project Pink into my programs this season. You can nominate and vote for the charity who’ll benefit from the funds raised by Project Pink at puma.com/projectpink, buy the gear at Shop.PUMA.com and soccer retailers all over the country, support the cause during WPS games throughout the season, and tweet using hash tag #projectpink to drive additional donations.
Love her love of life! A big thanks to Julie for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about soccer! Be sure to follow her at @JulieFoudy and check out her blog at puma.com/womenssoccer for all things women’s soccer! —Jenn