RAISING TOMORROW'S CHAMPIONS BLOG

Beyond the Book

With more than 150 interviews conducted throughout 2019 and 2020, we gathered far more material, about far more people, than could fit in one book. We will use this space, focusing on the earliest members of the National Team, to shine more light on the life lessons they shared.

Pioneers: Gretchen Zigante, the First Full-Time Professional Women's Soccer Player

April 3, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
Gretchen Zigante's claim to fame: She was America's first full-time professional women's soccer player.
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Should My Daughter Play Up? The Question Never Goes Away

April 3, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
To play on age, or “up” with girls a year older? That is the question that has dogged my daughter and our family ever since U.S. Soccer’s controversial 2016 mandate that young American soccer players be grouped by their birth year rather than their school year. By then my daughter had already been playing soccer […]
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Pioneers: Stacey Enos, the National Team's First Tar Heel

March 25, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
INTRODUCING: Stacey Enos COLLEGE: The University of North Carolina PLAYGROUND PASSION: With no youth soccer or school teams to play for, Stacey started her athletic life on the softball field with girls and on the playgrounds with boys playing pickup soccer games. By age 14, Stacey found her way to Frisch’s, a soccer club team […]
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Pioneers: Ruth Harker, The Goaltender With a Heart of Gold

March 16, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
INTRODUCING: Ruth Harker COLLEGE: University of Missouri-St. Louis PAYING HER WAY: Though her brother was supported in his desire to play sports growing up in the Bridgeton Terrace neighborhood long since taken over by airport expansion in St. Louis, Ruth was encouraged to be a cheerleader. She wanted no part of it. “I was Forrest […]
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Abusive Behavior: When Does a Coach Cross the Line?

March 10, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
When does a coach cross the line? The phrase, “I know it when I see it,” infamously first invoked by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in a landmark 1964 case that first attempted to legally define obscenity, seems to apply in the same way to coaching abuse — which means that, unless the abuse is physical, it’s often unclear if truly unacceptable behavior is happening.
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"Does My Daughter Have Potential?"

March 5, 2021 | written by Joanna Lohman
I have been coaching and providing private soccer sessions for close to two decades now and — Wow! — just saying that out loud makes me feel old. I work with children of all genders, ages and skill levels.
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Pioneers: Denise Merdich, the Selfless Teammate

March 2, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
Denise never considered herself athletic until John Dunlap, the father of a fellow future National Teamer, Joan Dunlap-Seivold, invited her to play soccer shortly after the Boyer family moved from California to the Seattle area.
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Pioneers: Kim Wyant, Still Making History

February 26, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
Growing up in Miami, Kim was often the best athlete playing whatever sport was in season, even though everyone else participating was a boy.
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Pioneers: Denise Bender, Never Say Quit

February 14, 2021 | written by Paul Tukey
INTRODUCING: Denise Bender COLLEGE: Washington State and the University of Washington INTRODUCTION TO SOCCER: Growing up with a brother and twin sister on Mercer Island near Seattle, Denise competed in gymnastics and diving, as well as track and basketball, and didn’t start playing soccer until the Mercer Island Jockettes were formed in the early 1970s. […]
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Published By Inspire Media Publishing