Being your best: On and off the field
By Greg Bach
Tyler Lussi knows all about producing on the soccer field, as she’s Princeton’s all-time scoring leader.
That’s for both the men’s and women’s teams, by the way.
Her high-volume productivity is linked to unwavering confidence and self-belief, attributes she wants all young players in all sports to latch onto and take with them into games.
And into all areas of their life.
“Confidence is everything,” says Lussi, a versatile forward for Angel City in the National Women’s Soccer League. “When you believe in yourself and show up every day as the best you, then nothing can stop you.”
Committed to helping other young athletes navigate their journeys, she started the National College Recruiting Center in 2017 with her brother Hunter, a professional triathlete.
“Growing up I had so much support, not only in soccer but in the classroom and understanding that it’s OK to ask a teacher for help,” says Lussi, a two-time All-American who played on several of the U.S. Under 23 Women’s National Teams. “So if I can help one student-athlete in their life, whether it’s in their sport or off the field, then I know what I am doing is enough.”
A big part of her efforts involves helping youth develop in all areas of their lives.
“It’s important to be a well-rounded person and not just be really good at a sport,” she says. “It’s about how do I treat my teammates? How do I treat my classmates? How do I treat my teacher? How do I treat my parents? It’s really that team around the team environment that we’re trying to create. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have my parents helping me and guiding me and supporting me and driving me to practice and buying me the foods I needed to fuel myself. So it’s driving home the point that you need those people around you and it’s ok to ask for help.”
Check out what Lussi shared about her journey and use her insights to help guide young athletes as they navigate their athletic paths:
LISTEN TO TYLER LUSSI ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING DIALED INTO THE MOMENT AND NOT LINGERING ON A PAST MISCUE
IT’S OK TO BE OFF: Not every practice and game is draped in spectacular playmaking – and shouldn’t be expected either. “It’s ok to say you’re having a tough day physically or mentally because it’s not going to be perfect or great every single day,” she says. “So it’s important to have that support system where I can vent in a positive way and move forward from the process. But I have to be open to the feedback they give me to grow and learn.”
FIND THE FUN: “Be present in what you are doing and enjoy the people around you,” she says. “Have fun and laugh – it doesn’t always have to be so serious. And anytime you have setbacks make those your comebacks and just really enjoy the process.”
MANAGING MINDSETS: Rest, fuel, and a positive mindset before arriving at the field is crucial for squeezing the most out of your abilities. “Maximizing that time is so important,” Lussi says. “Making sure I get plenty of rest and fueling myself, there’s so many steps before you actually step onto the field, or court, or anywhere you’re playing that help lead to a better practice. It’s also huge in terms of mentality – if you don’t show up mentally prepared and confident in your abilities then it’s not going to show in your performance.”
VALUE OF DIVERSITY: Lussi played all sorts of sports growing up, and all those experiences were instrumental in her development. “I come from a very sporty family,” she says. “My parents are athletes and my older and younger brother are athletes, so it was great playing with them and competing with them in a positive and healthy way. And I was always trying new things, so I wasn’t just stuck on soccer the whole time. I was allowed to be a kid and explore different options and different sports, and then I had the pivotal moment where I found soccer and wanted to see how far I could take it.”
You can follow Tyler Lussi on Instagram @tylerlussi and Twitter @Tyler_lussi
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