Tobin Heath: The Advantage of Constant Competition
You don’t get to the top by taking the easy road. The good test themselves against the best to one day get to the next level. Whether it’s in structured practice, individual training, or against the best possible opposition, you must take the test and work to ace it. For Tobin Heath, that meant playing up age groups and working constantly to challenge her own skills. Here, in her own words, Tobin tells how she made it. This is her roadmap. Time to make yours. Take Every Advantage.
Work Everywhere and Anywhere
When I was 4, there was a soccer something going on behind our local YMCA, and my parents just threw me into it, and automatically I just fell in love with the sport and didn’t ever want to stop playing. That’s all I ever wanted to do. It happened at a pretty young age when I was really grabbed into the sport, and that was cool, and I just continued to play through the town team, the rec team, up until I was about 7, when a longtime coach created the PDA, which is one of the elite clubs today. That was Under-13 for me.
That was sweet because I had the best coaches and great opportunities at a young age to develop my game. We didn’t just show up to train for the weekly practice; we went out and did a lot of things on our own, trained with other teams, with individual coaches. Everyone was pushing the limit to be the best player they could be, and that’s what it takes.
I spent a lot of time with the ball and at the fields. I can remember I always wanted my mom to take me early to practice, and then after, she’d have to literally drag me off the field to get home. I just wanted to play. It didn’t matter with whom, or really with what. The coaches and stuff were a great influence on me, because if I was just hanging around, they would let me jump into sessions. Or if I just wanted to have a technical session, they’d run me through shooting drills or whatever, or I’d just be by myself there with the ball. I was really just crazy about the sport.
I would create these obstacle courses that I would do. For dribbling and stuff. I would have to do certain moves or certain turns with the ball and change direction and stuff. I would start by doing it slow and then I would work my way up to see how fast I could do it and the most control I could do it with. That was my big thing. I would make it crazy creative. The most random things you could think of. Sometimes this would go down in my house, so it would be like hit the ball over the couch, one bounce, bring it down, dribble through or around the dining room table, come back, turn around, juggle the length of the hallway, and then kick it between two chair legs. Out of the field it was the same thing; I would just throw down cones. I would do all different variations of dribbling through them, and moves around them. I would move the cones tighter and tighter so your touch would have to be precise.
Tobin Heath Elastico Versus Mexico
Tobin Heath's pulls of a Ronaldiho like elastico and crosses the ball perfectly for Abby Wambach to head home. It will be interesting to see how much time on the pitch Tobin Heath gets in this upcoming World Cup. Heath is certainly able to pull off the unexpected when the ball is at her foot.