Thanks very much for your questions for U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd. There were some excellent ones this time and we’re sorry that we could not answer them all. We’ve chosen a select few for Carli to field as she lounged at the team hotel in an FC Barcelona t-shirt. (It’s her favorite club). So here we go…
Synsyn23 asked: What do you feel is the best piece of advice you could give to a college soccer player who hopes to become as skilled as you someday?
Carli: “I really think that the important work on your skills is done at a young age. Hopefully, you loved the game enough to go out and play as much as possible when you were a little girl and now that is paying off. Of course, you can always work to improve your ability with the ball, but I feel like college is the place where you get mentally and physically tougher. It’s also a special four years where you really grow as a person off the field and that can help you develop your maturity as a player as well.”
Zoe asked: Was there ever a time in your soccer playing career that you didn't make a certain team or roster? If so, how did you deal with that and what did you do to make it the next time around?
Carli: “I’ve struggled in a lot of different environments…when I tried out for ODP, when I first came in with the U.S. U-21s and of course trying to break into the full National Team. I’ve found that nothing is ever easy when you are trying to reach the highest levels. Even when I first broke into the National Team in 2005, I was left off a few game rosters. One thing I always did was kept working hard. Sometimes it’s hard to find the self-confidence, and I admit at times mine wavered, but you have to keep believing that you belong here and be smart about doing the things that will help you impress the coaches and contribute to the team’s success. Making the National Team is to be among the most elite of players, so there is bound to be some failure along the way. It happens to everyone, but the players that stick are the ones that learn from their mistakes and keep improving.”
Changy12 asked: It seems like you always score goals at the right place and the right time. But whenever you take a shot do you ever feel really nervous or are you more relaxed and collected? And during the Olympics against Brazil, after you connected with the ball, did you know that it was going to go in?
Carli: “That’s a lot of questions Changy, but I’ll do my best. I am always looking to shoot in games, but since I’ve trained so many hours and put in all the hard work, scoring a goal in a game happens by instinct. You are never nervous. Getting a chance to shoot is more fun than nerve-wracking. In the Olympic gold medal game, I knew that when the shot left my foot that I had hit it well. You never know if a goalkeeper is going to make a great save, but it happened to take a dip at the right time and skidded under the goalkeeper. I have to say, I was kind of in shock when it went in. Overtime. Gold medal game. It was just amazing.”
Jelly asked: Off the pitch, what is the most amazing thing you have done (sky diving, bull riding, serving for a week building a house for a family, etc.)? What could be included on a list of things you would like to do in your spare time?
Carli: “I was on the Eureka Sky Deck in Melbourne, Australia, that is the highest public vantage point in the southern hemisphere. It’s basically sort of a glass cube/observation deck that moves out 10 feet from the building when you are lying face down looking through the glass about 1,000 feet up. I was completely sweating. Feet, palms, the whole thing. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. As far as my spare time, I do things much less exciting than that. I talk on my phone a lot, text, sometimes I scrapbook and certainly watch a lot of shows on my DVD player. That’s basically the life of someone who spends so much time on the road.”
Blacke12 asked: Does all the traveling ever wear you down or make you jet lagged? How do you recover from such long trips such as the 12 hour flight to China and still have enough energy to perform as well as you do on the field?
Carli: “That’s a good question because a lot of times people forget how hard it is to fly across the world and have to perform at a high level. I make sure to really hydrate on the plane ride over there and keep hydrating the whole time. Eating good food is also important and for sure getting in a good workout right when you get there helps the legs a lot. You really have to try to adjust your sleep patterns right away, and fortunately I’ve never had a problem doing that. Some players on the team really struggle with their sleep in other time zones, but I guess I’m just a really good sleeper.”
Kate asked: I am assuming you were like every child one day dreaming of going to the Olympics and World Cup, winning the game for your country and team. But when did you actually start to think, "wait I can actually do that" and what made you think that? Thanks and great job in China!!!
Carli: “To be honest, it was just a couple years ago that I thought I might be able to excel at this level. It really happened when I did a 180-degree change with my training habits, which helped me become confident and certainly much fitter. I came to the realization that I needed to make some changes in my work ethic or I just wasn’t going to make it on the National Team. I had a lot help in my coaches and trainers and when you start to get some success, you just want to do more.”
Agatasoccerchick asked: It's so cool that we may ask you a question. I have two for you. First of all, what do you guys like to do as a team (National Team)? My other one is, because I am getting a tattoo in short future. It will be a National Team logo with a word underneath it, can you please help me pick a word, something like dedication, commitment, sacrifice or maybe you have something else? Thank you sooooo much!
Carli: “Thanks for the questions and I’m glad you guys got the chance to ask me some questions as well. As far as what we do together as a team, we do a lot of things when we’re on the road, but nothing too exciting. We’ll go shopping, to movies, to the beach and of course we love to play with the kids whose moms our on the team. In the past, we’ve spent so much time together that you have to find ways to fill the downtime, but a lot us like to chill in our rooms as well because training certainly takes a lot out of you. As far as the tattoo, this might be a question for Natasha Kai. I really don’t think I should be suggesting a word that will be permanently inscribed on your body. I do think tattoos are a personal thing, and if you do get one, it’s got to come from your heart and your experience. If watching us play for the National Team brings any certain emotions from you, maybe that’s a good word to choose. So now I am record with your mom as not suggesting anything!”