Could you share a little bit of background about yourself?
I am originally from England – I have been in the U.S. for 4 and a half years working for U.S. Soccer. In my role I oversee the sports science and physiological aspects of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. My job requires me to use science, technology and research to deliver innovative and progressive sport science services. I am responsible for athletic development, optimal preparation of players for competition, monitoring of physical loads, recovery and injury prevention protocols, nutritional strategies, strength and conditioning prescription, and player education.
Before joining U.S. Soccer, I worked for four years at the England Football Association as a sport scientist with their youth female National Teams. Alongside this role, I also worked for Birmingham Women F.C. with their first team in the English professional league. During my time at Birmingham, I helped the team achieve success in league and cup competitions, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
I have a BSc in Sport Science from the University of Birmingham, and an MSc in Exercise Physiology from Loughborough University. I currently live in Chicago. My job requires me to travel extensively both in the U.S. and worldwide for training camps and competition.
What do you love about your current job?
I love the fact it is so dynamic. No two days are the same. There are always new tasks and new projects to be working on, new people to meet, and new places to visit with the teams. I love the fact I get to travel around the world and go to places I probably wouldn’t have been able to if my job hadn’t taken me there, e.g. Jordan, Papua New Guinea, China. I love seeing players improve, grow and develop, and ultimately perform on the world stage.
What skills do you use every day?
Communication and people skills – e.g. with players, coaches, trainers, administrators
Organization and planning – periodization, players training programs, camp schedules
Teamwork – there can be up to 40 staff and 30 players when we are in camp, so being able to work as part of a team is very important.
Project management – managing task flow and completing projects efficiently is essential - high-performance sport is fast moving, so the ability to get tasks done to a high standard whilst under pressure is key.
What advice would you give to women seeking a position in the sports industry?
Get a mentor! Someone in the industry that you trust and feel comfortable talking to – someone that provides you with constructive feedback. Build a network of people in your field – invest your time in people, learn from people, be challenged by people. Never forget where you came from and the people who helped you along the way – stay humble.
What is one piece of advice you wished someone had told you before starting this career path?
After high school and through college I wanted a definite answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up." I was worried that my first job would decide much of my future. I didn't realize that I had time to work it out. It takes some people 10 or more years to find the perfect career. The key is to follow your passion and keep moving into the direction that feels interesting or exciting. Keep talking, keep learning and keep finding exploring different experiences.
Who inspires you the most, and why?
My family – because I couldn’t do what I do without them! They have supported me throughout my journey and have always given me the best chance to be successful in what I do.