Maturing in different environments...part of the path for U20 USYNT goalkeeper Claudia Dickey.
State player of the year. United States youth national teams. NCAA finalist. World Cup qualifying. These are just a few of the accolades and experiences that our most recent blog guest has to her name. We recently got the opportunity to speak with UNC women's soccer goalkeeper Claudia Dickey! Hear all about her journey as a multi-sport athlete and the experiences that have helped her develop into one of the most promising young goalkeepers in the women's game.
1. Growing up, were you always a multi-sport athlete? Do you think the lack of specialization lead to greater success for you as an athlete?
Yes, I was always a multi-sport athlete. I could never only play one sport at a time. I’ve always believed that because my parents allowed me to invest time in multiple sports it helped me excel and contributed to my success in my current sport.
2. You had great success as a youth player with both soccer and basketball, how did you balance playing both sports with the demands in the classroom as well?
I think at times it was extremely difficult to balance both sports with school and with friends. I think the thing that helped me the most was the willingness of both my parents to allow me to train and travel whenever I needed. They always gave me access to great resources and people to help me throughout everything. It was always difficult on me because sometimes it felt like I was missing out on hanging out with my friends or going on vacations but at the end of the day I always knew what I wanted and what was more important to me.
3. Not only were you State Player of the Year and an All-American, you also were heavily involved with the youth national teams. How did that experience help your development? How did it provide you motivation for the future?
I think the youth national teams really helped me develop as a player and a person because being around those who had similar passions as me made me realize how important soccer was to me and that I wanted to be the best. Being at camp you are surrounded by the best from all over the country and that really motivated me to want to push myself in every way. Also, representing my country was always the biggest honor in itself. I look back now and realize how lucky I am to be able to be a part of such an amazing experience.
4. What was the recruitment process like for you? Were you dead set on playing both sports at the collegiate level?
I was always dead set on playing both basketball and soccer in college. I grew up in love with both sports and never in a million years wanted to have to give up either of them. Many college coaches told me it would be impossible but when I met with Anson (the soccer coach at UNC) he promised me he would give the