Becoming a professional football player one day – that is Lara Sophie’s big dream. And chances seem good, since football is much more than just a sport to her – it’s her life. Lara Sophie attends a boarding school for competitive sport and thus plays football every single day. We chatted with the aspiring football pro about her intensive training routines, life at boarding school and her love for goal scoring. Pics: private
What does your training routine look like?
In September I’ve started training at Austrian’s national centre for women’s football (Nationales Zentrum für Frauenfußball), which is linked to a boarding school for competitive sports. So I basically live there during the week. I train six to seven times a week, each session lasts for about two hours. Plus, on Friday afternoons I train in my local club.
Each training session consists of exercises for technique, tackling, shooting and tactics. In a special strength training we concentrate on the whole body and the muscular power. We usually train indoors in a football hall. For endurance training purposes we have multiple training varieties. But to be honest, my favourite training is simply practicing goal scoring.
Favourite training place?
I mostly train at the national centre for women’s football, which is in St. Pölten, Lower Austria. Or I love running through the vineyards near the Bisamberg, whenever I’m home on the weekends.
Which position do you play?
Up front as a striker or as a number 10.
How did you get into sport?
It’s all because of my older brother Marcel. My mum always took me to his trainings when I was little. One day I started doing his exercises on the side of the pitch. Later on, at the age of 5 I was allowed to play in my brother’s club, as this was a lot easier to organise for my parents. The coaches saw my talent and suggested I should train with the boys for as long as possible. Since the boys I played with were older and therefore further developed in their football skills, I was already very challenged at a young age, which helped me a lot later on.
Later in school I was able to attend a class dedicated to football. This class was for both girls and boys, but during trainings we were separated and had different coaches. I was lucky to make a good impression in the girl’s team and was asked to play with the boys again. Of course I accepted the challenge and played in both teams.
For how long have you been doing sports and how regularly are you doing sports?
I started playing when I was 5 years old. Now, I train about 5-7 times per week.
Why are you into football?
I’ve always loved playing football and have been very ambitious from an early age on. As far as I remember I wanted to be the best at everything. Nowadays I really enjoy to progress and become better, which can only be achieved through constant and challenging training. That’s the only way to pursue your dreams.
How do you stay motivated to keep going with your training and not give up?
My dream is to play for the Austrian National Football Team one day and to compete internationally on the pitch. Those are the goals that I want to achieve and they keep me motivated.
How’s life at the boarding school?
It’s fun! Everything is planned and organised. Training and tuition is well balanced. Training sessions are spread across the day and can be before midday instead of classes or in the afternoons.
The school is for girls and boys aged between 14 and 19 and is dedicated to many different sport, football being one of them. We have one more year of school compared to a regular Austrian school. There are usually about 10 students in each cohort resulting in a total of up to 50. Sometimes a few might be missing due to injuries.
Did you have to pass entry exams?
Yes, there were general sport related physiological and psychological exams and I had to demonstrate my football skills. Since this is the only boarding school of its kind in Austria the interest for attending is pretty high. For my cohort there were only spots for 10 students, but we had 80 applicants.
Thoughts before, during and after a training?
Before: I’m really looking forward to the training and learning new things.
During: I don’t really know, as I’m really focusing on the exercises.
After: I usually reflect on my performance and if I could have done something better.
How does sport influence your daily life?
Football does not only influence my life, it is my life!
Would you say you are competitive: when it comes to sport? In general?
Yes, a lot! Especially in sports I always want to achieve the best results possible. Truth is, nobody likes to lose …
Is there anything positive or negative you would like to share?
I can only encourage to keep on going, even if it’s difficult from time to time.
If you weren’t into sports what would you be doing instead?
In five key words: What are the best things about your training you want to share with the readers?
Courage, strength, success, perseverance and of course fun.
What was your most memorable moment?
Well, there are two.
Last year I scored the only goal in the boy’s national school cup final. For the first time in the Austrian history it was a girl who scored the winning goal to secure the title.
And this year as I played the last time for the girl’s team in the national championship and really wanted to win the game, I even managed to score the winning goal in the final of the competition which brought us the title the third time in four years.
Your favourite motivational quote?
Success has nothing to do with luck, but is the result of blood, sweat and tears.