We caught up with Frisco’s very own FC Dallas MLS player, Coy Craft, after his CONCACAF championship win with the U.S. U-20s for a little Q&A.
Q: How old were you when you started playing soccer? A: I started playing soccer at a young age. I can’t remember the exact age but it was probably 4-5 in a recreational league in Abingdon, VA. It wasn’t until later it became competitive for me.
Q: Did you play any other sports growing up? A: When I was young I liked to always just be playing. I played t-ball and loved to throw the football with my dad but my main focus has always been soccer. The only other sport I got to do competitively was cross country my freshman year of high school, first semester.
Q: What is it that you love about the game of soccer? A: I love the creativity and flow of the game. No game is the same, and certain players can become the protagonist and rewrite the game and take it over. It doesn’t have stoppages or timeouts, it requires a lot of heart and passion for the game.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of being a professional soccer player?
A: The most challenging part is the fitness and physical part as well as the speed of play. The majority of the skill a player will require before they turn pro. I’m not saying it won’t be refined, but the creativity is born in the younger ages. Being able to attack and defend at the professional level for 90 minutes is difficult because you can’t take any plays off.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of being a professional soccer player?
A: Most of us, soccer is a passion and a love. Being able to make a living, doing something you love and have dedicated so much time and sacrificed so much for is very rewarding because it’s a dream of many. Also, being competitive in nature, winning trophies and having a good season is also something we all chase after because it’s part of the job and it’s rewarding.
Q: What would you say is the secret to your success?
A: Sacrifice and hard work. With this sport you often have to give up pleasures that normal children take for granted and when soccer calls you have to drop everything and chase the dream. You also can’t get to the highest level without pushing yourself through the blood sweat and tears.
Q: What’s your gameday routine like?
A: I don’t really have a ritual routine, I actually try to not get consumed with the game before hand. I eat at certain times so my body feels at its best and I listen to some music before hand!
Q: What’s your favorite song to listen to before a game?
A: I listen to pretty much all country music, not the traditional pump up game music. One of my go to songs is How I’ll Always Be by Tim McGraw.
Q: What advice would you give to young soccer players with big dreams?
A: To set your goals high, but to match those goals with equal hard work. Be willing to sacrifice because in the end it will all be worth it. Never be too hard on yourself and focus on the present.
Q: What advice do you have for parents of young soccer players?
A: I think the biggest thing is unwavering support. Players will have good and bad games and it’s important to have a support system that loves them regardless of performance. There’s a lot of internal and external pressure whether that’s from themselves or from coaches or peers. Constructive criticism is a great tool and it’s all about the tone that you approach with after a game, but always make them feel like you’re on their team!