Getting paid to do something I Love

Heather Mitts, a defender for the Philadelphia Charge, answers selected questions from users of

Heather, My girlfriend is playing soccer for the Edmonton Angels. Now, they have not had the best start to this season after winning the national title last year. How do I support her? They lost some players to injury and have some new younger players that just do not seem to adapt to the vets. Do I push her a little to work harder (she is 27) or let her be? I am used to dealing with individual sports (I race motorcross so the training in the off-season is similar). Love the quality of soccer in your games. It is great to watch. Good luck with your season! — Kevin from Alberta, Canada

Well, this is a hard one. I think that all you can really do is be as supportive as possible for your girlfriend. She may come to you for advice and at that time you may encourage her to be a leader for the team, but as far as playing is concerned you have to let her be. If she wants to do the extra work, then let her, but pushing her will only frustrate her more. Losing people to injury is hard to adjust to and so is defeat. So just be there for your girlfriend and everything else will work itself out. Take care and good luck with it!

I’ve been trying to decrease my mile time, in order to do better at tryouts. I’m doing about an 8-minute mile right now; by January my coach thinks that I can have a 7-minute. She also wants me to have a 7:30 by the middle of august. Do u have any tips as to help me achieve this goal. I want to get it down too, it’s not just her. If I do then I think I will have a better shot at making varsity. I’ve only been running 6 miles a week, though they have been at an 8-minute pace or below. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you. — Ralphy from Huntsville, AL

I run long distance about two times a week in the off-season. Every single time I go for my runs, I try to beat my last time by a few seconds. An entire minute to decrease off your time is a lot, but I am sure you can come close if you have already started. You have to take it slow, meaning a few seconds a week. Eventually you will see great results over time. If you want to increase your time for one mile, I think you should run more frequently but decrease the number of miles. I hope that you can come close to achieving your goal. Good Luck!

I have been playing soccer for nine years now. I haven’t played at a competitive level for a year now and I’ve gotten a little out of shape. What type of things should I do to get back in shape? — Yolanda from Rochester, New York

Getting back into shape is the hardest at first, but you have to stick with it. Ease into it and then go hard when you are ready. When I need to get into shape, I enjoy doing some kind of running exercises at least 5 times a week. I usually vary it a little so it doesn’t get boring. I make sure that every day I am doing some sort of cardiovascular training. I try to run long distance 2 times a week for endurance. The other days I do sprint work, play soccer with some friends or play tennis/squash. If you have taken a year off from playing, you may want to make sure you incorporate ball work into your routine. Try to get as many touches on the ball. Juggling, for instance, would help a lot! Hopefully some of these ideas will help you. Good luck with it!

Heather,What is your favorite part about being able to play professional soccer, and is there anything that you would change about it? Thank you for your time. — Hilary from Rochester, Minnesota

My favorite part of playing professional soccer has to be the fact that I am getting paid to do something I love to do. Honestly, it is a dream come true. There isn’t a single thing that I would change right now. I love Philly, I love my team and I love playing. What more could I ask for?

When you played with Danielle Fotopoulos in college, did you two get along well and were you good friends? — Susie from Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Danielle Fotopoulos and I were very good friends in college. She was someone that I looked up to as a real leader on our team. I missed her so much when she graduated. Now when we play Carolina, I get to see her and it is so much fun. I tell people all the time when they ask me that I think Danielle is one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life.