Name: Joanna Lohman
Sport: Soccer
Level Player: Professional
Position: Midfield
Team: Washington Spirit (NWSL)

1. If you had one piece of advice to give to a young female athlete, what would it be?

Appreciate the journey – The process of getting better every day. If you can find joy in the pursuit of excellence, you will be unstoppable. The journey will have both ups and downs but each are equally important in establishing character and resiliency. Regardless of who or what you become, you will be built for success.

2. How important is the mental/psychological game in sports?

It is extremely important. Believing you can do something is half the battle. Confidence within yourself and your team can take you to the next level. Also, in sports, like all of life, you have to focus on what you can control and that is your own focus, attitude and effort. True competition is against oneself and the goal is not to best the other person but to best ourselves. Striving to be your best self is the ultimate purpose and identifying how you get there is absolutely key.

3. Tell us about your life now and how being involved in sports has shaped who you are today.

I love my life with every ounce of my being. I believe I have the best job in the world where I get to do what I love every day with a platform to impact. I get to work as a part of a team to achieve goals that are worthwhile and fulfilling. All the while, I get to connect with fans who are extremely passionate and look up me. I will never get tired of being asked to take a picture or for an autograph. I am incredibly lucky.

Sport has shaped my life in ways I cannot fully express. It has taught me essential characteristics like leadership, management, sportsmanship, goal setting, determination, grit, and so many more. I have learned how to lose, fall down, and not let it destroy me. I know that I can survive whatever life may throw at me and that gives me an immense amount of confidence to achieve my dreams.

rain running
Photo Credit: Ashley J. Palmer

4. Do you think there are positive role models for young athletes? If yes, who and why? If no, why not?

Yes, there are many positive role models for young athletes. This day and age, you can turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, search the internet and find all sorts of athletes doing incredible things and pushing boundaries. It is also important to realize that even super star athletes are human – they too will lose, fail, make mistakes and this is a very important lesson to learn. No one is perfect. No one. No matter how many championships one has won, we are all just striving for love and acceptance.