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25

Sep, 2018

Rush Journals: Lauren Leyh

Each player exhibits individual talents that add to the game, an aspect important to Rush Pikes Peak’s Lauren Leyh. Leyh tells her story, how she found Rush, and what continues to make her stay:


“At the age of four, I began playing for the local soccer club. It was then that I realized my passion for soccer and desire to compete at higher levels. When I turned ten, I started my first of three seasons with the local competitive girls’ team. Over time, I became frustrated with the lack of coaching I received and “kickball” style of play. After researching and exploring other club options, I chose to become a part of the Rush family. Since beginning my journey with Rush, I’ve grown tremendously not only as a player but also as a person.


Because I’d never been taught the legitimate way to play soccer, my first Rush coach, Nik Penn, helped me catch up as I was technically and tactically behind. It was in my first season with Rush that I realized what quality coaches and opportunities Rush provides. One philosophy that really convinced me that Rush was the club for me was that Rush develops all players, not just the stars of the team. Every Rush coach I’ve worked with embodies the core values of Rush, and I benefit from each coaches’ tremendous knowledge of the game.  However, I never dreamed I’d receive the opportunities that I have since joining Rush. For example, in July of 2017, I traveled with Rush to Costa Rica where we competed against local teams. While in Costa Rica, my team and I trained with local girls living near the stadium. Most of the girls didn’t own cleats, and the teams wore similar colored shirts, but not matching gear. It reminded me of not only how thankful I need to be to have the ability to play for Rush, but also how universal soccer is. Soccer brings people together no matter what nationality, race, or native language.


While being a part of Rush, I have attended multiple college showcase tournaments as I am beginning the recruiting process to play college soccer. The recruiting process can seem intimidating, but my Rush coaches hold several CAP (College Advisory Program) meetings in which they explained the different levels of NCAA play and how to get in touch with college coaches when attending showcases. I feel very prepared going into the showcase tournaments which allows me to focus on playing and doing my best. Also, Rush Pikes Peak held leadership seminars in which I learned about how to be a better captain for my team. During this class, I was able to really understand how the Rush Core Values apply to the game. The eleven Rush Core Values are: Accountability, Advice, Empathy, Enjoyment, Humility, Leadership, Passion, Respect, Safety, Tenacity, and Unity. Each core value plays a vital role on and off the field. That being said, Rush isn’t just shaping players to be successful in their soccer career, but also successful in life. The core values instill morals in players that carry over to everyday life.


In my opinion, the most important core value is passion. Without passion for the game, you won’t obtain the tenacity to win tackles and compete in a game. Passion fuels your enjoyment for playing soccer. When a team is passionate about the same goal, they become unified, hold each other accountable, and care about the safety of one other. If a captain or leader on a team isn’t passionate, they won’t earn the respect of their teammates and others around them which discredits their advice. A person’s excitement for soccer keeps them humble as they always strive to be a more sophisticated player. Thus, if I had to give one piece of advice to a younger player, it would be play because you are passionate about soccer. If you don’t love the game, the roadblocks you’ll face will be impassable. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you won or lost, received college offers or impressed all the people in the stands; what matters is that you became a better player and a better person. I believe if you are passionate about the game, the rest will follow.


As I continue my journey with Rush, I am excited by the thought of the ample amount of opportunities still to come. I thank God everyday I have the opportunity to play for Rush, and I pray others are given the chance to gain similar experiences that I’ve had with Rush.”


Lauren Leyh, Rush Pikes Peak


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New York, New York 10016

Phone: 303-986-5200
Fax: (303) 986-5222

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