When considering the most accomplished athletes ever to come out of North Haven High School, Tiffany Weimer certainly has to be in the discussion.
A two-time Parade and McDonald’s All-American soccer star, Weimer graduated from NHHS in 2002 and moved on to play for Division I powerhouse Penn State. She led the Nittany Lions in scoring for three years, and her team advanced to the NCAA tournament Final Four two times.
Weimer was a three-time All-American and a two-time runner-up for the Hermann Award, which is given to the top male and female college soccer player in the country.
Weimer graduated Penn State with 91 goals and still holds the NCAA record for most consecutive games with a goal (17).
After finishing college in 2006, Weimer took her talents to various teams throughout the United States and overseas. She is now in her 12th season as a pro, and is playing just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark for FC Nordsjælland/Farum BK.
Recently, Weimer shared her thoughts about soccer and something else she is passionate about – writing. Several of her pieces have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post and ESPNW.
How was it coming of age in North Haven?
I enjoyed growing up in North Haven. I had great experiences playing soccer for the town ... I was lucky to have coaches who played the game and understood the game, so I learned a lot at a young age. I was also given freedom at a young age to express myself and be creative on the field, something that I think coaches take away from players who want everyone to play a certain style or look the same way.
I am always thankful for coaches who gave me the freedom to be myself. Without North Haven soccer, I wouldn’t have been able to get to the next level.
What is your biggest accomplishment as an amateur player and as a pro?
My biggest accomplishment as an amateur player was getting a full scholarship to play at Penn State University. The fact that I was able to receive a free education at such a prestigious school for playing soccer showed me the power of the game and set me up to continue playing for as long as I have.
And as a pro, my biggest accomplishment is to be in my 12th year as a pro. It’s been a wild ride, lots of ups and downs; nowhere near the dream career I had in mind, but I wake up every morning and do what I love for a living. This is the biggest accomplishment of my life.
Besides playing professionally, you are also a writer. What inspired you to create Our Game Magazine?
My agent at the time encouraged me to start a women’s soccer magazine with him, because there was a lack of high-quality media coverage for women’s soccer; women’s sports in general. With his help and the help of so many great contributors and the women’s soccer community, we told hundreds of stories and reported on leagues no one was talking about in the U.S. at the time. I feel like we helped to push soccer media forward.
The magazine is still running today, led by some really great people who are still involved. I walked away to start a new company two years ago – Duktig Brand. We make soccer-specific notebooks and planners, products for coaches and players to stay organized and help them to be more professional.
Besides sports, what other subjects do you enjoy writing about?
I just recently finished my Master’s in English and Creative Writing, with a concentration on nonfiction writing. I like to write stories about my life and the things I see and experience. I also like to write about soccer in general. Soccer is a metaphor for life in so many ways. It’s easy to tie the two together.
What are your future plans? Is coaching in the cards?
Coaching is an option. I recently completed my USSF C License coaching education and have plans to continue up the ladder for my licenses. I could see myself doing a number of different things after I’m done playing and feel I’ve left options open to do something I enjoy. The most important thing for me is to have freedom in whatever I chose to do. Creative freedom. Personal freedom.
Part of me would really like to coach in Connecticut and give the experience I had to young players who are coming up through the process there. I think we can do a better job of developing players in the state and give them more opportunities, encourage them to play at a high level.
While growing up, I didn’t have many female coaches or female role models. I think young girls especially – but also young boys – can benefit from having female coaches who have accomplished what they aim to accomplish.
What is your advice to young women who wish to pursue a professional sports career?
Do it. If your goal is to be rich in terms of money, then don’t do it now. If your goal is to live a rich life full of doing what you love, traveling the world and meeting incredibly driven, passionate people – then a professional sports life is for you.
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