Storelli Presents: The Girl with Lethal Unpredictability
May 21, 2017
Introducing the second installment in a Q&A series that asks the collaborators behind our Women's BodyShield Line about their Secret Weapons.
Name: Raquel "Rocky" Rodríguez Cedeño
Current team: Skye Blue FC, Costa Rica Women's National Team
Hailing from San Jose, Costa Rica, Rocky brings creativity and unpredictable plays to the game, but leaving her home country to pursue her dreams was far from an easy decision. Rocky talks to us about her soccer journey and the sacrifices she’s made to get to the top.
What Inspired You To Start Playing Soccer?
I got into soccer at 4 years old because my dad was a pro player and he introduced me to it. He said that he could see my natural talent and passion for the sport from the beginning.
My dad coached me up until I was 11 years old and then, almost by chance, a cousin of mine saw an ad in a newspaper for a women’s soccer team try-out. Before that we didn’t even know that teams existed for women, so my whole family was super excited and went with me.
Lucky for me, the national team coach was there too and my skillset got his attention.
What Challenges Have You Faced In Reaching For Your Dreams?
Well, in my teenage years I realized that the level of women’s soccer in Costa Rica was falling short of what I thought it should be so unfortunately I knew that in order to play professionally I would have to leave my country.
Generally, the hot topic in women’s soccer right now is the notion of equal play, equal pay. I feel that women are grateful for the progress in the sport so far but we are very driven and very powerful and we put in the same, if not more hours than men do, so it’s frustrating that we haven't leveled the playing or paying field.
Particularly for me, I’m chasing my dreams as a soccer player and I want to be able to make a living from it. Very few women in soccer can do that right now.
But then I remember that women have had to overcome obstacles throughout history so we don’t need a lot, to achieve a lot. We’ve had to fight for our rights in every respect so we don’t look for excuses. We look for ways to get things done.
What Do You See For The Next-Generation Of Players?
More role-models. When I was growing up, we didn’t have any! There are so many strong women who have paved the way for players today and I think this will speed up the progress. I feel this is definitely a time for bringing change to the sport.
Also, I hope to see more companies wanting to invest more in women’s soccer. This way, I think it will become more professional, more quickly.
What Is Your #Secret Weapon?
Resilience. I also think I bring a lot of creativity to the game. I can get out of pressure really well because I make it hard to defend me. My trick is to be deceiving through creativity.
What Do You Look For In Your Gear?
To me, Storelli is all about comfort and performance and these are the most important aspects for me in choosing gear. Really, I look for anything that helps me perform well.
Then there’s injury prevention of course. You should always train in a way that makes you stronger but you can also train in a way to avoid injury. This is where Storelli comes in, especially with turf burns when you have to train indoors.
What’s Most Important To You On And Off The Pitch?
I Like to have good relationships with people on and off the pitch because I like to have a good time. I like to laugh a lot and team chemistry is a major focus for me. I often check in with people because I believe that feeling good together will transfer itself to good collective performance in a game.
Everyone brings a different virtue and on those days that you need it, your team can lift you up. It really is the beauty of a team sport. Whether on the pitch or off the pitch we all have those days when you need a team around you.
What Advice Do You Have For Young Female Players?
I’ve always said that you shouldn’t be afraid to dream. I was a dreamer and although it seemed hard at the start, I went ahead so it’s paying off now.
It all starts with what you have in your heart, what you have a passion for. In my case it’s soccer, and when you know what yours is you can go ahead and take the risk. Because it’s worth it.
Think of it this way, even if things don’t go exactly as you want you’ll still have other experiences to learn from. It’s win-win.