If you think that doing various tricks and feints with the ball can only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and other famous football players, you are mistaken. Today we introduce you to the 25-year-old American football player of Scottish descent Indie Covey, whose phenomenal possession of the ball and the skill of the freestyle football will impress even a person far from this sport.
Soccer freestyle – it is performing tricks with the ball with different parts of the body, except the hands. Although the first tricks with the ball began to be performed at the beginning of the last century (they were used in circus programs), it is believed that this sport is young – modern freestyle in its current sense was born in the early 2000s. Now this sport is becoming more popular and is actively developing all over the world.
Biography, professional football and first injury
Indie Covey was born September 24, 1994 in the American city of Boca Raton, Florida, in a family of immigrants from Western Scotland – Logan and Judith Covey. Her grandfather Dick played for the British football club St. Mirren. But, according to Indy, the football gene in their family was passed down through the generation.
My father likes to say that football was in his blood, but he didnâ€™t reach his feet,
When Indy was 10 months old, her family moved to North Carolina, and as soon as she was able to crawl, she immediately began to play with a soccer ball. She trained with her father and played along with the guys, despite the fact that she often heard negative comments addressed to her.
I was often told that I can not play in a team with guys, because I am a girl and inferior in speed. But I told myself that I had to show them that I could do this. It has always been my motivation
A close friend of Indie Charlotte Defazo, who has known the athlete since childhood, admits that Covey has always been decisive, and the fact that she is involved in sports dominated by men only serves as an additional incentive for her to achieve success.
This is a drive for her, and I think it is very inspiring to her,
But Indie found herself in freestyle.
I was 10 or 11 years old and I always liked to juggle the ball,
– recalls Covey.
During a family trip to Scotland, Covey persuaded her parents to go to Leeds to see John Farnworth, one of the most famous football freestylers.
Seeing him, I realized that this is exactly what I want to do in my life. It was then that it became more than just a hobby,
– says Indy.
At the age of 14, Indy and her family moved to Glasgow, where she was accepted into the team of the Celtic Football Club Academy. She also played for the Scottish junior women's football team. After graduating from high school a semester earlier, the athlete entered the University of North Carolina, where she began to play for the NCAA women's team – one of the most famous teams in the country. But, unfortunately, during pre-season training, Indy injured her knee – she damaged the medial and anterior cruciate ligaments, and this was enough to say goodbye to the dream of becoming a professional player.
Before that, I thought I could do freestyle and professional football. In college, I got up at 4 in the morning and freestyle, and then went to training. So I thought to balance both
– admits Indie.
Doctors told Kovi that she needed to make a decision, because they estimated her chances of injuring her knee again if she would play football, at 40%. Therefore, Covey chose freestyle.
The rehabilitation period for Indy turned out to be very difficult.
It was harder to recover morally than physically. From games and freestyle, I switched to doing nothing, and it was just very difficult for me to understand who I am without a soccer ball,
But she found the strength and, having finally recovered, took up soccer freestyle, and also became an assistant coach for the university team.
Freestyle Career Records and Recognition
Indy began to train again, and the result of her achievements began to be shared on Instagram. Soon, videos with her tricks began to collect several tens of thousands of views. Then various brands drew attention to her: now she is the face of Nike, and also collaborates with companies such as AT&T, Macy's and Champion's League / Playstation.
Indie gained even more fame in 2012 after Barcelona and Argentina's national team footballer Lionel Messi called her the street freestyle world champion when he watched her video as part of a competition to promote the FIFA Street game. In total, 80 people (both men and women) around the world took part in the competition.
In 2017, Indy Covey set two new records and got into the Guinness Book of Records – she broke the previously set records for juggling with the ball in one minute, and was also able to fill the ball with the sole 102 times.
Covey also became the first woman to be able to make three circular leg movements around the ball while it was in the air.
For many years, the guys said that the girls will not be able to do this, because their hips are too wide for this, and their legs are not fast enough, so I trained a lot. We just have to constantly push ourselves to something. But even after all this, they look at us from top to bottom,
Covey performed during the break between the Manchester United and Chelsea teams at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester in front of 76,000 spectators in 2009, as well as during the challenge hosted by American football player Mia Hamm in 2011, along with such celebrities like Kobe Bryant and Josep Guardiola.
Indy Covey and David Villa
Champion League commercials and TV shows
In 2012, Indy Covey, one of the finalists of the 2009 PlayStation Freestylers freestyle competition, was invited to shoot the Sony PlayStation, sponsored by the Champions League.
According to the athlete, that day was "significant" for her.
The day I dreamed of for a few weeks! At first I was very nervous to be in front of the cameras, but then I quickly got used to it, and it was an amazing experience,
– She then shared her impressions.
But this was not the only Covey shot – she also became the heroine of popular shows such as Good Morning America and the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Hobbies and social networks
Kovi has more than 550,000 followers on Instagram. She also has a YouTube channel and profiles on other social networks, and they play a big role in her life.
Social networks can be a great tool, but there are also some negative aspects. I understand that I have many followers and that I have an impact on people, especially on children, so I think a lot that I publish and how I do it. I focus on things that can inspire and uplift,
Of course, Instagram Covey is mainly devoted to her main activity, but she also shares on the page and events from her daily life, for example, a photo from Adeleâ€™s concert, as well as joint pictures with Michelle Obama and Jessica alba.
Indy Covey with girlfriend and Michelle Obama
Indy Covey and Shay Mitchell
Now the heart of Indy Covey, according to a Western source, is free. She tries not to advertise her personal life, but it is reported that in the past she had a relationship.
In addition to football, Covey is fond of video and photo editing, loves spending time with family and friends and adores his dog Granger.
Covey, who boasts an excellent physical shape, admits that her favorite food is pasta and chocolate cake cooked by her mother.