Editor’s Note: Junior goalkeeper Suzie Zigante has been selected to play for the Croatian National Team when they participate in the Balaton Cup Women's International Tournament in Hungary in early August. She will send a blog periodically to tell of her experience playing for her national team.



Why don't European soccer players lift weights often?


They have a sandpit.

We worked in said sand pit today. Not very long, but oh my. Jumping in that thing is not easy.


Today I worked with a U-18 boys’ keeper and the U-17 keeper I talked about before. It was with the Zagreb coach. He is so nice and great. He is 70 years old and he’s doing handstands. Literally, I wish I had pictures.  He coached my father and called him "animal" for his work ethic and how he would do everything so quickly.


The boys I worked with were so nice they helped me with everything and spoke very good English. They knew English better than the girls on my team for Croatia.


But man how different it is here. I had to go to the locker room, I was already dressed but like I had to go anyway it’s like a thing you do. But the two boys took me to their locker room. Like do I leave? I had no idea what to do, I asked if they wanted me to leave and they were like "WE ARE NOT SCARED OF A WOMEN!" OK. Whatever. They changed completely in there and I looked at my phone which doesn’t even work in America but I pretended like I was texting and being popular, two things that I don't actually do too often to avoid even a slip of eye contact in their direction. But it’s like totally normal there I guess. They were done and we went to training.


Diving, sand pit, high balls, high diving. Words, colors, numbers. Slipping, falling, telling me my cleats are no good.


Wait back up, who slips and falls at practice, oh yea that’s right me. (Only once don’t worry I am not that bad of a klutz. sometimes)


But on the real though, I did pretty well, not as well as my first session because I was really tired from yesterday. But the coach was very happy with me and told me again my technique was great. I am happy with what I have done here in Europe this far. I have accomplished a lot and am getting my name out there. They are already talking about me playing for some club when I am done with school at Asheville.


Man I am lucky, there is so much out there in the world, and more often than not you are scared to go do something, you just have to. There are 1000 reasons not to do something but there's a 1000 other reasons to try and the possibilities are endless.


Tomorrow I go to Zagreb with one of the boys I trained with. He said he would show me the city. I've seen it before but it’s been awhile. My father grew up here and it’s cool to live in his shoes a little bit.