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ODP Profile: Helene Tyburczy

Through this profile series, we look to learn more about New Jersey ODP players and some of the elements they find most important as students, athletes and teammates. First up is Helene Tyburczy, who was invited and participated in the US Youth Soccer National Team Camp in Arizona at the end of January. Prior to that, she was also selected to the 2003 All-Star Team at the ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional in Boca Raton, Florida.

How do you manage playing soccer, schoolwork and other responsibilities?

I have gotten into the habit of doing homework, going to soccer practice, and then reading or watch some tv before going to bed. I do my homework first so that I have extra time to play soccer or hang out with my friends.

Why is sportsmanship important?

Sportsmanship is important because it keeps the game fun. If you lose and you have the other team rubbing it in your face, or if you are blaming the loss on other people, it isn't fun for you or other people. Without sportsmanship, it makes it very difficult to continue playing soccer.

How do you promote teamwork?

I promote teamwork by being a leader on and off the field. On the field, I communicate directions to others and stay positive. Off the field, I try to encourage teammates and bring everyone together. The better team chemistry you have off the field, the better you will be on the field.

Are you involved in community service?

I have participated in my club's Go4theGoal program to help raise funds to fight pediatric cancer and am an active member in church. Next year when I begin the preparation for Confirmation, I will be more involved in community service and I'm looking forward to that.

Describe your experience from regional to national?

My experiences keep getting better throughout the regional and national levels. There are so many new people that I get to meet who are really nice and funny. All of them are talented, and the level of play is raised. I get to make new friends at all of these different camps, and it's like a reunion when the same people you haven't seen in months are back at the same tournament or camp (not just ODP).

I feel like the national level is more competitive, even though there are less girls selected. Everyone there is committed to soccer and wants to make some sort of national team.

What are your goals?

My goals are to get into a good college, get a scholarship and make the U.S. national team. These are difficult to accomplish because many people have the same goals. That's why I work so diligently and consistently to achieve them. I love competition, and I do a lot to try to improve every day.

How do you keep soccer fun?

Soccer is always fun for me, even on days where I make a few mistakes and get frustrated with myself. Whenever I get frustrated with one aspect of my soccer game, I calm myself down by playing more soccer. I'll do something else that I love to do... sometimes it's just playing soccer tennis with a friend, or I'll play mini games with my friends in the summer just for fun. Playing with friends helps me to keep soccer fun.

What else do you do?

Aside from soccer, I also play the saxophone in my school's concert band, jazz band and wind ensemble. I take art classes where I've painted quite a few oil paintings, charcoal sketches and watercolor paintings. I love to read and spend time with my friends.

Quote from Coach Alan Harris:

"Helene is a tremendous competitor and has always been a leader both on and off the field. She is a very supportive teammate who encourages those around her and will instantly improve any team that she is a member of. It is no surprise to anyone at NJ Crush / Cedar Stars Bergen Girls that Helene has reached the level that she already has, due to the incredible determination that she possesses to succeed. Helene's dedication to improve has got her to the stage that she belongs on, and at NJ Crush / Cedar Stars Bergen girls we expect her to thrive in this environment."