Member Spotlight: Meet Tracy
- Name: Tracy Hamm
- UC Davis women’s soccer head coach and star of the movie Coach
- Pronouns: She/her
- Sentiments to live by: How you do anything is how you do everything.
What’s your favorite soccer memory?
Oh, I can’t pick just one so I’ll say my entire senior year at Cal. My team and I had such powerful chemistry together. It doesn’t get any better than achieving and pushing boundaries with your best friends. Overall, the season felt like a culmination of everything I’d worked for since I was five years old and I just had no regrets at all about my performance.
It doesn’t get any more satisfying than when you know you’ve given a hundred percent. What do you think is the greatest thing about women’s soccer?
The opportunity for women to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It puts women in a space where they can be unapologetically themselves and have access to a unique support system through their teammates. Women are under a microscope all the time for their demeanor, their appearance, their social circle, everything! But the soccer field is a space for women to go where there’s no judgment and they’re free to just enjoy the game. I wish all girls and women got to experience that.
What inspires you even when things are tough?
I’m definitely someone who is very intrinsically motivated. I want to be the best at what I’m doing but not in relation to other people. I think it’s really important to think about pushing yourself to the best of your ability, not in comparison to other people. I draw most of my inspiration from the people I surround myself with. You’re a product of the people you spend your time with so I try to be around people who are better than me at whatever I’m trying to achieve. That’s what propels me forward. It’s like a live reminder that there’s always so much more you can be achieving.
Get it, Tracy! What’s a soccer organization that you admire for the work they do to support underrepresented communities?
AmericaSCORES Bay Area. Their soccer poet program is so powerful because of the way they use the game to mediate and teach their students life skills. It’s a cool concept that the kids are able to get out and express themselves on the field but then they are also encouraged to get their feelings down into a freeing form of writing.
WIS loves AmericaSCORES! Tell us what experiences and strengths brought you to the WIS team?
I think I’ve always been a champion of women. I use soccer as a medium to empower women and that’s ultimately the goal of WIS. The network is all about creating an environment that gives women the opportunity to be successful as well as being a space where women feel supported. That’s what I want to inspire every day as a person and that’s who I am as a coach. I see my role in WIS as an opportunity to give back to a game that gave me so much and still has so much to give others.
What impact do you think connecting more women and allies will have on the equity of soccer?
I think it’s about strength in numbers. There are all these great committees and organizations doing work to empower women across the country but there’s not that one national unifier. With the launch of WIS, we have that.
Your journey in the movie Coach helped inspire the creation of WIS. What do you hope people will learn from your story?
Coach highlighted nuances that plague women across all industries, but my story was told through a lens of hope, ambition, and resilience. I hope when watching the film, people recognize how crucial it is to use vulnerability and courage as an asset and a foundation when pursuing opportunities they may not have felt prepared for. In my case, when one door refused to open, I actively searched for another to kick down instead. It’s okay to not know everything, but not showing up and not giving yourself a chance is the biggest mistake we can make.
(Interested in doing your own screening of “Coach” followed by a workshop with Tracy? Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
What makes you excited about WIS?
Honestly, it’s the recognition that we’ve needed an organization to champion the interests of women in this game for so long! We’ve been fighting for more support for decades and WIS is the start of us saying, “You know what? We’ll create our own table, our own space, and our own culture because we know what we need!” I’m so excited about what we will do for the future of women in soccer.
Let’s do it! Thanks for your time, Tracy!
WIS member spotlights are conducted and written by our content producer Pip Penman.