Titouan Le Roux is a junior Communication and Digital Media Production double major. He played soccer for three years at A.J. Auxerre Academy in France and spent two seasons at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned the Spring 2017 Dean’s Honor. He was selected out of 2,000 candidates to enter the I.N.F. Clairefontaine Academy, one of the best soccer institutes in France.
How did you start playing soccer?
“Well, it was something that I fell in love with when I was a little kid. My dad used to play soccer. He was a goal keeper as well, so he was my first goalkeeper coach. I don’t really have an explanation for it, it’s just something I was really into right away.”
What interested you about soccer?
“I like the game, especially the position of goalkeeper. You play with your hands and with your feet. People always talk about the forward strikers who score the goal, they don’t really look at goalkeepers when they make an important save and help the team to win the game. I was very curious and interested in this position.”
Why did you come to Nova?
“I’ve always been [pursuing two paths] in life: academics and athletics. I think it’s very important to have a good education on your side, because you never know if you are going to get hurt in your career and your career just stops. You have to have something on the side and I don’t want to forget about my studies.”
How has soccer helped you adjust to being so far from home?
“I left my home when I was 12 years old, so very early. I left because I went to a soccer academy back in France, so I had to be autonomous and mature very early. I had to take care of myself without the help of family or the help of anybody. I would say that soccer made me grow up very fast, compared to ordinary people.”
How would you describe the relationship with your teammates?
“It’s going very well. We got along very quickly. We are a lot of foreign guys so it also helps a lot in terms of adaptation because we know what we’ve been through. A lot of us are Europeans, so we have the same culture in terms of soccer and lifestyle.”
What is difficult about being a student athlete?
“Obviously the time management, because you have practice everyday, have class, and sometimes, especially when you are in season, you play away so you travel a lot. You have to be able to manage your time very well and very efficiently.”
What is your favorite thing to do after a big game?
“I like to celebrate with my teammates, like we always go to someone’s apartment and just talk and enjoy the victory together. I’m not very crazy after a game, I like to recover. I spend time with my teammates and then I go back home and go to sleep.”
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
“I always tie my left shoe before my right shoe. Right before they kickoff the game, I like to touch both of my posts and maybe say like “the boys aren’t going into my net tonight,” but usually I just [get ready] and listen to some good music.”
What does your downtime look like?
“I like to hang out with my friends a lot. I live on campus, so I get to hang out with a lot of friends. Besides that, I like to do a lot of graphic design. I’m actually in touch with the media department and I work with them. I am learning how to play guitar [currently].”
How is playing soccer here different than playing in France?
“I would say that the biggest difference is in terms of tactics and in terms of soccer interlegions. The soccer culture is different here because it’s not the main sport in the US, although it’s in development. Technically and tactically I think there is way more quality over there, but I realize that the US is really improving. They are very good physically, better I think, than Europeans because they are more prepared. There is the training coach that is here everyday with us to help us get better. A few years ago there was a big difference [between both cultures], but today they are really improving. I think in a few years they can be as good as many teams in Europe.”
What is advice you would give to other student athletes?
“Keep working hard because it always pays off. Never give up. I think that is the most important thing. You’ve got to stay respectful of everybody that works with you because without them, you wouldn’t be there.”