As a United Nations Special Envoy for Peace Through Soccer, founder of the Every Child’s Dream Foundation and creator of the TNT Soccer Training System, Tasha-Nicole Terani proves that resilience goes a long way.
We recently spoke with her about her most recent world record title and what went into breaking the record.
Masa Zokaei: The last time we spoke, I had no idea that I would be interviewing you again for a new record you’d be breaking. First of all, congratulations! How did this come about? What inspired this?
Tasha-Nicole Terani: Yes, it’s a surprise for sure. Thank you so much! My love for working with kids inspires me now! It has been 17 years since my last World Record Title in Soccer. Since then, I’ve been teaching my soccer training system to children around the world.
This new record came about after I got a call from Guinness World Records. They had been trying to contact me to talk about the upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020. They were hoping that I could break one of my previous World Records in Soccer Ball Control and they would do an inspirational story about the whole thing for International Women’s Day. I was inspired and excited to step up for them and make it happen. I decided right away that I wanted something new! I didn’t want to try to break a record I’ve already broken before. So I started to go onto the Guinness World Records website and peek at some of the latest and greatest in soccer world records. The first thing I noticed was that soccer is still a very male dominated category, just as it was back in 2003 when I first started breaking records. I proceeded to look for female soccer records to break and couldn’t find anything.
I ended up finding a record for the Fastest Figure Eights (Nutmegs) with a Soccer Ball in 30 seconds. Next I noticed that once again it’s a men’s record and was actually held by two men from different countries. One of the men was 23-year-old Dele Alli, an English Premier League star and player for the England National Team. It started to get more interesting! I contacted Guinness and said is it possible that you open a women’s category for this record and I can set that record for women. They said, ‘No we can’t you must go up against the existing record,’ which is tied by these two men. I said, ‘YES! This is the one I have to break.’ This way I can show once again how my training methods work and I can also beat these two men at their own game! It just felt perfect for the times. Little did I know the world was about to literally shut down. I had just barely made this decision when COVID-19 mandatory quarantine began.
MZ: What were your biggest challenges breaking this record?
TNT: I would say mandatory lockdown was just one of the many challenges I would face over the next few months. I wasn’t able to go to the local park and train. I had nowhere to train for the first month. International Women’s Day had passed and Guinness agreed they would launch the story later to give me more time.
Still quarantined, I began training in my living room physically and mentally. I started to journal the entire process. Something I wished I had done 17 years ago for my first world records. I began watching films of Dele Alli’s record and running the numbers through my head and timing it all. At this point I’m just trying to figure out if I believe I can do this or not. This lasted about two weeks. At which point I had officially decided that I can do it. The next obstacle was finding a place to train during a worldwide pandemic. I started waking up at 4:30 am and would go anywhere I could find with a shred of grass to work with. Somewhere safe with no others around. I ended up finding an opening at my old high school and got to train on the very same field I played high school soccer. Now, it isn’t an old dirt field; it’s a state of the art Soccer Stadium with perfect turf grounds. I had it all to myself. Day after day, training and journaling.
How was this time different? This time was so different from any other record from my past. When I started the training I truly had no idea of just how deep this training would get. Each morning out there on my old stomping grounds with only the moonlight and the coyotes became quite surreal.
After several weeks I was certain that the coyotes were talking to me and even taunting me at times saying, “she can’t do this”. Words coming up from my own past and from the forgiveness I had yet to grant. The last lingering battle against myself. The paradox that drives us all. Self doubt. Something to prove. Whatever it was, I felt it strongly, I knew I needed to release it in order to step up to the next chapter in my life. And release it I did.
I let the last of my pain go out on that field. Blood, sweat and tears, no doubt. Losing my family, missing my family, losing my father, the disturbing and discouraging childhood. Getting kicked out of high school. Here I was back on that field liberating myself. I was getting stronger and faster each day and decided to set a date to break my record. May 8, 2020 would be the date.
The number 8 has always represented so many connections in my life. Right from the start when I was orphaned from my biological family. The orphanage chose the number 8 as my birthday. Since then I’ve always felt strength in that number. When I saw the record for the Fastest Figure Eights I was sold! I thought, wow, the number eight over and over again to break a record. Yes, I got this.
It became my reason, my passion and my motivation, I call it BB8.
MZ: Did anyone doubt you?
TNT: Yes, the most important person involved in my success doubted me. Myself. I believe that without doubt, fear and anxiety we can’t truly rise up to an occasion. My strength has always been that I have to look within for motivation and confidence. I lost my parents and family when I was a baby. You learn quickly how to rely on yourself and how to self motivate. Anxiety, self doubt, fear and pain are all motivators, if you know how to harness them. They are the greatest motivators in the world.
MZ: What goes into breaking a record?
TNT: So much goes into breaking records. You must obsess over it! For me, the moment I decide I’m going to break a record I become a completely different person. I have to and I want to.
Nothing I was doing before on a daily basis can remain the same during this period of time. I created a whole new routine that is focused entirely on breaking that record. One of the key things for me has always been setting the date! Putting it down on paper that this is the date I will officially attempt this record. When you give yourself a deadline it allows you to plan that daily routine much more efficiently. It also helps you to know that this won’t go on forever! It allows me to put more effort into a shorter time frame and give it my best.
Growing up with little structure in my family life I had to get creative. I loved having something to look forward to and I still love that. As a kid I would always plan everything way in advance and then get myself pumped up about it! I would eat better and sleep better and have more discipline because of the future plan I was excited about.
I set it up as a motivation. As an adult, I’m still doing this and it’s still working for me.
MZ: Tell our readers about the first record you broke and why you wanted to accomplish that?
TNT: The very first world record I broke was all about proving to myself that I was more than just a model. I had been modeling for a long time and I was looking for a way out. I wanted to live a more meaningful and giving life. I felt that I had so much more to offer. I’ve always felt uncomfortable pretending or faking, in all aspects of my life. In the modeling business you have to take thousands of photos, walk a perfect walk and have the ideal figure. A photo for me is difficult. It spoils the moment for me. So I really struggled with that in the modeling business. I didn’t enjoy modeling nor did I feel it was my best life. My first record was motivated by my pure determination to change my life, my latest record was motivated by my desire to keep it.
MZ: What is the most important thing to do when you have a big goal like that?
TNT: To never give up because hard work always pays off. It’s worth it.
MZ: I know you coach a lot of kids in soccer to get them to be better players. What do you think is special about soccer as a sport and why should kids be involved in the sport?
TNT: Soccer is an art form and soccer is and will always be the universal sport. It brings the world together. I think the reason kids love soccer so much is because it makes them feel connected with the world and not just to their own team or town.
MZ: What is something you wish you could tell kids you don’t get to coach?
TNT: If I could tell a kid something it would be to do everything with confidence and kindness.
MZ: You are also the founder of the organization, Every Child’s Dream Foundation. How has that evolved since we last spoke?
TNT: My foundation for orphaned and abandoned babies and children has come a long way since we last spoke. We started in 2009 by delivering care packages to orphanages and foster care centers in a few countries. As of 2020 we have delivered specialty care packages and vital supplies to babies and families in need in more than 96 countries. Reaching children and families in hospitals, disaster relief situations, shelters, foster care and orphanages. We are no longer focused only on orphaned and abandoned babies. We focus on all babies, children and families in need.
MZ: What’s next for you? What are you focusing on now?
TNT: I began designing several new soccer products for kids which focus on building confidence. Confidence in soccer and confidence for life! My Soccer Training DVD is a best seller on Amazon and has been rated Amazon Choice year after year. The TNT Soccer Ball, TNT Confidence Flash Cards and TNT Soccer Training Cones have all become top rated products on Amazon. The Confidence Flash Cards are wonderful in that they help to bring out the best possible player in you. The cards help kids understand dozens of words and teaches them how to turn those words into actions! Improving their vocabulary, building confidence and strengthening them overall as an individual. To be strong for your team you must first be strong for yourself.
I am currently training a young girl named Makira. I work from home on TNT Soccer System sales and Every Child’s Dream Foundation worldwide deliveries. I’m designing a TNT Soccer Training Facility to privately train my clients. It will be finished this year.
I will be accepting only a handful of clients per year to train with me at this private training facility. I also spend time building my social media accounts. I hope to reach and inspire more women and kids through social media.
If you want to apply to train
with Tasha-Nicole email: