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Right Here and Just Now

“Hard Frame, soft Core”

Nicole Billa, born 1996 in Kufstein, Austria, is steady constant in her country: she plays for the Austrian women’s national soccer team and is a three-time European Junior and World Champion in Kickboxing. With both sports she started at the age of five.

Today she focuses on soccer only: “In kickboxing I have achieved everything, there was nothing I felt I could conquer anymore”, 24-year-old Nicole Billa is explaining. “But there is still a lot I want to achieve in football” she is explaining her former decision.

The ex-junior world and European champion in kickboxing has remained down-to-earth. She shares a flat with her teammates Katharina Naschenweng and the Swiss Luana Bühler. Beside her soccer engagements at TSG Hoffenheim and the Austrian National Team she works as a kindergarten teacher. “I am loving children so much, I always did”, the ambitious sportswoman is lovely enthusing about her choice of education.

“Her sports career began with 5 years, mostly among men”

Her father was a football coach and her brother were playing too. As a young child she felt herself in an equal game and of the same value among her male teammates within the ring and on the field.

“Competition among gender on that point was not perceived by me”, she said. Was there any time left for friendships at all, with a training schedule that was envisaging a lot of sports training, three times a week kickboxing and two times a week playing soccer? “Yes”, Nici answers “but it was mostly limited to playing with the neighbor`s children. Time-consuming activities like cinema, was nearly impossible”.

“The Challenge as the Key Factor in sports”

Nici is ambitious. Although it was stressful, she liked it a lot to absolve her apprenticeship to become a kindergarten teacher. After her graduation she focus on football only. But with this degree she has a ticket for her life after football.

The attraction of challenges in sports is essential to Nici. Kickboxing used to be the most popular sport for her. But football has always been a great passion too. Both sports shaped her in different ways.  In kickboxing she is completely alone, nobody makes up for your mistakes. Self-discipline, self-control is key to success. While football is a team sport you have ten others to cheer you up, help and motivate you. But also, in football you have to go into many one-on-one situations, of course. In front of the goal you’re on your own.

 „The Game: Crossing Borders driven by Fun and Freedom “

„In soccer you have to be aware of your team. You are not only responsible for yourself, but for all. You are assuming an obligation for yourself and them”. Nici has learned to fight at pole positions early. Whenever she is entering the field, she is fully focused on winning.

Soccer means a lot to her, she is aiming to increase her level constantly. The most important about the game is the fun and the freedom she finds within: “Together with your team you are pursuing a strategy to win, therefore you are acting and communicating, nonverbal and strong. Intuition is ruling your actions. At that point, I am fully concentrated on the now and here and that is a pure feeling of freedom to me”.

“More Estimation for equal Performance”

“I require more estimation for women’s soccer”, the young woman adds. “After all we train as hard as our male colleagues. And we do have the same challenges”. But she is not quarreling with that facts. Just right as matters are standing, she is loving soccer and sports. Because via them she has learned to fight out and to appear powerful. Being able to play hard, but fair, sports showed her, how to overcome obstacles. In life and in the game. Nicole Billa will surely develop her career in women’s soccer, adding her contribution to the further improve of its reputation in larger society. “To dismiss us is not fair”, she says “We are providing the same performance.”