World Cup winner Sydney Leroux wants her kids to be ‘passionate about something'—but it doesn't have to be soccer

Adam Pretty - Fifa | Fifa | Getty Images

The majority of Sydney Leroux's life has revolved around pursuing success on the soccer field. But the World Cup winner has no interest in putting that kind of pressure on her kids.

Speaking to CNBC Make It while promoting her partnership with SpringHill Suites by Marriott and U.S. Youth Soccer, the Angel City FC forward says she has no plans to push her children to follow in her footsteps.

"I don't really care if my kids don't want to play sports, if they don't want to play soccer," she says. Instead, the mother of two tells Make It that her parental aspirations are to raise children who are "passionate about something."

"For my son, it's soccer. For my daughter, it's not, and I love that," Leroux says. "I think it's amazing to have two completely different children who are passionate about different things."

With nearly 20 years of experience under her belt, Leroux knows exactly what it takes to succeed. But having seen firsthand what too much pressure can do to a child, she is careful about pushing her 7-year-old son too hard.

"I think there's a really fine line between pushing a child and letting them be able to push themselves," she says. "I saw it when I was younger. I remember some of my old teammates, their parents were so hard on them. That's not to say being hard on your child is always a bad thing, but I think that there has to be a balance."

"Sometimes the balance isn't really there," she goes on, "and you see kids lose the love of the game because they're trying to do it for the wrong reasons."

Katharine Lotze | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

On top of that, Leroux knows that it's not always a fun journey to get to the top.

"Everyone expects my kids to play what I play, but I've never seen it like that," she says. "Because I know what it takes and that it's not always this glamourous, amazing life. It's very stressful. And it's tough and it's hard. Seeing my son fall in love with it because he loves it and not because I pushed him to love it is really cool."

That means Leroux is never going to make her son play if he doesn't want to. But if he decides he wants to keep pursuing it as he grows up, she'll make sure he plays the right way.

"I want to put him in the best situation to succeed," she says. "That means we go out in the the backyard and practice even though he doesn't really like to listen to me because he thinks I don't know what I'm talking about!"

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