The world’s No. 2-ranked freestyler and first women’s pro freestyler out of the UK, 18-year-old Liv Cooke is one of the hardest working athletes in freestyle. As she looks to make her mark in this week’s Super Ball in Prague, Cooke sat down with us and shared some of her favorite Urban Picks.
After finding inspiration both online and through live shows, Liv Cooke dropped a promising traditional football career at 15 years old to in favor of pursuing freestyle full time. In the three years since then, she has made her presence felt in freestyle, quickly rising to No. 2 in the world.
On top of her freestyle skills, Cooke has proven to be a savvy marketer as well. In addition to creating the first women’s freestyle agency, the Lancashire, England native has been featured in media outlets such as BBC and Red Bull, and claims to have made all of her sales pitches herself.
With Super Ball 2017 commencing this week, we sat down with the young phenom and talked about what’s in store for her future, as well as some of her favorite places to travel, moves to train, and songs to listen to.
Urban Pitch: After playing traditional football your entire life, what made you drop it all and focus solely on freestyle?
Liv Cooke: I had watched some freestyle videos online, and I was also blown away by Laura Biondo’s live show. I remember seeing Laura do sole juggles on stage, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was amazed and I knew I wanted to learn!
There has been a large increase in the amount and skill of women freestylers recently. What do you think is the future for women in freestyle?
I think in terms of profile, followings and exposure we’re above the men and will continue to grow at a faster rate. In terms of level and ability we’ve come a very long way. The same tricks that were winning competitions just a few years ago wouldn’t make quarterfinals now.
You have had so much success at such a young age. What’s next for Liv Cooke?
I have many goals. There are a lot of things that I want to do both with and without freestyle, however right now all I’m focused on are the world championships. I want to be World Champion. Anybody that knows me knows this. I’ve never wanted anything as much as I want the world title.
After I get it I’m not sure. I can’t really say, as I don’t know how I’ll feel. But, I’ll definitely want to pursue some business ideas I’ve had in my head but chose to ignore until after competitions.
Liv Cooke’s Urban Picks
People who inspire you outside of freestyle:
- Conor McGregor
- Nicki Minaj
Songs to train to:
- “N***as in Paris” – Jay Z and Kanye West
- “I’m the One” – DJ Khaled feat. Justin Beiber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
- “0 to 100” – Drake
Favorite music artist of all time:
Places to travel:
- Holland — I always love visiting there, such a nice chill vibe that feels just like England.
- Japan — I love Japan!
- London — I always like spending some time in London, great for opportunities and seeing some friends.
- Lemmens Touzani ATW
- Thigh Pop