Each month we feature one ASA coach to learn more about his or her background and personal story and this month we’re featuring Coach Katie A.!
What programs do you coach at ASA and how long have you been coaching with the club?
I have been coaching at ASA since 2013. I have coached in the Travel/Academy programs on the girls’ side, ranging from U9-U17. For the past five winter seasons, I have coached ASA futsal and this is my third year coaching in the Futsal ID program. In the summer, I love to coach the evening Advanced Camps.
When did you begin coaching? What got you interested?
When I graduated from college, I started teaching at a local Elementary School. I missed playing soccer and I love to teach so I quickly started coaching travel lacrosse and returned to my Alma Mater, Bishop O’Connell as the Junior Varsity soccer assistant coach. During my time at O’Connell, I was asked to take over a U15 team at ABGC, though I wanted more. I was teaching third grade at the time, and one of my parents suggested a switch to ASA. I had a meeting with Tommy Park and he welcomed my team to the club, but also requested I take on a U10 team. I had never coached such a young age so I did not know how to adjust to the age difference, but it was such an amazing season that the fear melted away almost instantly. My passion for coaching really took off running at this point.
What is one of your favorite things about coaching for ASA?
I have many favorite things about ASA. The first thing that comes to mind is the support and dedication to coaching education from my directors. I have always felt supported, encouraged, and pushed to be a better coach. I really appreciate the commitment the technical staff puts into the girls’ side of soccer. I love my colleagues for their dedication to this beautiful game and the new friendships I have forged. Ultimately, my favorite aspect of ASA is the community. The players are inspirational and the parents have been nothing but supportive. I have become very close to a lot of families and feel truly blessed to have them enrich my life.
Where did you grow up and what’s your favorite soccer memory from your childhood?
I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. I have so many favorite soccer memories of my childhood. I use to love going to the DC United and Washington Warthogs games with my dad. I remember meeting Mia Hamm when the Washington Freedom was playing at RFK, that was a big moment for me (I still have the cleats she signed). Although, as a player, my most memorable moment would be winning National Championship with O’Connell when I was a junior in high school in 2004. That was a surreal season.
When you’re not coaching what do you like to do in your free time?
On the rare occasion that I’m not coaching or teaching, my free time is spent with my little boy, Kolby. He is exploring the world and it’s awesome to be able to watch and help him grow. He may or may not have a soccer ball offered to him daily.
Last but not least, who’s your soccer hero and why?!
That is a tough one! I think Michelle Akers has been the biggest influence on me as a female player. She was a monster on the pitch, absolutely fearless! I admired how hard she went for every ball and never shied away from contact. I always aspired to emulate her style, professionalism, and intensity.
Thanks Katie! Best of luck with your futsal ID team at Regionals this month.