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 Sophie!
What programs do you coach at ASA and how long have you been coaching with our club?
I’ve been coaching with ASA for almost a year now. I reached out a little after I moved to VA and have loved getting involved with the awesome staff and kids! I work mainly with Junior Academy and help with some clinics. This summer I coached at some camps and have really enjoyed that as well!
When did you begin coaching? What got you interested?
I began coaching my sophomore year of college for a high school indoor soccer team during the off season and have been coaching ever since… I’ve coached kids ages four through college! There are many things that got me interested in coaching. I think all players go through phases of highs and lows during their playing careers. My main goal as a coach is to help players have more highs than lows. My personal lows as a player revolved around lack of confidence and mental setbacks rather than lack of skills or proper coaching. As a coach, I want to form relationships with the players and tune in to what might be affecting their on-field performance. I think that is something that would have helped me play at higher level, and I strive to help players do that — hopefully this will also help them have more fun while they play! I always want to be a positive, fun, and encouraging coach.
The other reason I became interested in coaching is the simple fact that I knew I didn’t want my soccer career to end after college. I loved the sport too much for that to happen, and coaching has so many possibilities!
What is one of your favorite things about coaching for ASA?
My favorite part of ASA is how supportive the coaches are of each other. It truly seems that they are a cohesive unit and work together to give the kids an awesome experience of playing soccer.
Where did you grow up and what’s your favorite soccer memory from your childhood? It could be watching soccer, playing soccer, etc.
I grew up in Baltimore and have a ton of fun soccer memories. I remember countless tournaments and loved times between games hanging out with my teammates. My favorite soccer memorythough was the 1999 Women’s World Cup. I remember being at the beach with my family during the final match between USA and China and watching the game instead of going on the beach (which is VERY rare for me!). Seeing Brandi Chastain score the final goal is something I will never forget! I have since seen countless documentaries about the 1999 team and have met many of the players which makes seeing that game all the more meaningful to me. I think it also helped our country’s women’s soccer program progress to where it is today.
When you’re not coaching what do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy reading a lot and am pretty crafty. I also like to run, hike, and try different work outs. I’m always up for any outside adventure!
Who’s your soccer hero and why?!
I admire so many players, but my hero has to be Gianluigi Buffon. My family watches Italian soccer and he really stood out to me when I was younger. I loved watching him sing the Italian national anthem — the most pride of any player I had seen. Italian soccer won’t be the same for me without him! On the field, he is very consistent and calm, and overall a keeper who I enjoy watching. I supported him when he played for Juventus and will be interested to see how his transition to Paris Saint-Germain goes.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself!
When I was playing soccer growing up I would always want to practice in my house or backyard and didn’t have anyone in my family or neighborhood to play with so resorted to my dog. I would go 1v1 against her and her stuffed soccer ball toy. She made a pretty good defender given that she’s the only one who I’ve played against that has bitten my ankles!
Thanks Coach Sophie. If you’re a Junior Academy player make sure to find her on the field this Fall!