Apr 22, 2020
Today I have Erica Suter as my
guest. We’re getting into the world of youth sports, and how
competitive and business-minded it has become.
Erica is a strength and
conditioning coach, whose passion lies in youth sports and training
young players to become strong, resilient and creative, while still
enjoying the game.
Give us your background; how did you get here, and what
do you do? (01:15)
says she has been a strength and conditioning coach for eight
years; her main focus is on elementary, middle and high school
kids. She does have college athletes training with her, who has
been with her since a young age.
- Soccer has always been a joyous part of her
life. She played soccer while in college, and when she graduated
she became a volunteer and coach for young kids in
was unsure of her future, so she started looking for ways to make a
career out of coaching. When she returned from Brazil, she started
training athletes in her free time.
noticed that her training was taking off, so she left her job six
months later and started coaching full time.
What advice would you give someone who's new in the
industry, and not getting a lot of traction? (09:12)
says consistency is the key factor in becoming
most important thing to keep in mind is that people need to do
something they’re passionate about and can post about every day;
something that doesn’t feel like an obligation.
can be a video compilation of their training or services, it can be
podcasting or having an active Twitter account.
- Gaining traction shouldn’t be your only goal;
make this a journey in finding yourself and what you’re good
How has soccer changed over the last 10 years in North
first thing Erica mentions is that soccer has become faster and
more physical, and of course, more competitive.
and more youngsters are becoming involved in soccer, especially
adds that because it’s become so competitive, kids are finding less
joy in soccer, as they seem to be experiencing a lot of
- People are forgetting the purpose of youth
sports. The pressure has led kids to compare themselves on social
media; they aren’t playing for fun anymore, they are playing to
become professional, or get a college
Early specialization isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Where do you think the most pressure is coming from, parents, or
says it’s a combination of both. However, she tries to be forgiving
with parents, as they are receiving all sorts of information, and
in most cases, they don’t know any better.
- Parents are most likely forced into early
specialization. The world of sports is rapidly becoming a world of
business. It may be that parents don’t realize this is the
direction they’re heading in, but the system is forcing them to go
sports becoming a business, parents are forced to keep up with
tournaments, club fees, and leagues.
- As a
way of approaching this problem, she always advises parents to let
their children take part in additional activities outside of their
primary sport; something that is more for relaxation.
adds that seeing a strength and conditioning coach will allow kids
to learn a variety of skills and movement, which will enhance their
Expand on how soccer changed your life and put you in a
safe place (14:32)
says she has always been thankful for soccer, and how much she
loves it. She had good role models and coaches growing
was in a very abusive relationship in high school, which almost
cost her her happiness. She was willing to quit soccer and follow
her boyfriend at the time to college.
day before early admissions were due to John Hopkins University,
she realized soccer had always been her safe place and she wasn’t
ready to give it up.
remembers the moment she told her parents that she was ending the
relationship and playing soccer at John Hopkins, as one of the most
memorable moments of her life.
Connect with Erica on
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