A Note from Coach Myers
How her experience, philosophy, and expertise creates a successful environment at Warrior Soccer Training
When I learned to walk, I learned to dribble; when I learned to run, I learned how to score. For me, soccer has been more than a sport, it’s been a gift, a blessing, a friend, and an avenue for new experiences, an education, and some of my most meaningful friendships of my life. My growth and my individual human experience cannot be separated from soccer. The lessons resulting from my experience in the game have been immeasurable, and have played a major role in my development as a person, particularly in areas concerning discipline, work ethic, focus, integrity, and life perspective.
My introduction to soccer was through my father, a former All-American, NCAA Champion, Hall of Famer, and North American Soccer League Professional player. He is the current owner of BayGingaInc. soccer academy in Baltimore, MD, and continues to make a difference in the soccer community. As a player, he was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA tournament, and continued in his professional career with the Dallas Tornadoes and the Seattle Tacoma Tides. Before retiring he was fortunate enough to play alongside of our world’s best, Pele, as a guest player for the New York Cosmos.
Needless to say, my introduction to the game was colored with expertise, which provided a solid foundation to build on. Daily practice with my father, emphasizing proper technique, first touch, shooting, 1v1 moves, and speed were essential for my development. Work ethic was always demanded in addition to technical training through repetition.
My knowledge of the game continued to grow as I was exposed to the most intelligent soccer minds of the game. As I climbed the youth ladder, making the Maryland State team, Regional team, and National Team, I was fortunate enough to be influenced by former US National Team coach Tony Dicicco who ran sessions at Region One Camp, University of Virginia coach Steve Swanson, Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan, and former UCLA Head Coach and US National Team Coach Jill Ellis. Coaches all of over the United States ran sessions during my time training with the Regional Team along the East Coast, followed by the time I spent training with the National Team in locations all over the world, spanning from the Olympic Training Center in California, to the green grass in Ireland.
My network continued to grow as I began getting recruited from colleges all over the United States, including nearly all of Division One’s Top 25 soccer schools, ranking as a Top 25 Recruit myself for the class of 2005. Many of these connections have been lasting, and influential as I have transitioned into coaching.
As a scholarship athlete at Penn State, I was influenced by the philosophy of former US Women’s National Team Assistant Coach and Penn State Head Coach Erica Walsh.
When I chose to begin working on my Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington due to a fifth year of eligibility from an injured redshirt year at Penn State, I studied from former Scottish player Paul Cariney, and one of his assistants Mika Elovaara. Elovaara has been one of the most influential teachers and mentors in my life passing lessons on in the classroom, on the field, and in the arena of life.
A former Finish Professional player, and UEFA B and USSF B Licensed coach, Elovaara’s experience and education is extensive, and he helped to solidify my philosophy of “total soccer.”
After playing professionally for a Dutch Head Coach who had played in the FIFA World Cup Final in 1974, Elovaara mastered the “total soccer” of Dutch tradition philosophy, which requires mastery in ball control, active movement, and the proper balance between creativity and discipline. The current Dutch and Spanish national teams are examples of practicing “total soccer” teams.
Warrior Soccer Training believes in this style of play, and aims to provide players with the proper technical foundation , so that players can later execute tactical elements of the game successfully.
My professional player career in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2010 concluded my time as a player, and I have transitioned enthusiastically to a coaching perspective. Even as a player I had a coaching mentality and I’ve always been an avid student of the game, taking notes after training sessions, keeping records of drills and lessons from high level coaches, and continually seeking knowledge to better my understanding of the game. I am committed to continuing my growth as a trainer, and I demand the same kind of commitment to individual growth from my players. I believe in challenging players technically, tactically, physically, and psychologically, and I believe in hard work, preparation, and excellence on and off the field. Sessions are always tailored to meet individual strengths, goals, wants, and needs, and I am confident that regardless of what those may be players will experience real results.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that God has given me to pass on my expertise, experience, and knowledge of the game, and I am passionate about aiding players in their growth and development on the field.
Ashley N. Myers