For Davenport senior Decide Erickson, exterior of being an all-district soccer participant, a multi-sport athlete, a scholar with a 3.96 GPA or the mayor’s son, he’s additionally a coach.
The chance got here final spring because the native Excessive Youth Flag Soccer group wanted a coach simply earlier than their season began.
With a emptiness current, Leslie Uptain, the mom of one of many gamers and the Tutorial and Profession Advisor at Davenport Excessive College, rapidly considered Decide Erickson.
Having identified him from an Rising Leaders Program she sponsored in addition to seeing him at group occasions, Uptain was excited to ask him about teaching the group late on a college day within the spring semester.
“I do not wish to interrupt tutorial time, so I used to be making an attempt my hardest to attend as a result of I used to be excited,” Uptain mentioned. “I had an thought and was excited for what it may imply not only for my kiddo, however for him and his alternative of him with that, too. So I knocked on the door.”
The impromptu go to began him, as he initially thought he was in hassle.
“I used to be chilling out in my seventh-period class, and impulsively, Ms. Uptain walks within the door and says to my instructor, ‘Can I borrow Decide?’” Erickson mentioned. “When an administrator or somebody who has energy at school [asks] to your title, particularly, you are like, ‘Oh. What did I do?’”
Uptain pulled him into the hallway and requested if he could be desirous about teaching the Excessive flag soccer group. Though the supply got here out of the blue, he discovered the concept thrilling sufficient to say sure.
With a newfound alternative in entrance of him, Decide Erickson sought assist from his father, Mayor of Backyard Ridge Robb Erickson, and his shut good friend, Sean McLendon, to be assistant coaches.
Success got here quickly for the group and the then-named Hawks because the group went undefeated within the spring, profitable the Excessive Flag Soccer Championship. This previous fall, Decide Erickson led the newly-named Wolves to the championship sport once more.
All through his son’s life, Robb Erickson has been teaching Decide in a number of sports activities. That have allowed Decide Erickson to implement a few of his father’s classes from him.
“A few of these classes are precisely the teachings that my dad taught me once I was at their age,” Decide Erickson. “In the event you get down, at all times bear in mind to get again up… If life knocks you down, you simply bought to get again up and face it. One other one was, ‘What’s crucial play? …The subsequent one.’ That caught with me for my whole soccer profession. You make a mistake. You miss a deal with. You drop a catch, you fumble the ball. Don’t fret about that, and simply give attention to the following play. Study what you probably did improper and be taught from that and give attention to the following play and make your self higher.”
With an eagerness to show life classes by the sport, Decide Erickson wished to be one thing aside from a demonstrative chief, opting to be extra measured.
“[If] they do one factor improper, you’ll be able to’t yell at them as a result of they do not know what they’re doing improper,” Decide Erickson mentioned. “You must go as much as them and calmly clarify to them. You must get all the way down to their stage. You must perceive how they’re feeling. A few of these children have not performed soccer of their whole lives earlier than. [The game] is totally new to them. You must be sympathetic in the direction of them. You must perceive the place they’re coming from and how one can inform them what to do with out yelling at them or elevating your voice.”
That management type is intuitive for him and even translated to when he performed on Friday nights as a co-captain.
“He leads by instance,” Davenport head soccer coach JD Zimmerhanzel mentioned. “Youngsters simply wish to be round him. He is at all times optimistic.”
Decide Erickson plans to proceed teaching the group within the spring, however the expertise has made him wish to go into educating sooner or later, and he credit the coaches in his life.
“I spent a lot time there with them within the mornings and the afternoons throughout the day, in order that they begin to turn out to be household and also you begin to have a love for them,” Decide Erickson mentioned. “They coached you, and so they belief you, and also you belief them. I wished to do what they did for me and provides again… I wished to provide what my dad gave me and provides it again.”