Above: Chance Fry encourages Adam Erickson during a 1999 match at 60 Acres.
Adam is a high-energy, high-performing person who effortlessly weaves life wisdom into conversation at the same time he’s laughing and having a good time. Today, he lives the lessons he learned at Eastside FC and beyond as a successful businessman, offering a roadmap for success to our young athletes.
Adam joined Eastside when he was 14, playing for Chance Fry on the white team, “although to be honest I don’t even think we called them red/white/blue back then!” laughs Erickson. From the start Adam loved the game and always had a ball at his feet practicing basic skills “much to my parents’ dismay, inside the house as well as in the backyard.” But all that hard work paid off, as Adam earned a position on the district ODP (Olympic Development Program) team as well as first team nominations while playing varsity soccer for Mt. Si High School. Adam reflected that soccer did not come easy, but his love for the game, willingness to work hard, and the gift of coaches who invested in him combined to craft a valuable experience and feelings of accomplishment along the way. As Adam shared “I believe my coaches were people who truly loved the game, coaching, and the athletes around them, and that was rare. What it taught me was to work for what you want and don’t settle. Seek feedback, action it and be prepared to continually improve.”
Above: Adam Erickson pictured above in the middle row, second from right.
The joy of playing, of having fun, of being together – these are the things that ring through the years as most memorable for Adam.His favorite Eastside memories were time with his team and learning from Chance. One memory in particular stands out: “It wasour last season before college. At that point I had been playing with almost half the team since I was 10 or 11 in some capacity and I vividly remember that season just being more focused on what we had accomplished as a team up to that point vs any other focus of getting to another level, team, region.”
Adam’s experiences at Eastside FC helped set him up for success as he headed off to Washington State University and, accomplishing a personal goal, played for the men’s club soccer team. Making the most of his academic and athletic experiences, Adam soon discovered that time management was crucial to achieving his goals. Specifically, he realized that small, consistent effort toward his top-priority goals was the lever within his control that added up to big things. He was fueled by his passion for the game and this translated to choosing an academic path and subsequent career he is passionate about too. As Adam says, “if you’re not having fun then why are you doing it? Revisit this often within your soccer career and professional life.”
Above: Adam Erickson (right) during a 1999 match at 60 Acres.
Adam graduated from WSU in 2005 and has spent the years since building a meaningful career within Talent Acquisition. He has been lucky to work with Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google, and several startups he assisted in taking public. Much of his work has centered on University Recruiting, giving an avenue to his passion for helping young adults best prepare for transitions such as high school to college or college to industry life. As such, Adam has been able to give back to the community that helped shape him.
As a successful businessman, Adam realizes there is a lot he applies today that he learned from soccer. Specifically, the value of balance and recovery have allowed him to perform in multiple areas of life over many years. As Adam shares with our young athletes at Eastside today:
What is often overlooked when comparing yourself to a collegiate or professional athlete, is the amount of equal time they spend in trainingand recovery. This could be stretching on an off day, an ice bath or sauna, or practicing visualization/meditation. It's the things that "aren't fun" but add up to produce better output within your activity to ensure your body/mind are ready. Taking the time now to build these practices into off days can help put you ahead later and ensure you’re ready to play your best on game day.
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Understanding the basics of nutrition and what you input into your body over the days and weeks leading up to trainings and games is immeasurable. Again, less talked about than what goes into a highlight reel or YouTube, but practicing these areas is controlled and celebrated at the highest levels. Taking simple steps now to adjust to healthy inputs, especially during rest days, is something I wish I would have listened to my coaches about more.
I have the privilege of leading large organizations where I continually push my teams to take time off and seek balance outside of work to ensure they can focus at the highest level. Soccer is demanding and understanding the impact that rest can have, much like the mental toll industries you may enter at some point in your life will have, are linked. Find people and places that leave you energized and visit them often to ensure you can come back to the sport better than before or ready to push forward again.
It’s clear to see why Adam is an Eastside “Champion in Life!” He has blazed a trail by navigating the transition from soccer to career while holding strong to the values he learned along the way. It’s impossible to read Adam’s story and not feel inspired by the road ahead.