IGA- We at IGA, know the work you have put in to get to this point of your career. Can you share a brief run down of your development experience getting you to where you are now?
It’s been a long journey that’s for sure. I played club growing up and played both forward and GK until I grew a bit and found flying through the air too much fun to pass up. But I really didn’t focus on this as a possible life goal and profession until really my freshman year in high school. From then on I decided to make sacrifices and put all my effort into making this dream a reality. I trained with goalkeeper coach after goalkeeper coach including Gary and IGA just trying to learn as much as I could. I watched YouTube video after YouTube video of saves and kicks and goals and went to fields on a daily basis either getting kicked on by friends and teammates or doing training myself. Basically I knew I had a lot to work on, still do, and did not like taking a day off. I was blessed to have the opportunity to play at butler and redshirted my first year which while it was frustrating not to get in games or travel, it was the right move because it allowed me to adapt to the new style and literally go and push myself physically and mentally more than I ever had in my life. I did all the above and then some that first year. I made it my goal not to waste that year. I was lucky to earn a starting spot the next year but of course had ups and downs and that challenged me mentally as much physically. Even with the spot, I knew nothing was ever guaranteed and that I needed to continue to get better so the work never stopped. I’d say over my four years of college I’ve grown a lot too with the mental side. I’ve become more positive, more of a team-first mentality and a much more short-term minded goalkeeper. I make mistakes but I don’t let it effect the next rep or game. Positivity and controlling what you can control are the two areas that I’ve developed the most.
IGA- Now that you have made it to the MLS with Sporting KC, what are the training methods you have been introduced to?
For me personally it’s like freshman year again. The hard work starts over again. First one on the field last to leave. Always doing more. I want to prove that I deserve the trust the coaches showed by drafting me. The sessions are crazy fast and filled with talented players that can do things with the ball that I haven’t seen before but know that with every rep, save or scored on, I am getting better. There is structured goalkeeper training every day with high quality goalkeepers and the coach is always analyzing and looking to change something for the better here and there. It’s honestly unreal and I’m just trying to stay my humble, confident self that got me to this point. Every day I just want to get a little better while trusting the process.
IGA- Why/When did you decide to be a goalkeeper and what makes Eric Dick a special talent within this position?
Honestly it wasn’t until my freshman year in high school until I realized I wanted to try and do something with this. I think my humility and hunger to get better in anyway possible have helped me get to where I am. I know the only way to get to where I want to be is to work hard. I know everyday I have a lot to learn and work on. Also I pride myself in a strong mind and a goofy, positive personality that I use to inspire players on and off The field and push not only myself but every other individual to be the best they can for the team. Also being taller helps too ;)
IGA- What advice would you like to share with our youth goalkeepers they could help them along their path to the highest level?
At a young level I recommend playing sports along with soccer that translates to the position. I have played basketball all
my life as with tennis, swimming, football (1 year), ping pong and it translates to the position in ways that soccer specific training maybe can’t get at. That being said, I think playing with your feet as much as you can, both feet, is huge. And then honestly put in the work mentally and physically. I’m huge into mental training. I visualize things constantly, I’ll sit in my room and for 20 minutes put calm music on and visualize with my eyes closed a training session, or game or me making saves. Always positive. If you’re able to do that, it’s literally just as effective as physically going out there. But you cannot do enough training on that field. Even if you’re on your own, don’t waste a day. If you work hard, and keep a humble mindset, good things will happen.