The individual training I received concentrated on skill development and improving my technical ability with an emphasis on attacking/defending. We would then transition these concepts on how to attack/defend as a team, the importance of awareness in regards to your teammates or opponents, and field positioning. I clearly remember spending weeks on one technique. Shaun was always present and focused. Each drill would have a specific purpose, whether it was building on your strengths or improving upon personal weaknesses. The exercises not only made me a better soccer player, but more importantly a smarter player which offered me a huge advantage over any player or team I would face. The training environment was extremely competitive, and I would leave each practice knowing I got better that day. Being involved in this competitive atmosphere pushed me beyond my comfort zone and shaped me into the player I am today.
My 11-year experience with Shaun was nothing short of the best training you can possibly receive as a young player trying to make it to the next level. He taught me a great deal about character, self-discipline and mental toughness; qualities I have taken with me as I continue my career at University of Connecticut. These traits are not only evident on the field, but are a direct reflection of the person I am today. I learned to never shy away from a difficult challenge and to keep persevering even when things aren’t going my way. Work rate was always expected and praise was earned. These crucial elements set you apart from everyone else. If you are relentless with your training, the results will come.
I will never forget my time with Shaun and the Dynamite team. These were the best years of my life and I will forever be grateful for the invaluable opportunity I was given.
Looking back to the beginning at age 10 we started with the basics. We did a lot of technical drills and strategic team play, we built from the fundamentals up. During this time we had team building events which brought us closer as a team and family. Learning to trust and believe in one another was just as important as the drills. Under Shaun's guidance we developed an incredible team chemistry. Dietary guide lines and fitness became second nature to us as it completed the Dynamite total package. It was high level training at its very best.
I’m currently attending and playing for Savannah College of Art and Design. It was my dream school and I couldn't be happier. As an athlete/artist the Dynamite training has had a very personal impact on my life. From the moment I touch the ball at practice to holding a paint brush in my hand at class. I’m always striving to put forth my very best effort in everything that I do. Today on the field I am strong and confident. I believe in myself because I have the knowledge of the game. Its something that's always with you.
I trained for 5 1/2 years with Shaun Cryer. Shaun pushed us through tough times and great times. He was relentless with his "vision" for our team. He took us from sweet little girls to a powerhouse #1 team in the country. It takes a special group of girls and a unique coach to reach that level.
Thank you Shaun Cryer for teaching me the game of soccer ... And how to "Walk through a storm, hold my head up high and not be afraid of the dark!”
Training with Shaun was unlike training anywhere else. The environment he created within the Dynamite through his immense amount of knowledge about the sport, and the expectations he had for us every day we showed up made training competitive, fun, and challenging. There was not one day when I walked away feeling like I wasn’t pushed or that I didn’t improve in some way. Each season we had a primary focus, and through the constant instruction and practice, we all developed and mastered different skills and techniques, and by the time we were ready to leave for college we had a unique set of technical and tactical abilities as individuals and as a team. Shaun made us work really hard, to the point where we begged not to run anymore, and barely had the energy to walk off the field after certain drills, but it was all definitely worth it for the 6 years I played for him. Shaun taught me how hard you have to work to be successful, on your own and with others, how to push through pain, how to deal with criticism and how to take the knowledge and things he taught me and have the confidence to utilize it and be my best. Even though we went through a lot on the Dynamite, we performed and were very successful because of it; this can greatly be attributed to Shaun. All of our success, the traveling, and the friendships I made playing for Shaun helped to form my love for soccer. Shaun developed all of us and gave us opportunities I will forever be grateful for, especially because he helped me get to where I am today. Shaun and the Dynamite have given me memories an taught me lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
As a player on Dynamite for eleven years, the experience was instrumental in my development both personally and athletically. The training was strategically focused and I felt like I got better every session. It allowed me to develop an analytical mindset when it came to the game of soccer, much more so than my peers on other teams. The coaching was unparalleled and I was fortunate to have a great relationship with you on and off the field. Furthermore, I found that many of the values, such as resilience and competitiveness, were instilled from when I was eight years old up to when I was eighteen and heading off to college. Such values translate into my everyday life and I am grateful to have had such a transformative experience.
Having worked with Shaun for about 8-9 years, I got to learn a lot about what it meant to be a good player technically and mentally. I would describe the training as an intensive regarding work ethic and technical ability. As a possession team, we put a lot of emphasis on taking care of the ball, and this has absolutely molded me into the player I am, as well as the players I enjoy playing with. We worked a lot of passing precision and overall working hard to win the ball, want the ball, and keep the ball... all the time. Shaun always put a big emphasis on how hard you worked, and I think this has definitely shaped the player and person I am today. He had no sympathy for someone that did not give it their absolute best effort to want the ball, win the ball back, and go "full-blooded" into every tackle (The 3 Rules we all lived by). These principals have continued to carry over into my play in college. However, in life I definitely would say that this lesson in necessary work ethic for something that you really want has transferred over into practically everything that I do. It gave you a sense of responsibility and ownership for your role on the team and to take complete charge of that role when the moment came about.
I’m very certain that the Dynamites got me to where I am today, both as a soccer player and an individual facing the challenges that college brings along with it. In terms of pushing myself to failure, giving everything I possibly can every game, and not giving up because of the 10 girls fighting on the field next to me, Shaun Cryer instilled a sense of utter passion and drive in all of us that I, for one, know I can’t seem to let go of. Looking back in retrospect and considering my emotions towards the man who would ultimately mold me into someone who now understands that adversity is inevitable and life is challenging, I can’t seem to put into words how grateful I am for a man who I once feared. I joined the team when I was in fifth grade and played through with Shaun until I left for college. At a certain point in time, with more experiences under my belt, a more mature attitude, and overall better understanding of his coaching style, I think I finally adapted to what exactly his coaching did for me as a center midfielder and captain, but also as a person. He was no longer yelling, but instead, providing instruction. He was putting an immense amount of pressure on me, but because he believed in me and had extreme expectations for what he could foresee me achieving. I was no longer fearful of him, but instead had a newfound sense of self-confidence and mental toughness in confronting obstacles I faced on and off the field.
Since my arrival at Princeton a year and a half ago, I have not been successful in everything I have taken part in, I have faced many different kinds of adversity, and also thought of giving up on some things too easily. However, it didn’t really seem like the type of person that I’m used to being. Princeton is a tough place, and Shaun was always a proponent of learning to become comfortable at being uncomfortable. When I feel that complacency and giving up is acceptable, I remember all of the memories I have with my dynamite team, and that being complacent and accepting failure as an individual is a reflection of the respect you have for each of your teammates. Our training sessions always encouraged risk taking in attempting to improve upon weaknesses, learning to deal with criticism, and most importantly, having the ability to believe in yourself to get out of your head and either push yourself further or lean on your teammates for that little bit of additional support.
I am most appreciative of the time, memories, successes, failures, laughter, tears, and lifelong friendships I have with this team. We all played an integral role in making each other better soccer players and caring people. We all possessed a competitive edge that was contagious and necessary to get us to all of our dream colleges. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my time with such a unique and special group of people.
I trained with Shaun Cryer for seven years, and I can proudly say his superior coaching skills made me the player I am today. Shaun’s training sessions focused on improving my defending and attacking, while making my dribbling techniques, ball skills, and movement both on and off the ball a priority. Under his coaching and direction, I found myself constantly improving as a player. In addition to his dedication in developing me as an individual player, Shaun was equally dedicated to teaching me how to be an effective player with other players on the field. It was because of his coaching genius that the Dynamite enjoyed numerous successes and achievements.
My experience under Shaun Cryer has not only affected my soccer ability, but also my mentality, both on and off the field. Shaun approaches coaching with a “tough love” mentality—a strategy that means you might not always be happy, but you will always be improving, because you know he genuinely cares about you as a player and your future success. Shaun never accepts less than your best and never will allow you to either. The mentality I’ve come away with from training with Shaun follows me off the field, where it’s become a routine to never give anything less than my best, and never expect anything if it isn’t earned.
Training as a Dynamite player, I always had to be on top of my game. Giving 110% was always expected and no excuses were made. The entire team had the same goals and that was to be the best we could be individually and as a team. Training sessions were always mentally and physically challenging. We played by 3 rules: 1. When we have the ball, want the ball. 2. When we don’t have the ball, do everything you can to help win the ball back. 3. When the ball is there to be won/tackle, go in for the ball full blooded. Following these 3 rules helped make me the player that I am today. Being on the Dynamite definitely changed my approach to the way I play and look at things in life. It helped me to become a mentally strong player. Taking criticism in a constructive way is something that many people have difficulty with. It takes a special player to be a part of a team like the Dynamite. Being fully invested in the team and the players around you, both on and off the field is a major part of the sport. This mentality has carried over into my transition as a college player. It is not something that you see very often and I wouldn’t trade my experience with this team for anything in the world. It will be hard to find another thing that was as special as my Dynamite experience.
Training with Shaun for seven years gave me many opportunities that I would not have gotten on a different team. He built my understanding for the game both mentally and physically. Shaun also made me a better person by instilling respect and discipline. By challenging me to do things that I never thought I could I improved every day I stepped on the field.
Training consistently as a field player I was able to build my skills from playing different types of passes to recognizing movement patterns around the field which translated into games as a goalkeeper. From the technical drills everything was done in order to perform, respect, and give max effort on game day.
By playing for the Dynamite, I became more confident on and off the field. It was an environment that offered challenges and competition within practices and games which led me to improve my game. Coaches and teammates held me to a high standard on the field so in turn it reflected off the field as well.
I have learned a lot about myself while playing for the Dynamite. Through injury I learned how to be a part of something that was larger than myself. Creating lifelong friendships as well as having opportunities to travel and continue doing what I love in college have given me an appreciation for all the hard work that I have put in over the years.
More often than not I would come off the practice field everyday exhausted, I didn’t appreciate or understand in the moment but looking back there is no other team I would rather have been on and no other coach I would rather have had coach me.