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Great marriage between academics and athletics

Mazza motivates
Posted on 12/12/2019
Roberta MazzaBy Mackenzie Siddall

Roberto Mazza admits to being a little envious about the students he coaches in the WECDSB’s Soccer Academy.

“I wish my generation had something like this,” says the skills expert at Central Park Athletics (CPA). “It’s a great marriage that brings academics and athletics together.”

Mazza, who coached Division I soccer for 10 years at Mississippi Valley State University, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, returned home in 2016 and opened the Liverpool FC International Academy – also located at CPA – where he works as the site director.

After four years as the director of the WECDSB Soccer Academy, he said he really notices a dramatic difference in his students’ level of play from start to finish.

“It’s gratifying for me as a coach to see that they are improving as time goes on,” he says. “I really enjoy this.”

Mazza said his job involves helping the kids to get better both technically and tactically. He explains that every day is different at the academy and they take things ‘one step at a time.’

“I am here to make them enjoy the game, but more importantly make them a better person both on and off the field,” he added.

Mazza believes soccer has evolved so much from when he played the game.

“We were always playing in gyms. Now, there’s turf fields that the kids can play on, so it makes it more realistic to the game.”

As the skills expert for the soccer academy, Mazza has the opportunity to grow as an individual and he explains that coaching these kids teaches him a lot. Not only does it benefit him, but the kids at the soccer academy get an opportunity to have fun, make new friends, and become better soccer players.

“I love giving kids the opportunity to get better as both players and people,” he says.

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