Like many young soccer players, Rio Fazio has been playing sports since he was young. As the owner of RIO FC (Real Intense Outdoor Football Club), he provides training to soccer players within the Greater Toronto Area.
But his passion is more than soccer, at first interaction with Rio, you’ll notice his calmness and the professionalism he brings to the game of Soccer. He understand the importance of player development is a partnership between himself, parents and the athletes.
Rio is passionate about educating players of all levels to understand their abilities and excel in every way possible.
Find out more about Rio and how you can connect with him to get your soccer player to the next level in this month’s feature.
BM: Tell us how did you get started as a soccer coach?
RFC: The background story begins with one of my practices. I saw that one of the players was looking down because he wasn’t performing well. I then asked my player and parent to stay behind after practice to do a little side training with me. We practiced for an extra hour on speed, agility, footwork and added some skill moves of course, to make it fun.
At our next game, this player was able to start the game and used all the tactics we trained on during the game. I then saw the biggest smile on the player and family’s face, and this is where I knew I would love to continue to help players achieve their goals in the great game of soccer.
As parents we can see when our children are using what they have been taught in their game. It gives us confidence when we see the passion from the coach. So tell us…
Why do love being a soccer coach?
RFC: There are many reasons why I love to coach soccer. I have great passion for the game and when I first started coaching a small youth club, I could see the passion that the players shared with me.
What are some of the things that parents should look for in a coach?
RFC: The one thing parents should look for in a coach is their knowledge about the game. It is very easy to tell between a coach that is knowledgeable and has played the game to one that thinks they know about the game. It is also important to find out what qualifications/education the coach has that enables him/her to professionally train the athlete.
What are some of the ways that both parents and coaches can work together to make sure the need of the athlete is met?
RFC: Both parents and coaches can work together in many ways to make sure that the need/s of the athlete are met. I have three top conditions that need to be met by both coaches and parents.
First things first, dedication from both parties is crucial! Needs of our athletes cannot be met if one or the other party do not commit to training or game days.
Second is to support the athlete. Support comes in the form of constructive criticism. Communicate to find out what the athlete might need improvement on or where the athlete is exceptional. Discuss positive and negative. Just criticizing will bring negative energy to the athlete which will discourage them from the game. It is crucial that we point out the mistakes and provide solutions on how to correct them.
The last one is to allow the athletes to have fun! If they can not enjoy the sport, the drive and dedication will deteriorate and eventually steer the athlete to another sport or to stop sports in general, due to all of the pressure.
What can parents do to help their student athlete be motivated and support their mindset changes.?
RFC: Three things that a parent can do to help their student athlete stay motivated and to support their mindset are
1) Make sure that they have been given responsibilities, which makes the athlete take ownership on themselves. This can be brought into the game and practices.
2) Constructive criticism to their athletic child, as we all know that no one likes to be put down because of a mistake made.
3) Ensure that through all of the training that respect, vocalization, listening skills and fun is occurring throughout the soccer ventures.
What are some practical ways that can help increase an athlete’s performance using a dedicated coach outside from their team?
RFC: There are many practical ways that can help increase an athlete’s performance outside of their home team. The most practical ways to increase an athlete’s performance based on my personal experience, is to have the following; commitment, grit, focus/mental toughness and a role model that practices what they preach.
Each player that can bring this to a coach like myself will excel and perform at an elite level when returning to their team. Without these, players will not strive to reach their goals, push through the training sessions that are tough and all in all give it their 110% to their second coach.
Who inspires you to continue coaching?
RFC: The smiles and confidence that comes from my coaching. To see the athletes and hear them tell me their stories about how my training program helped them so much is a blessing to me. I love to see my athletes excel and perform what we train in game situations and hope to continue passing down my knowledge to them.
Rapid Fire Questions with Coach Rio
In the next 2 years I can see my business becoming essential to all soccer athletes as soccer is a growing sport here in Canada.
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
‘NSCA Strength and Conditioning’
Best advice I ever received is that “if you put your mind to it you will get it”.
If I had one super power, it would be to control time
Something nice I recently did for myself is buy some educational soccer books.
If there was a movie made about my life, I would want Johnny Depp to play me.
It’s true that when you love what you do, you never work. I’ve seen how Rio’s students and athletes look up to him. His extensive knowledge in the field of sports and his ability to communicate effectively to everyone he interacts with is a true testament to his calling as a great coach and mentor.
Thank you Coach Rio for allowing us to know you better and the what being a Soccer coach means to you.
Baller Mom recommends Coach Rio to all soccer moms and their families looking for a professional coach that takes time to work you and your children to develop and guide them to their next level.
He can be found via Instagram @riof.c or via email at email@example.com