Everyday Health & Fitness

June 2018 Fitness Feature: Forza Soccer School, Washington DC

Totally personalized, totally unique, and one of the fastest growing soccer schools on the East Coast. Lead by Co-Founders and Trainers Isaac Taylor and Lorenzo D’Agostino, Forza Soccer School will have the DC Metro Area singing Wavin’ Flag in no time.

As with any Roads Best Traveled Fitness Feature, you know we love to break up the monotony of the basic workouts and show you all what the coolest new thing is out there. Currently, the cool workout to involve your kids and hottest new company? Thy name is Forza Soccer School.

With the focus on individual player development, its no wonder these entrepreneurs have shot up to one of the fastest growing companies in the DMV area. Not only do the FSS trainers have a more individual client focused work ethic, but they communicate with each athlete to schedule according to a calendar that works for all parties. So, when you’re busy with your families life and commitments, you know you’re still getting the best training and the best service.

Now, following the recent Washington Capitals Stanley Cup win and making DC sports relevant for once, don’t you think it’s time we had a soccer championship?! How do we get there. . .start ’em young! Scout the champions and build the teams up! Thats exactly what the guys and gals at FSS plan to do – and so far, results are increasingly positive. {Yes, I’m putting the entire cities future championship pressure on these guys}.

So, who are the brains behind the operation?

Lorenzo D’Agostino (bottom) and Isaac Taylor (top) are the Founders, (who also coach) and have actually been friends for years before opening FSS!

“We both grew up in the DMV and played competitive youth soccer in the area. We were former competitors on separate club teams, but eventually teamed up at 14 years old with one of the original DC United Academy teams in 2004. From that point forward, we played together consistently on those academy teams and those experiences created the foundation for our collegiate and professional careers.”  – Isaac Taylor

Forza Soccer School has a growing professional staff with Daniel Akinkoye as Lead Trainer, Erin Lopynski as a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, and Mary Tartaglione on staff as an Injury Prevention Specialist.

Most importantly, lets get to the meat of things and see what it is that Forza Soccer School offers! Their bread and butter, are the one-on-one sessions that are going to increase your skills and get you to the top of your game.

One-on-One Training

Single Training Session: As the FSS coaches prefer to fully analyze players before training them, a single 1-1 session could be the best way to go. Let a pro gauge areas of improvement immediately and for the long term before diving into any group or advanced classes.

Fundamentals (Technique & Foot Skills) 60 Min Sessions: These are for beginner/intermediate level players who need to focus on foot skills and sharpening their technique. All one to one sessions are tailored based on individual playing level.

Advanced Player Position Specific Training 90 Min Sessions: These are for high-level players who need to focus on sharpening their position-specific skills and in-game IQ. During the advanced player training Forza coaches will break down sessions with a 10 minute complete warm up routine, 60 minutes of high intensity soccer specific ball work, 10 minutes of fitness, and 10 minutes of personalized stretching and injury prevention.

Group Classes & Teams

Often, Forza coaches are approached by parents and the community to coach teams and groups. On their website you’ll find a seasonal personalized portal for parents to find information and resources for their specific season of training!

Forza Soccer School trains teams, boys, and girls, of all ages!

Extras & Add Ons

Nutritional & Dietary Counseling: Well rounded training is crucial to top performance, and that importance is not lost on the trainers at Forza. Add their nutritional counseling onto your package to ensure you’re properly fueling the success you’re working towards.

Preventative Stretching & Injury Counseling: When athletes are working at the highest level – they’re also more prone to the highest level of injury and muscle strain. Continuing the trend of well rounded athletes and care, the FSS crew has offered comprehensive preventative stretch and injury counseling to ensure each and every client is prepared throughout their seasons.

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Interviewing the Entrepreneurs

Isaac, Lorenzo – What first gave you the idea for FSS? Have you always wanted to coach?

We both analyzed our playing careers and saw gaps in the current system that we intended to fix. Players who are immersed in a competitive environment tend to focus on the goal of winning at a young age, but they also need to focus on their individual skills and game IQ. We believe that building a foundation of skills physically and mentally, while focusing on position-specific training gives players the tools to blossom into great players.

Any frustrations with the current way soccer is taught? What sets you as coaches and FSS apart from any other training programs in the area – or in the US?

We feel that youth soccer in the USA is built on the foundation of winning and not development. As important as winning is in the sport, we feel that you can build this after foundational skills. Learning how to play smartly, tactically, and developing the right techniques at a young age are crucial parts of the game. These methodologies are proven in foreign countries, yet not adopted here in the states.

IMG_0091 (2)We both have very unique views of the game from our playing experience. Lorenzo played division 1 at George Mason University and played professionally in Italy, while Isaac played Division 1 at Boston College and professionally in the US. We both have distinctly different playing styles, so we balance each other’s knowledge to provide the most comprehensive coaching. Additionally, we are both extremely passionate about the game and are constantly learning/adapting. We are constantly pushing the status quo to ensure our clients are challenged and seeing results. Lastly, we both strive to build a personal relationship with our client as we feel that these relationships allow for more intimate development experiences. We always go above and beyond for our clients and aim to be mentors, on and off the field, as much as we are coaches.

For some that don’t know a ton about soccer/futbol – however you’d like to call it – what they do know is the fans are some of the most loyal and enthusiastic in all of sports! What are the teams you would fly across the world to see? 

Soccer/Futbol is the world’s sport! It is a place where everyone can come together, across religious, geographic, economic, and political divides, forget whatever may be going on in their lives, to enjoy in the communal celebration of competition. To us, as passionate supporters, soccer is a lifestyle and somewhat of a religion.

Lorenzo, as an Italian native, is a diehard Napoli supporter.

Isaac, who idolizes Steven Gerrard, is a diehard Liverpool supporter.

Any crazed fan story you can tell us? Have you been the crazed fans before?

Fans are the heart of the sport. We’ve both traveled thousands of miles to view our favorite teams, but we don’t compare to some other supporters out there.

We’ve both heard hundreds of stories of crazed fans throughout the world, all equally as amazing. It’s very hard to pinpoint an individual story….

Ok well if you can’t think of that story, then tell me what you would do in this situation. It’s the finals of the World Cup – your favorite teams are playing – you have the night free – where are you watching? 

Oo great question. For the World Cup, we would typically be watching in the comfort of my home with friends/family.

For club games, we typically go to local club-specific pubs. The Liverpool pub in DC is the Queen Vic on H St. You can catch Isaac there most weekends.

Coming from a professional background we tend to not only watch games, but analyze them. So sometimes watching in an environment that may seem more fun can actually become more stressful.

And now everyone reading this knows where to find you when they have questions about their kids game! Haha thanks for that! Speaking about stress though, what would you say is the biggest factor about soccer that gives men and women the best workout? Is it the running? The cross-training? The consistent increased heart rate from watching Cristiano Ronaldo run around?

Without a doubt, soccer is physically demanding because it utilizes every aspect of your body while always being at anaerobic/increased heart rate. The focus is typically the core and fitness, and most trainings are focused on strengthening that. Also kicking a ball requires lots of core engagement. It’s no coincidence many soccer players have great abs!

{Please note they’re ignoring my question about Cristiano. . .}

The most common workout for soccer players is circuit training, where you are increasing strength at a high heart rate. A lot of our fitness regimens with clients revolve around circuit trainings with our speed and agility partner, Evolution Performance Training.

Final question, what would you like readers to know about Forza Soccer School? About soccer and you both as coaches and business owners?

Soccer, to us, is an art. Our goal is to provide players the foundation and skills to expressIMG_0110 themselves in the game uniquely. As said before, a lot of coaches today focus on winning and jeopardize the players’ development in doing so. We are trying to balance that and provide a place where young boys and girls can learn, enjoy the game, see their results, and thus, become motivated to continue playing and improving. Additionally, this game has shaped our character into who we are today. We love to mentor young children into becoming positive adults and competitive athletes in hopes that they can continue the cycle of giving back, just as we are.

 

 

Roads Best Traveled has not received any compensation to write this review. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are not influenced by the company or it’s employees in any way.

 

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