Coach’s Corner: Rico Moore

Khadija Ahmed, Staff Writer

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Ricardo Moore coaches boys’ varsity soccer. He was born in the Republic of Panama, Central America and was raised in Bronx, New York. He joined the Air Force after high school and has been coaching here for four years. He was previously an assistant coach at Mount Vernon High School where he won state championships.

 

How did you discover your interest in soccer?

I got a New York Cosmos soccer ball when I was 8. I played outside of my place with my friend Sergio and never looked back. Soccer was my life since then.

 

What are your strengths as a coach?

I believe that my true love and passion for the game of soccer is a great strength for me as a coach. Always wanting to learn new ways of training. I also believe that I can be emotionally inspiring. The boys might think otherwise.

 

What are your best and worst memories in coaching?

The best memories are easy. Jumping up and down like a little kid and running towards the kids on that championship field. The head coach at Mt Vernon is one of my best friends since high school so it was a very special day. Coming full circle from being kids on the playing field to being adults coaching them. Another was getting the call to be the head coach here. It was a big deal for me. I really thought about bad memories in coaching and can’t really think of any. I’m coaching the game I love with kids that I grow to really care for and I can’t find anything “bad” in that.

 

How do you handle the discipline of players?

Teenage boys can be really hard to deal with but I try to instill a sense of responsibility in them. Pride in the team and the school and that what they do in the classroom is the most important thing. Also letting them know that they’re only letting themselves down if they don’t take their own lives seriously. It’s their team, be true to it. It’s their academics be diligent about it.

 

What advice do you have for your players regarding the balance of athletics and academics?

I tell them it’s not a choice. If you want to be on the team you have to succeed at both. If one is going to suffer at the expense of the other it should be soccer. School is your future. If that’s right, life will be better in the long term. Soccer is for fun.

 

What are your goals for the team this year?

District tournament winners. It is up to the boys to get it. By the way I interviewed the boys before the season and it was their goal also. I think it’s achievable. We have the talent. We have the will. Can we put it together on the days necessary?  We’ll see.

 

How would you describe the organization of a typical practice?

I organize practice by having a little fitness first then going right into drills that reinforce our formation and system. Then we address any mistakes we may have made in the previous game with other drills. Then we often finish with a scrimmage to see if they can apply what they learned that day.

 

How do you promote community support for your team?

Parents help out so much. They spread the word about the team. Getting into the community when we fundraise also brings awareness. Trying to have the boys themselves be the best representatives of the school out there is also important. Also planning a youth team night soon.

 

Who are your role models in coaching?

Marcelo Bielsa, Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Zinedine Zidane.

 

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

Working with the kids and being able to share the game we all love.

 

What other sports are you interested in?

None. Not kidding. Passing interest in other sports but soccer is my lifelong love.

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