Developing leaders has always been one of RYAA’s goals in the community of East Palo Alto. One of the ways RYAA develops these young leaders is through allowing them to coach. Many of the coaches in the Fall soccer league are youth that played in the league, or still play now, but take the time to coach a team. They plan and conduct 2 practices per week, coach during games, but more importantly they get a chance to be role models to younger kids. Moises Acuna is a 19-year-old who played in RYAA’s soccer league when he was younger, and then decided to take on this challenge of being a coach and influence youth in a positive way. He answered a few questions for us about him, his experience as a player, as well as his goals as a coach.
How old were you when you started playing for RYAA? I was 12.
What was your favorite thing about any of your coaches while you were playing? The creativity they used to train me mixing enjoyable fun with practical skills.
What is your main goal as you are now a coach? What do you want the kids to gain out of their playing experience? My main goal as a coach is to teach these kids how to play soccer as well as how to deal with issues on the field that can help them deal with problems at home or school. I want them to gain more knowledge of the sport as well as more knowledge about themselves for example, perseverance: to be able to push themselves farther than they think they are capable of.
What is your dream job? My dream job is to become a Veterinarian and open an animal hospital here in our community and a learning center where children can come and explore and learn about different animals as well as finding a tutoring program that can help them with there studies. I wanna be there role model showing them that no matter where you come from you can be something great and make a difference in your community. But only God can help me get there.