Massimo Ferrin’s dedication to training built him into a technical playmaker

first_imgKarleigh Merritt-Henry | Digital Design EditorFerrin’s growth started with Gino, a former midfielder at Maryland. When Ferrin was six, Gino told his son that if he wanted to play soccer, he’d be coached harder than other players. Gino would coach Ferrin’s teams throughout high school while expecting more from his son. Ferrin obliged and his training started. Gino and Ferrin’s mother, Maria, bought Ferrin toy soccer balls after he scuffed cupboards. Other furniture, like chair legs and ottomans, acted as Ferrin’s makeshift obstacle course. He zigzagged through the house during the week, an act he’d repeat on trips home, and through defenses on weekends. On drives after games, Ferrin sat in the back of the family car and heard critiques of his performance. Gino always acknowledged both Ferrin’s highlights and areas of improvement. Without telling Ferrin, Gino would then tailor their side practices for whichever technique Ferrin was in need of maintaining, like more touches to the right foot when he was becoming reliant on his left. When Ferrin was almost 14, Gino saw him as potential D-I talent.“Once I talked to Massimo, to be honest, he did it on his own, he really did,” Gino said. “This wasn’t dad or mom saying, ‘Hey, did you go do your extra soccer training?’” While Ferrin progressed, Gino sought ways to improve Ferrin’s skills. Gino convinced his old youth coach, Hector Marinaro Sr. — who played globally for nearly 20 years and coached for another 30 — to lead Ferrin’s local all-star team. Marinaro’s possession-based strategy that bled into Gino’s style worked its way into Ferrin’s.Max Freund | Staff PhotographerThe only issue with Ferrin’s skillset, the forward said, was his nerves. He demonstrated technical ability on the practice fields, but then committed turnovers or mis-hits in games. Ferrin studied and calculated that he just hadn’t trained enough. That worry manifested in Ferrin and led him to schedule more practices leading to up matches.Practices were 35 minutes long and became the standard. After school and before practice, he’d either go with his dad to a local park or go to their basement to kick a ball around. The regimen developed into a necessary checklist for Ferrin’s pregame readiness. In his first youth campaign with the added practices, he totaled 20 goals with 11 assists to lead the league. Ferrin’s preparation-first mindset has carried him the last few seasons. His professional dream routed him toward U.S. soccer and into a new professional pipeline. Deployed to several different offensive positions at SU in 2018, Ferrin’s extra training — eventually joined by Ryan Raposo and others last season — allowed him to keep his spot in the rotation. In two games this season, Ferrin has already contributed three points, sharing the offensive workload with sophomore Raposo. As his role continues to expand, Ferrin will continue to rely on the training he’s benefited from so far.“I’d be nervous (during games),” Ferrin said. “The extra training told me there was nothing to worry about.” Comments Published on September 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez When Massimo Ferrin was a kid, playing on youth teams in Mississauga, Ontario, he skipped through defenses, dazzled with ball skills and ran immediately back to midfield after scoring. Any brief celebration for the 8-year-old Ferrin, like a high-five or a fist-pump, was wasted movement. Ferrin’s enjoyment wasn’t linked to scoring, instead valuing the practice process. He preferred the hours dribbling and passing against a wall instead of going out with friends. As a child, hours with the ball at his feet eased him after losses. As a senior at Syracuse (1-1) 11 years later, they still do. “(Training) relaxes my mind,” Ferrin said. “It’s kind of my escape in terms of getting the nerves away and feeling confident in myself.” Ferrin, one of SU’s leading offensive threats, is described by family and coaches as shy and motivated. His play style and training routine are linked. Ferrin’s dedication led him to personalized practices outside of team sessions. During those, he registered an extra 200-300 touches a day, which shaped Ferrin into the technically sound playmaker he is. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe byproduct is a high-IQ forward with 13 collegiate goals, eight coming at Alabama-Birmingham in his first two Division-I seasons. In 2018, he recorded the third-most points (12) for the Orange. Gino, Massimo’s father, told his son to enjoy his final collegiate year for the experience. But that’s not how Ferrin operates. He embraces the training.“If I go into a game knowing that I’ve trained more than anybody on the pitch or I’ve put in the time to make myself feel confident,” Ferrin said, “I can play with a relaxed mind and not have the pressure I have to perform.”center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img