A Conversation with NC Fusion’s Central Director, Eduardo Ulloa, and His Son, Aaron

Eduardo, what inspires you to be a coach?
I love soccer. It’s as simple as that. My dream was to be a professional soccer player until I injured my knee, thus ending my soccer career, but even though my career ended, that didn’t mean my love for the sport did. I wanted to be able to inspire in children the same passion that I have and be able to provide them with the tools necessary to elevate their own level of play. I love to see their potential turn into reality. It’s very rewarding for me.

You are the central director for Fusion, coach multiple teams, hold private lessons as well hold a soccer clinic. How do you find a balance between it all and keep yourself from being burnt out?
The biggest thing for me is that I have the support of my wonderful family. No matter where my teams play, near or far, my beautiful wife and children are always there with me. We don’t have to miss out on time together because they believe in me so much and support me in everything I do. I think another big factor is that we make a conscious effort to schedule vacation time, where we can really just take a break from everything, create memories and really just enjoy each other.

Aaron, you are beginning to follow in your dad’s footsteps and shadow practices acting as an assistant. What has led you to want to so?
I have a little brother who will do anything and everything I do, so he tries to follow my footsteps when it comes to soccer as well. I love him so much that I want him to eventually be better than me and have the ability to go further than me. So really, it was my little brother that inspired me to follow my dad’s path.

How do you avoid a soccer burnout between being a full-time player as well as a coach?
I’m still a kid myself, so for me, I think just having the time to still be a kid is the biggest help. Playing soccer basically full-time prevents a lot of those normal kid activities, so just making sure I still have that time to hang out with my friends, go to the mall or play Xbox helps with being burnt out because I don’t feel as if I’m missing out.

What is the best part about coaching kids?

“I love to just watch them grow, not only as a soccer player but as an individual person. Coaching isn’t just about teaching children the sport, but also teaching them about life, how to implement practice and hard work, decision-making and the ability to work as a team.” –Eduardo Ulloa

“Kids are just so funny. They find a way to make everything fun and silly, really just reminding you to not take life so seriously all of the time and to just have fun with it.” –Aaron Ulloa