Getting coached by a legend is a special thing. Former Columbus Crew defender Gino Padula certainly falls into the legend category, helping deliver an MLS Cup Championship to the Ohio capital. That being just one of many accomplishments in a globetrotting career that saw him spend time in Spain, France, England, and his native Argentina. Now he has hung up his boots as a player, switching his career to coaching youth soccer as co-director of the Schelotto & Padula Academy. His partner and former teammate Guillermo Barros Schelotto is the other legend behind the venture, adding some star power to a soccer academy started from the ground up less than a year ago.
The pairing is a formidable duo on or off the field. Padula points out that they both have a winning mentality and are fans of attacking soccer.
“We have a good relationship,” Padula commented. “We see the game in the same way. We both love this country, this city.”
Padula’s teammates always knew he would end up as a coach. He was very vocal on the field and was always the first to talk tactics. He enjoyed his 15+ years of professional experience, but knew the calling to be a coach was very strong. He prepared himself for this new life, knowing that a coach worked long hours for a single goal.
“A coach wants to get the best out of every player,” the former QPR, Nottingham Forest, and Montpelier defender commented. “Everyone on a team is important.”
Padula is now involved in coaching all ages of youth, from age U-4 to U-18. The obvious focus is player development and the fostering of skills, developing creativity that is so famous in the Argentinian game. Padula is able to teach and coach in a low pressure environment, where players can grow their love of the game and become better players at the same time. The focus on fitness, tactics, and technique means quality sessions where everyone can improve.
“You have to remember they are kids,” Padula continued. “They are here to have fun too.”
The goal for the academy is to help players get to the next level, whether that be high school soccer, the collegiate game, or even a career as a professional. Padula has the global connections that will help his players get noticed.
The Columbus soccer community has embraced the S&P Academy as over 200 players flocked to the winter sessions. The attention now turns to the spring season, the biggest show in Ohio club soccer, as even more players head to S&P. Padula is quick to point out that honesty is the best policy at his academy. Parents and players appreciate this, always knowing where they stand with the staff and coaches. They are also impressed that Padula and Schelotto actually coach the youth teams, unlike other pros that have turned to coaching.
“The S&P Academy will touch many young players’ lives,” S&P Academy coach Guillermo Zarate declared. “And I’m sure Gino will help them to reach their maximum potential in the game we love.”
The community also appreciates the charitable work of the academy. Padula and Schelotto collected toys for patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital during the holidays after collecting for a local food bank earlier in the year.
“We’re not just playing soccer,” Padula concluded. “There are a lot of people that need help in this community.”
Gino Padula is setting a good example for players and coaches alike, serving as a role model for his work on and off the pitch. A great reason for him to be named the first “ISN Star of Coaching Presented by Korrio.”
Korrio understands it is your passion for coaching kids that drives you. We also know that the less time you spend dealing with administrative, communication and automation hassles, and the more time you spend on the field, the happier you’ll be. And because you play a crucial role in our children’s lives, we want you spending as much time as possible coaching our kids. Korrio offers a modern approach to coaching by allowing new ways to communicate and develop a community on and off the field. Congratulations to the ISN Star of Coaching this month!