Nazon’s passion for coaching makes him popular at Space Coast United


Published:

Space Coast United coach Nic Nazon guides the U11 red team through an intense and organized practice.

Adam Palumbo

When it comes to coaching soccer, Nic Nazon seems to have really found his niche.

“I’ve been in the junior division now for three or so years and I’ve really enjoyed working with the younger kids and preparing them for the senior division, helping them at such a pivotal point in their football (soccer) careers,” said Nazon, who coaches the U11 and U12 boys red teams for Space Coast United Soccer.

“They’ve done very well. I’m very proud of them.”

A 2014 graduate of Heritage High School, where he was the team’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, Nazon played one season at Eastern Florida State College under coach Oliver Twelvetrees.

While he was there, he did some guest coaching with the Brevard Soccer Alliance and that’s where the man who turned 24 this month caught the coaching bug.

He’s now a very popular coach at Space Coast United and wants to be a technical director one day.

“I would probably say it was the interaction and realizing the effect you have on them and their lives,” Nazon said. “Obviously, everybody’s had good and bad coaches. So, when I first started, I think what made me feel happy about it was being able to work with them and watch them grow and understand what you’re teaching them and seeing it pan out and seeing them progress over time.

“I really enjoyed that aspect of it. People took chances on me, and I was doing well, so I just carried on doing it because I grew a passion for it. It’s the development that is really striking to me.

“I couldn’t care less about the winning and losing of games. But if a kid I was working with at 12 … when he turns 17, 18, 19 years old, achieves what he wanted to achieve in the game — whether that’s winning a State Cup, going Division I and playing at the next level, or trying to go pro — that’s ideal for me. It makes me really happy.”

The key to working with players, particularly in the junior division, Nazon said, is having patience and also understanding that all kids are different. Their home life is different. They’re motivated differently.

They’re not all going to respond to the exact same style of coaching in the exact same way. Being able to sort through all that can go a long way to understanding how to reach them.

“I have 15 boys on my team,” Nazon said. “Five of them, I can probably get through to in the same way. Another five, I have to change. And another five, I have to change again.

“It’s just being patient with the boys and understanding they’ll get to where you want them to get to, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Especially in my age group, in the 11s and 12s, it’s a big, big piece. Patience.”

Last year’s SCU U11 team reached the final four of the Presidents Cup before the competition was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Nazon is getting his teams ready to play in the upcoming Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).

“Both teams look good,” he said. “The boys are working hard and they’re excited for the new challenge. It should be a very fun, exciting season ahead.”