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    Tutor Portland Podcast Episode 5: Balancing Study and the Great Outdoors with Tyler Pagano

The Tutor Portland Podcast is a show where we sit down with Portland locals to talk all things education and the arts.

Celebrate the great outdoors with Balance Soccer founder, Tyler Pagano as we discuss the importance of athletics, setting personal goals, and balancing life with time under the open sky in Portland, Oregon!

In this episode, Tyler and I place a special emphasis on personal development and experiencing the great outdoors, which definitely resonate with Portland families. Tyler provides insights to what students love most about outdoor camps and how lessons on the soccer field translate to success in the classroom. We also talk about which students are more inclined to respond to personal development goals, and why it’s critical for children to recognize their problem areas without sugar-coating.

Tyler also reveals which area of personal development he’s seen the most Portland students struggle with, and how his attitude at Balance Soccer helps to break it down and build it back up stronger than ever.

As a special treat, Tyler and I also chatted about his life-changing experiences outside of Portland during his work in Uganda and how Portland families can get involved in provided support for Ugandan children in need.

Balancing Study and the Great Outdoors with Tyler Pagano

Welcome to the latest installment of the Tutor Portland Podcast series, where we dive into the inspiring story of Tyler Pagano, founder of Balance Soccer. In this episode, Tyler shares his unique journey from Chicago to Portland and how his aspirations shifted from being a professional soccer player to establishing a youth soccer training organization.

Tyler’s commitment to fostering a nurturing environment for young athletes shines through in our conversation. He emphasizes the importance of creating a space where failure is not feared but embraced as a learning opportunity. This philosophy is deeply ingrained in the foundation of Balance Soccer, where the focus is on personal development and skill enhancement.

One of the standout moments in our discussion comes when Tyler recounts his early experiences in Portland and how these shaped his vision for Balance Soccer. He talks about the challenges of transitioning to a new city and the realization that his passion for soccer could be channeled into something impactful for the community.

Tyler’s approach to coaching is a blend of honesty, encouragement, and a keen understanding of the individual needs of each player. He discusses the importance of outdoor activities in the development of players, not just as athletes but as well-rounded individuals. This holistic approach to training is what sets Balance Soccer apart, ensuring that every session is not only about improving soccer skills but also about having fun and fostering a love for the game.

This article delves into Tyler Pagano’s inspiring journey and the innovative methodologies of Balance Soccer, providing a glimpse into the world of youth sports where personal growth and athletic development go hand in hand. Join us as we explore Tyler’s insights and experiences in shaping young athletes into confident and resilient individuals, both on and off the soccer field.

Tyler Pagano’s Journey

Originally from Chicago, Tyler’s aspirations of becoming a professional soccer player took him across the world, from Bolivia to Sweden. However, life had different plans. His journey eventually led him to Portland, a city he chose not just for its soccer-loving community but also for its natural beauty.

In the podcast, Tyler shares the pivotal moments that shaped his path. After his professional aspirations didn’t pan out, he found himself in Portland, a city with a robust love for soccer. This environment rekindled his connection with the sport, but not in the way he initially imagined. He started engaging with the local soccer community, initially dabbling and then fully immersing himself in coaching and training young players.

Tyler’s entry into coaching wasn’t premeditated; it was a gradual realization of the potential he had to impact the youth positively. His experiences as a player, coupled with his travels and exposure to different cultures, provided him with a unique perspective on training and personal development. He leveraged this to create Balance Soccer, a platform that blends technical soccer training with life lessons and personal growth.

Philosophy and Goals of Balance Soccer

Tyler’s vision for Balance Soccer transcends conventional soccer training, focusing on personal development within a nurturing environment. He emphasizes the significance of creating a space where failure is viewed not as a setback but as a vital stepping stone in the learning process. This ethos is central to Balance Soccer’s methodology, where the primary objective for athletes is not just to enhance their soccer skills, but also to cultivate personal growth and resilience.

Tyler’s Unique Approach to Coaching

A key aspect of Tyler’s philosophy is fostering an environment that balances honesty and encouragement. He discusses the importance of being straightforward with athletes about their performance while maintaining a supportive and positive atmosphere. This approach enables players to receive constructive feedback without feeling discouraged, fostering an environment where they are comfortable taking risks and learning from their experiences.

Tyler’s commitment to this balanced approach is evident in how he handles training sessions. He believes that success in a session doesn’t necessarily mean perfection in execution but rather the willingness to try and improve. This perspective encourages players to focus on effort and growth, rather than solely on outcomes, helping them build confidence and a growth mindset.

Through Balance Soccer, Tyler aims to provide athletes with more than just soccer skills. He is dedicated to shaping young individuals who are confident, resilient, and equipped with the life skills necessary to succeed both on and off the field. His philosophy is a testament to the power of sports as a tool for holistic personal development, making Balance Soccer a unique and impactful presence in the Portland soccer community.

Impact on Athletes

Tyler’s journey in soccer, from his own aspirations to play professionally to his coaching career, has shaped his philosophy on the importance of personal development in sports. He articulates this beautifully when discussing how he encourages his athletes to embrace challenges and learn from their mistakes. This approach, Tyler explains, leads to a significant boost in confidence among the young players.

A key aspect of Tyler’s coaching at Balance Soccer is his ability to be both honest and encouraging. He believes in being straightforward with his athletes, pointing out areas for improvement while simultaneously acknowledging their strengths. This balance of honesty and encouragement is crucial in helping young players develop resilience and self-belief.

Tyler also touches on the importance of outdoor activities in his camps. He mentions how these activities, like the 350-foot slip and slide, not only provide fun and a break from the intensity of training but also play a vital role in the holistic development of the players. These experiences away from the soccer field help in nurturing a love for the outdoors and contribute to the overall well-being and balance in the lives of the athletes.

Importantly, Tyler makes a poignant connection between athletic training and academic success. He sees a direct correlation between the discipline and commitment required in sports and the skills needed for academic achievement. By fostering traits like determination, resilience, and hard work on the soccer field, Tyler believes these qualities translate into academic settings, helping young athletes excel in both arenas.

Throughout the podcast, it becomes evident that Tyler’s approach at Balance Soccer is not just about nurturing skilled soccer players but about shaping well-rounded individuals. His focus on personal development, coupled with his unique training methodology, makes a lasting impact on the athletes, instilling in them a sense of confidence and resilience that transcends the soccer field.

Overcoming the “I Can’t Do It” Mindset: Insights from Tyler Pagano

In our discussion with Tyler Pagano, founder of Balance Soccer, on the Tutor Portland Podcast, we delve into the challenges of youth development, particularly focusing on overcoming the pervasive “I can’t do it” mindset among young athletes. Tyler shares his approach to coaching, emphasizing the importance of shifting this mindset to one of effort and perseverance. He points out that often, young players prematurely decide they can’t do something, not because they lack the ability, but because they haven’t tried sufficiently. This attitude, Tyler suggests, can be a defense mechanism to avoid failure.

Tyler’s strategy involves encouraging athletes to attempt skills they believe they’re weak at, demonstrating that with effort, their perceived limitations can be overcome. This is exemplified in his work with soccer juggling, where he challenges players to beat their own records, fostering a sense of accomplishment and growth. He believes that this approach not only improves athletic skills but also instills life lessons about determination and resilience.

This section of the podcast reveals Tyler’s commitment to transforming his students’ approach to challenges, both on and off the soccer field, and the positive impact this can have on their overall personal development. By fostering a mindset of trying and learning from failures, Tyler equips young athletes with the tools to face life’s challenges more confidently and successfully.

For parents and educators to nurture a growth mindset in young athletes, Tyler suggests replacing statements like “I can’t do this” with encouraging statements instead to foster resilience and confidence. This section of the podcast also touches on Tyler’s personal experiences, highlighting the interconnection between athletic and academic perseverance. The conversation delves into practical tips for parents and educators on fostering a conducive environment for learning and growth, both in sports and academics.

Community and Global Involvement of Balance Soccer

In this section, we delve into the wider impact of Tyler Pagano’s Balance Soccer, highlighting its local and international contributions. Tyler’s deep-rooted commitment to community building in Portland and his global outreach efforts, particularly in Uganda, stand out as exemplary.

Local Impact in Portland

Tyler’s Balance Soccer has become a cornerstone in Portland’s youth sports community, emphasizing personal development alongside soccer skills. The program’s unique approach, blending soccer with outdoor activities, resonates strongly with Portland families. These include summer camps where children engage in a range of activities, from soccer training to enjoying nature, fostering a holistic development. Tyler discusses the integration of outdoor experiences, like river floats and forest adventures, with soccer training, underlining his belief in a balanced lifestyle for young athletes.

Global Outreach: Fields of Dreams Uganda

Tyler’s international impact is most notably seen in his work with Fields of Dreams Uganda.

He serves as a board member and the director of coaching for the soccer division, focusing on providing education and sport to vulnerable children in Uganda. Tyler shares his experiences visiting Uganda, where he contributes to the development of local soccer talent and supports educational initiatives. He discusses the Hope Empowerment Center in Banda, a comprehensive project offering various facilities, including a professional soccer field and a medical center. Tyler’s involvement extends to organizing local events in Portland to support these initiatives, including 5K runs and soccer cleat drives.


Takeaways and Resources

As we conclude our exploration of Tyler Pagano’s journey and the ethos behind Balance Soccer, we reflect on the profound impact of his approach on young athletes in Portland. Tyler’s commitment to personal development, instilling confidence, and fostering a fun, encouraging environment resonates deeply with both players and their families. His philosophy transcends soccer, emphasizing life skills like resilience, respect, and composure, both on the field and in everyday life.

The link between athletic training and academic success is a cornerstone of Tyler’s methodology. He draws parallels between sports and academics, underscoring the importance of determination, grit, and hard work in both arenas. Tyler’s approach is not just about soccer; it’s about preparing young people for the challenges of life, encouraging them to embrace and learn from failure.

For those interested in learning more about Tyler’s unique coaching methods or Balance Soccer’s various programs, Tyler invites you to visit the Balance Soccer website. Here, you’ll find detailed information on their training programs, camps, and how they tailor their approach to different age groups and skill levels, ensuring that each player’s experience is not only educational but also enjoyable.

Be sure to check out
Hope Empowerment Center in Banda, where you can join Tyler in supporting the Fields of Dreams campaign.

You can listen to our full conversation at the top of this page or visit our Spotify page to listen there.