Aidan Aiskiks: shooting for the future

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Aidan Aiskiks: shooting for the future

Josh Underberg, Staff Writer

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“We were representing our families, we were representing our countries, and we were representing where we came from,” Aidan Aisiks (12) said, reflecting on his experience at the Maccabi Games.
“I learned that soccer can bring cultures together even if you can’t communicate with your opponents,” Aisiks said. “We all shared a common goal of winning.”

“Aidan has become a social diplomat and has honed his skills because he has learned to play with virtual strangers and work together for a common goal,” Aisik’s mother Margot Aisiks said.
While playing for the United States Men’s 17U Maccabi team in Israel, Aisiks competed against various countries including Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, he said.

Aisiks began playing soccer at the age of four and has been involved in the sport ever since then.
Growing up with an Argentinian father who played college soccer at the University of Southern California, “there was a lot of soccer culture in my family to begin with,” Aisiks said.“I love watching soccer and I love the culture of the sport,” he said.

One contributing factor to Aisik’s continuation of playing soccer is the bonding aspect of the sport between players and the power that it has to create friendships, he said.

“When we were younger, a lot of kids from our school went and played as part of a program called Super Soccer Stars at All Souls Church and we got a lot closer,” Aisiks said.

“Soccer has changed Aidan in terms of how he relates to people off the field,” Aidan’s mother said. “He wants everyone to get along and play as if they’re on a team,” she said.

At the age of eight, Aisiks began playing for a travel team and eventually an academy team, Aisiks said.

“Academy teams are the highest level of play for an aspiring professional player,” Aisiks said.
Currently, Aisiks–who plays the right back position–is a member of the Metropolitan Oval Developmental Academy team located in Queens, New York.

As a member of this team, Aisiks competes against other teams in the Academy League, which consists of MLS academies, Aisiks said.While Aisiks’ team is not run by the same organization as any MLS team, his team is affiliated with NYCFC, which dramatically increases the chance of top players on Metropolitan Oval eventually playing for the american club.

Aisiks’ team holds intense practices four days per week, along with a game on Saturdays, and three major tournaments per year, he said.

Practices begin with technical training, which is followed by a half hour of tactical work, and finished with mental and physical recovery work, Aisiks said. Tactical work consists primarily of reviewing formations and movements on the field. Recovery is made up of injury prevention exercises, mental stamina exercises, and watching film, he said.

“The league sponsors our club, so they don’t allow us to play in high school with the expectation that there will be a high level of devotion to the league itself,” Aisiks said.
As preparation for his senior year of soccer, Aisiks spent his junior year playing soccer at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

“I went there to gain soccer experience and more specifically to get more exposure to the daily life of an athlete,” Aisiks said.

“It was a very enlightening experience being able to interact with baseball players, football players, lacrosse players, and other athletes from all over the world,” he said. “I really felt like I belonged in that environment because everybody had a common goal of reaching the highest level of their respective sports,” Aisiks said.

Aisiks trained for five hours every day, with the exception of some Sundays when games took place.
The training ranged from on-field training to drills in the pool, Aisiks said.

IMG solidified Aisiks’ goal of playing soccer at the college level. Currently, he is unsure whether he will be playing Division 1 or Division 3 soccer.“Either way, I want to play four years of college soccer,” Aisiks said.

Aisiks is in no rush to go to college right away as he is interested in possibly spending next year playing for a professional club in either South America or Europe, he said.

“No matter what happens, soccer has taught me so much about myself, which is one reason I hope to continue playing,” Aisiks said.