JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jose Manzo is the Student-Athlete for the Month of October.
Manzo is a junior sport business major and a forward on Jacksonville University’s men’s soccer team. Being a student-athlete is not an easy feat, but with the right focus and proactive character, Manzo has mastered it.
Manzo says that there are a lot of similarities between being in the Davis College of Business and soccer, which keep him focused and on-track.
“They are both very structured,” he says. “You need to stay on top of assignments, workouts for soccer, and they are both very fast-paced.”
For Manzo, his high school years were relatively easy. In college, however, he is forced to keep a schedule and to stick to a routine.
“We travel a lot more,” says Manzo. “It seems like we travel more than we are in class. Communicating early with classmates and professors is key.”
Manzo says that managing soccer changes every season. Last year, he wasn’t able to participate in many games since he was red-shirted after an injury. According to the JU athletics website, last year Manzo only played five games, compared to the 10 games he has already played for the current season.
“I prepared well over the summer,” says Manzo. “My confidence grew. My physicality grew. My coaches gave me a chance and I took it.”
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy are keys to improving an athlete’s physicality, assures Manzo.
Since soccer season is only three months, there is a lot of traveling. Between Sept. 22 and Oct. 2, the team played four games, one of them being in a different time zone. Being proactive about his all-around health has helped him grow as a player.
“If you feel like you hurt, don’t ignore it,” says Manzo. “A month from now when the games matter for the conference you will feel it even more.”
Igor Ferreira, international business senior and fellow teammate, has definitely noticed the work Manzo puts in to improve himself.
“He is that teammate who is always trying to bring the team together and is willing to sacrifice everything for his teammates,” says Ferreira. “I definitely see him as the future captain of this program.”
Some of the best advice Manzo has received is from Head Coach Mauricio Ruiz. Manzo uses this advice to display proficiency in his athletic and everyday life.
“He always says, ‘Just keep going. Focus on working hard and the talent and the skills will follow suit.'”