A Utah Tech University soccer player woke up at 5 a.m. every day for two years to improve his soccer skills but little did he know, it would inspire him to do something else.
Niko Shumov, a COVID senior, grew up in Keaau, Hawaii, where the soccer scene was not as popular then as it is today. Because of this, Shumov woke up early every morning to “catch up” with the talent levels of other soccer players his age by undergoing extra training.
Shumov said with the business he started about a year ago, he offers private and group trainings for athletes ranging from the youth level to the collegiate level. During his trainings, he works on technical development, tactical understanding, and strength and conditioning to help athletes move more efficiently and stay healthy.
“I enjoy coaching younger kids,” Shumov said. “It’s fun to see when something clicks for them, the excitement on their face, and it’s cool to be a part of their journey from the beginning.”
Grace Korman, the mother of Ellie Korman, 15, is one of Shumov’s clients. Although they live in Southern California, Ellie Korman’s gym trainer recommended Shumov to them.
Grace Korman said: “Niko is younger than the more seasoned coaches Ellie’s used to working with but has an old soul with values that align with ours. Ellie immediately enjoyed working with him.”
After noticing improvement in Ellie Korman’s playing skills, Shumov said one of the highs of owning his own business is seeing his athletes have success and improve.
“I really enjoy what I’m doing,” Shumov said. “I’m just focused on giving back to my athletes, giving the best product that I can, and making sure they’re improving and benefiting.”
Because of his intense focus and goals for his clients, admiration and respect have come from those he has trained.
Grace Korman said she would recommend Shumov to others looking for a personal trainer because he is professional, reliable and committed, going “above and beyond” to form personal connections with each of his clients.
Not only have his clients supported Shumov in his business but also his friends, family and fellow teammates.
Shumov said his teammates have been very supportive of his journey by training with him and promoting his business on their own social media accounts.
Shumov’s roommate and teammate, Larsen Rogers, a junior psychology major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, has supported Shumov’s business by sharing his Instagram posts and telling others about the business.
“I think seeing Niko’s business grow has gotten me excited to go after my dreams even harder,” Rogers said. “From all the effort and push that he’s put into it and his passion, it has shown me another level that I can go to to make sure I go after my dreams.”
With Shumov’s many qualifications and accomplishments making him fit to train those younger and older than him, Rogers said Shumov’s training sessions are well-planned, organized and intense.
“It’s probably one of the best training session environments I’ve ever been in,” Rogers said. “He does a really good job of creating training exercises and expecting you to train and work hard and get better.”
Shumov has worked hard in his 18 years plus of playing soccer. With much of Shumov’s athletic knowledge coming from his own research, he has put in many hours of studying the sport. By attending professional soccer camps and training top-college athletes while being a college student himself, many of Shumov’s qualifications have allowed him success in his business.
“I think I’m slowly growing,” Shumov said. “I think everyone has goals of being extremely successful, but I understand it takes some time.”
By continuing to grow, Shumov hopes to one day train professional athletes and travel abroad while doing so. He also hopes to have a wide range of athletes to train from kids, all the way to professionals, while increasing his social media presence, getting his name out there, and working on a business website to be up and running by the end of January.
Shumov has shown it takes hard work, determination and drive to own and grow a business, and maybe waking up at 5 a.m. every morning is the way to do it.