Saturday, August 23, 2003 -- Ferdie Adoboe, native of Ghana, will try to break his world record in soccer speed juggling again.
Adoboe, who resides in Belchertown, will make an appearance on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday with an attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record in speed juggling.
"Absolutely nervous," said Adoboe of the appearance. "No matter how much you've been there done that, you're always nervous. This will also be my biggest audience. It's live. You can't mess up; no second take."
A renowned soccer teacher and founder of Ferdie's Soccer Magic Academy, Adoboe, who turned 40 on Sunday, holds the record for most juggles in 30 seconds (136) and in 1 minute (266).
He set the 30-second record in 1999 at the Fort Lowell Shootout in Tucson, Ariz. He also set the 1-minute record of 263 there. In 2000, he broke his 1-minute mark at the USA Cup in Blaine, Minn.
Come Wednesday, Adoboe is not sure which one he'll attempt to break.
"I could do both," he said, "but it's all about time. They might not have time for both."
Speed juggling teaches players to master and handle a soccer ball quickly and with incredible control. Adoboe teaches the concept to youth players as part of his skills development program.
"All the kids who took Soccer Magic this year are very excited," Adoboe said. "They are looking forward to it so much, they want me to succeed so they can feel closer to something, 'Here's someone who taught me doing this.' My inspiration is those kids."
A native of Ghana, West Africa, Adoboe played college soccer at the University of Massachusetts (1983-87), where he is sixth all-time with assists (20). He also competed in track and field.
In 1987, he set the UMass track and field indoor and outdoor records in the triple jump, 48 feet, 3 inches and 49-1/4, respectively.
He followed his amateur soccer career playing professionally in Australia, France and the United States.
When his playing career ended, Adoboe turned to coaching at South Hadley High School, UMass and and Mount Holyoke College.
This fall, Adoboe will be the head boys soccer coach at Longmeadow.
The two soccer records aren't the only ones Adoboe owns. He also owns the Guinness World record for running backwards in the 100-meter (12.7 seconds) and 100-yard (13.6) dashes.