Fordham Features: Gio Grassi

Coach Giovanni Grassi works outside of the weight room to connect with the athletes of the next generation. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Coach Giovanni Grassi works outside of the weight room to connect with the athletes of the next generation. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

During last year’s quarantine, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a new podcast. I went straight to Spotify and gave it a listen. Every time I listened to the podcast, I was pushed to be a better athlete during a time when I felt like doing my sport was pointless. With a name like “Toes on the Line,” this podcast brought up many of the ideas and challenges that athletes faced during quarantine and throughout the seasons. Started by Fordham’s own strength and conditioning coach Gio Grassi, “Toes on the Line” is just one place where you can find his voice online.

In his fourth year at Fordham, Grassi has created a strong social media presence as a way to connect with his student-athletes and others who may want to start their strength journey. With his podcast, a Twitter following of close to 1,500 and an Instagram following of a little over 1,000, Grassi has the ability to reach thousands with his insight into the importance of sports health, training and diet.

Coach Gio, as he is known to all of his athletes, started a podcast called “Toes on the Line” in which he features athletes, trainers and coaches who he has met while on his journey as an athlete, trainer and coach himself. 

When asked why he started the podcast, Grassi said, “The true thing that motivated me was the time on my hands. During the quarantine period of spring 2020, I really had a lot of time to reflect on things in my career that I have never had a chance to complete, one of them was a podcast. My idea of having a podcast started back in 2015, at that time I was extremely busy working three different jobs and completing my Master’s Degree. So I was extremely happy to get that going when I had the free time.” 

This hobby of Grassi’s has become very popular among his student-athletes and his followers. Grassi talks about what he hopes people will get out of listening to his podcast. He said, “My goal for my podcast is to bring on guest coaches who I believe have a ton of invaluable information that can help out our industry, and to also bring on people whose methods I believe in & should be at the forefront of the strength and conditioning field.”

Grassi believes that he can use his podcast for more than just athletics. He said, “I believe that my social media presence can serve as more than a tool in athletic development. I am constantly sharing my thoughts on leadership and education in my philosophy of coaching and programming, as well as some thoughts about life. I hope my athletes can take what I teach them every day and learn to apply those tactics in various areas of life.” 

Grassi hopes to be able to develop the whole of a person he trains, and this means not just developing their physical strength but also their mental strength. Being a person who pushes to be a better version of themselves each day, to be a person of character is a major part of developing as an athlete and training with Coach Gio.