Dawon Dicks, Methuen, MA Football Coach

Dawon Dicks

Grit Athletics Performance Strength, G.A.P.S.



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"Goals, requiring grit, become gifts." Invest in the process of becoming a better player and a better person from a coach who used football as his vehicle to transcend failure. View all coaching experience

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Training Locations


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Online Training for a single athlete

This program is an initial assessment, especially when Proximity is not ideal. This evaluation is used to develop a program for You, at no extra charge. When in proximity to a local training station, We can get right to wo... See More

Session Length: 45 minutes

$99 1 session + applicable fees

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Player Initial Assessment and Training Program.
In-Person Training for a single athlete

This program works in 2-parts. 1) An evaluation to determine strengths and weaknesses, relative to player position and short and long-term goals. 2) The player will have access to 3 one-one sessions and 2 small group se... See More

Session Length: 1 hour

$279 3 sessions ($93/ea) + applicable fees

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  • Georgetown University (DC)

  • 18 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course

  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Wide Receiver, Running Back, Quarterback, Linebacker, Defensive Back

  • Cutting, Throwing, Tackling, Route Running, Pass Defense, Jamming, Hand Placement, Footwork, Catching, Blocking


  • Georgetown University (DC)

  • 18 years

  • Qualified Private Coach
    Passed Coach Course


  • Adults, Kids, Teenagers

  • Wide Receiver, Running Back, Quarterback, Linebacker, Defensive Back

  • Cutting, Throwing, Tackling, Route Running, Pass Defense, Jamming, Hand Placement, Footwork, Catching, Blocking

More About Coach Dawon

Currently, I am the Chief Operator of Grit Athletics Performance Strength and Co-Operator of SAYA (student athlete youth academy), both based in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts. I am also the Defensive Coordinator at Northeast Metro Tech HS in Wakefield. I train mainly in Methuen and am also able to come to You! For a more in-depth look into my approach, please see my website at www.gritathleticsperformance.com .

My goal is to help You, as an athlete or your team fill in the "g.a.p.s." in your (their) game. It is my belief that most football players can elevate their game with a shift to more skill work, pertinent to their position(s), and going through the process of becoming a true student of the game; players tend to execute "faster" and more consistently when they understand the details of the game, while also mastering the basics and fundamentals.

My football coaching and training experience has spanned the NFL, semi-pro, college, high school, and middle school levels. In the professional arena, I have been a strength and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins. I have been a strength, speed, and conditioning coach at Georgetown University; my teams have included Football, Men’s Lacrosse, Baseball, Women’s Soccer, Softball, Crew, Men’s and Women’s Track, Swimming and Diving, and Men’s Soccer.

At the high school level, I have assumed roles as a Head Football Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, Special Teams Coordinator, and a positional coach (Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Defensive Backs, and Linebackers); off the gridiron, I have been a physical education teacher, strength and conditioning coach and student adviser. I also have trained and coached at the middle school level: football, basketball, and physical education.

I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Typical age groups include collegiate, high school, and middle school athletes.

What makes me different? I have a effective and proven process to meet athletes where they are at and execute a game plan to elevate their ability, while building their growth, character, and football IQ! My role is to serve each athlete and assist their respective journeys.

Thank You!

Trainees of my process (to name a few) have earned 3 and 4 star rankings and attended the likes of Clemson University, the University of Kentucky, Maine University, New Haven University, Amherst College. In this capacity, the objective has been to help young men objectively map out their next best steps, relative to their goals on and off the field.

Georgetown University:
Musch Dubofsky Student-Athlete Awardee (football)
3-year Starter (running back and safety)
1100 LB Weightlifting Club

Notre Dame Catholic High School:
Hall of Fame Inductee
National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society
All-State Awardee (Class S)
U.S. Navy Academia All-American Team
All-Conference (2x, SWC)
Team Captain (2 Years)
1000 LB Club
Received over 25 Scholarship Offers

Professionally, I had a tryout with the Washington Redskins as a defensive back (my first failure). I then used that experience as the wheels to my journey. Athletes in my training programs have been as young as 6 years old and peeked to guys prepping for the NFL Combine. My greatest joy is helping a student-athlete (regardless of the level) journey through the peaks and valleys of life.

Each training session is 100% dependent on the skill level of the athlete, in conjunction with the player's goals, respective position(s), frequency of training, and length of training period (i.e. number of weeks). Initially, athletes are taught how to warm-up, as to increase time dedicated to position-specific skill work, which is the #1 priority. 75% percent of the session is geared towards building skills.
A few of my Position-Specific Areas of Mastery:
Relative to a QB, each signal-caller must have adequate footwork/pocket presence, ability to throw on rhythm from a 1-step, 3-step, 5-step, and even 7-step drop, throw on the run, as well as completing the entire route tree from the middle of the field, near hash, and far hash. Some QB sessions will include receivers, running backs, and defensive backs to ensure that Quarterbacks are able to make their read from their progression and throw on time.
Relative to a WR, each technician must to be able to run the entire route tree, run each route with an understanding of how to defeat the press, off-man, and zone techniques, create windows for the QB, block a defender in space, and catch the ball with their hands from a number of angles and body positions.
Relative to a RB, each workhorse must know how to carry the ball, how to "stick a foot" in space to avoid a tackler, catch the ball from the backfield and run a multiple of routes versus man and zone, make a defender miss at the 2nd and 3rd level, and understand "the 2-to-1-release" blocking progression.
Relative to a DB, each ball hawk must understand zone coverage, press coverage and the appropriate arm bar, how to tackle in the open field and in closed quarters, how to defend the entire route tree, and understand a QB's profile, relative to a 3-step drop, a 5-step drop, 1 balls, 2 balls, and the deep ball. Respective to the last point, a ball hawk MUST know how to play the ball in space.

Lateral to building each player's skill set, there is time focused on the 40-yard dash (the start, transition, and finish), other combine-specific tests (vertical jump, broad jump, 5-10-5 pro agility, 60 yard shuttle, L Drill), and areas of weakness within the athlete's kinetic chain (the feet, the hips, lack of mobility, lingering injuries, etc.). Attached to the latter point, I advise athletes on movements that have to be added, and in some cases deleted, from their current strength training regimen. Lastly, each athlete is provided with nutritional and active recovery protocols to increase progress and overall productivity.

Each session ranges in duration from 75 to 90 minutes.
If possible, I ask athletes to provide game footage, send HUDL clips and/or games to better assess areas of strength, weakness, and overall deficiency to better devise a plan of action.

My philosophy is rooted in each player being a B.E.A.S.T!
Each student-athlete must adhere to the following disciplines:
B - BELIEVE (I can be great).
E - EFFORT and EXCELLENCE (I will exhibit all-out effort and demonstrate excellence in all that I do).
A - ACADEMICS and ATHLETICISM (I will operate at a high-level in the classroom and be the best athlete I can be).
S - SKILL, SPEED, STRENGTH, and STAMINA (I will master the skills important to my position(s) and have a great base).
T - TESTED and TRUE. (I will accept any and all challenges, and walk in truth on and off the field).

And the fabric that connects it all...grit.

Thank You much, and I look forward to assisting You in the Process!

Coach Dicks

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Client Reviews

Coach Dawon did an awesome job with my son, and gave him the necessary skills and confidence to perform at an even higher level.

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Coach Dawon is great. Highly recommended!

We have booked sessions with Coach Dawon to teach a small group of 6 year olds the fundamentals of Football, or as we call his class “Skills and Drills”. Our first session with Coach D was a success. He was able to hold our children’s attention for the full hour. Our kids were learning to work together as a team, gaining confidence and learning simple drills. This was all in the first session! The kids and parents are looking forward to the many sessions booked with Coach D in the coming weeks. I would highly recommend him.

Coach Dawon is amazing. My 11 year old son is still smiling from his first session and is still a bit sore (which he LOVES!). Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable he is so friendly and nice. Sometimes coaches can be a bit intimidating but not Coach Dawon - he really made my son feel so comfortable from the second we met him. I HIGHLY recommend.

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Coach Dawon was great! Great communication leading up to the session. My son Shy plays linebacker at Syracuse university and the coaching change this year has him going from a blitzing linebacker he has done his whole life to a coverage nickle linebacker. He has been struggling in coverage. After a few minutes of working and talking coach Dawon saw some things shy was struggling with and did a great job explaining what he was doing wrong and got to work improving to those issues. Shy will return to d1 football this summer a better player and able to work on these issues thanks to Coach Dawon. We will be booking more sessions with coach and look forward to it!

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Coach Dawon was exceptional. I did my first session with him. We worked tge whole time. I feel as if I learned some bew skills and fixed some bad habits. We will see. I plan on booking mire sessions soon. Thank you

I had no idea what to expect when I first contacted Coach Dawon for my 6-year-old son. I am beyond impressed with what I have seen so far after only 3 sessions! His ability to keep my son focused, working hard, and having fun during each session speaks volumes for his capabilities. Coach Dawon had made this the most positive and fulfilling experience and I would recommend him to everyone!

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Coach Dawon is a helpful and patient coach that really understands the game. After just a few sessions I've felt dramatic improvements in technique and the understanding of my position. I would recommend Coach Dawon to any player trying to make improvements in their fundamental technique, strategy, or physical conditioning. Dawon is cooperative and knowledgeable, and knows how to up your performance.

Coach Dawon was extremely knowledgeable and professional. My son is eager to get more sessions in.

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I've had the pleasure of working with Coach Dicks for 12 sessions at the Wide Receiver position. I am providing this updated review to share my impressions thus far. Coach Dicks is by far the best skills coach I've ever worked with in any sport over the course of my athletic career, which includes multiple sports at the high school and college level. Coach Dicks is extremely knowledgeable about the technical aspects of football, including overall movement, hand position, body position, footwork, catching, and route running. Additionally, Coach Dicks has an encyclopedia or knowledge of offensive and defensive schemes, which he skillfully incorporates into each session, simultaneously training the body and the mind. Not only, Coach Dicks is a great motivator and listener--he has very high expectations of his athletes but he will never push them beyond their level of ability. He motivates by giving positive feedback and teaches new skills by sharing easy-to-digest lesson points, and he continually updates the program to ensure that the time is used most efficiently. But what I find most impressive is that the coaching does not stop at the end of the session: Coach Dicks makes himself available throughout the week to discuss training improvements, and even sends me film clips of my movements to give me constructive feedback! If you are in the Massachusetts area and are serious about improving your game, Coach Dicks is the obvious and only choice. Despite being an extremely busy and in-demand Coach, he makes you feel like you're his #1 client!

Coach Dawon is THE REAL DEAL !!!!
Took the time to break things down for our football player and go over things till he did them perfect.
Corrections to our son's mistakes were not only told to him but Coach Dawon showed him his mistakes and made sure to offer a great deal of positive reinforcement on a job well done.
Top Notch Coaching For Sure !!!!

We chose Coach Dawon to work with our son because he had the most impressive profile of all of the football coaches (by far) in our area on CoachUp. Dawon's coaching has far exceeded our expectations: it is the most rigorous and professional physical and mental sports training our son has ever had. Dawon worked with our son almost every day during the summer of 2015, and our son’s strength, agility and speed improved dramatically over that period of time. Thanks in large part to Dawon’s training, our son became a starter on his high high school football team when the season began. Dawon made a great connection with our son and seems to be a natural working with high school athletes. Our son plans to continue working with Dawon throughout his football career.

My son had a great session and Dawon was a better coach than I could have even hoped for. His vast knowledge of football was surpassed by his ability to teach and communicate effectively. He was able to quickly assess areas that needed improvement and worked on fundamentals in a way that was easily understandable.

Coach Dawon has very quickly established himself as a role model and trusted adviser and with this credibility he has earned my sons attention and his ignited a new level of motivation and effort that will help take him to the next level. I could not be happier with the results thus far!

Coach Dawon has made me a better player 110% of the time. We've focused on receiver and QB skills. The workouts we did were the hardest and most helpful workouts I have done. When I am out there playing I hear him taking me through them step by step and the advice he give me makes me a better player. Coach Dawon works me to the point where I am so tired but the workout was so helpful I would do another lesson right after. Coach Dawon is helpful, respectful and overall an amazing coach. (From Zack - about to be a freshman). Coach Dawon is a very good communicater and has been extremely easy to work with in terms of scheduling practices. He comes prepared and really lays out a productive practice schedule. I highly recommend him (Dad)

Coach Dawon is extremely knowledgable and passionate about the game of football and overall health. He is an outstanding Coach with excellent interpersonal skills. Before, during and after each 90-minute session he was always respectful, accommodating encouraging, sincere and professional. He has a non-threatening goal-oriented approach to improving skill-sets and health. We found him to be well-prepared for each session and varied the content of each challenging workout. He provided my 15-year old son with the tools required to elevate his football game. Our only regret is that we began working with him at the end vs the beginning of this summer. In addition to stressing the importance of being well-prepared on the field Coach Dawon also stressed being focused and prepared in the classroom.
After each session Coach Dawon provided workout details and constructive feedback about what skills looked good and what skills required additional work. Providing our schedule allows, we hope to continue working with Coach Dawon during and after this football season. We highly recommend Coach Dawon to any football player or athlete wanting to work on a specific skill-set and/or improving their overall strength and conditioning.

Fundamentally sound techniques, good experience and good coaching ability. Great guy.

Dawon has helped me so much the past few months. My arm is now much stronger and more accurate with much better form. I have also gotten faster and more motivated since I started seeing him. He doesn't only teach me what to do on the field, but what to do off the field as well. He tells me what I can be doing at home during the week, and reminds me what is key for being a great athlete. He also makes sure that I know that being perfect in the classroom is just as important as being on the field.

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Coach Dawon has been working with my son for several sessions now. Coach Dawon's professionalism as well as knowledge of football has provided my son with a greater understanding and appreciation for the sport. My son has improved all aspects of his game from throwing and footwork to reading defenses. My son looks forward to every session he has with Coach Dawon and continues to learn and thrive under the tutelage of Coach Dawon. I would highly recommend him to anyone that wants to improve their football skill and knowledge.


Coach D. is a great coach with the knowledge of multiple positions on the field and he has the know how on how to excel both athletically and mentally in the game of football. Great Coach!

We were instantly impressed with Mr. Dicks’ ability to relate to the young men on the team and as well as his vast knowledge of fitness training. My son Noah took an instant liking to Mr. Dicks. He was and is constantly supportive of working with student athletes to achieve their goals. As well, my son had Mr. Dicks as his physical education teacher. At all times he had the best interests of the students in mind. He certainly challenged them but at the same time made it a valuable experience. Mr. Dicks continued to coach during my son’s sophomore year and as expected strived for success. Winning was certainly a goal but beyond that Mr. Dicks worked with the athletes as a whole and on an individual basis. He has tremendous knowledge and worked hard to impart that on the team. He established positive relationships with both players and families. This past summer we furthered our relationship with Mr. Dicks in a new capacity. Noah enrolled in his training classes and had a fulfilling experience. During this time he motivated my son while rigorously working him out and getting him in the best physical shape possible. He also worked with him on such things as nutrition, goal setting and the like. Without question, my son would not have been able to reach the level of fitness he did without Mr. Dicks. In closing, I know for sure Mr. Dicks would be a valuable addition to any school/athletic organization. He is approachable, knowledgeable and has tremendous work ethic.
He taught us the true meaning of being a team every time we went out on the field, we played not as a team but as a family.
Never met a more motivating man in the weight room, makes you feel like you can lift anything.
Coming into high school I always wanted to play football at the collegiate level, but I didn't know how much work it would take. My junior year would be my first year playing varsity football for Notre Dame Catholic High School. I did pretty well considering it was my first year playing varsity football. I played defensive end and tight end. My season ending stats for my junior year were: 65 solo tackles, 4 sacks, 67 receiving yards, 4 receptions, and 1 touchdown. I was also rewarded with a Honorable Mention Selection for our conference. In my mind, I knew I could've done better, and I was not satisfied with myself. I vowed to myself that I would be in the weight room to become a better player. Coming into the weight room I was weak. I only benched 185 lbs, squatted 265 lbs, cleaned 170 lbs and ran a 5.2 40 at 6'2 188 lbs. It was an eye opener, and I knew I needed to get stronger. This is where Coach Dicks changed my life. He pushed me everyday in the weight room not only to be a great player, but to also be a great person. He taught me many life lessons along the way. One thing he always told me was that I need to work for everything; nothing is going to be giving to you for free, even outside of football you need to work! At the end of the offseason I benched 250 lbs, squatted 365 lbs, cleaned 215 lbs, and ran a 4.9 40 at 6'2 210 lbs. My body changed drastically in the matter of 6 months. Senior year came around and I couldn't wait to showcase my skills to everyone. At the end of my senior year I had 70 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 457 receiving yards, 40 receptions, and 4 touchdowns. I was also rewarded with All-Conference First Team and Team MVP. I also made the Connecticut All Star team where the best players in the state will be playing against each other. I would like to credit Coach Dicks for everything he has done for me and without him and God none of those things would be possible.
These workouts were intense and very efficient in terms of use of time. My players built the strength, explosiveness, and stamina we needed to run on offense and apply efficient full court pressure on the defensive end.
Dawon helped me earn a scholarship and a starting spot on the football field my senior year after being moved down to junior varsity my junior year, causing me to lose all confidence and hope in playing football. Dawon has honestly showed me how important it is to believe in myself. Dawon makes athletes and changes mindsets in a positive way; his program turned me into the man I am today and is also the reason why I am so successful in this world.
Words cannot express the transformation that has occurred in my son since he started training with Dawon. Not only is he stronger, but his skills have increased significantly as well as his confidence level. With each game he gets better and his coaches have expressed how impressed they are with his improvement.
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