Why did you decide to become a private coach?
I have always wanted to be a coach. By the age of 10, I was drawing playbooks. I used to set up my neighborhood to play other surrounding neighborhoods in football. I started doing that at around 8 years old. Growing up, I did not get very decent football coaching, and that’s when I realized I wanted to coach. I started coaching (3rd and 4th graders in flag football) for the City of Sanford, FL Recreation Department, and it was a big success. Eventually, I started helping many athletes earn scholarships to play football in college, and that was when I knew I was called to coach!
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I really enjoy the relationships that I build through coaching. Many of the players that I have coached have gone on to be very successful and still remain in contact with me to this day. I love seeing my athletes reach their full-potential and become confident in what they do, whether it’s to play at the next level or become great leaders in their communities, great fathers, great brothers and great uncles. Seeing my ex-athletes changing their society is very rewarding.
What can a client expect from private lessons with you?
My athletes can expect to learn proper footwork and proper technique as I feel these are the best ways to prevent injuries. They can always expect my full attention, know that I am building a relationship with them and that I am not only helping them get better, but at the same time they are making me better. My athletes can also expect that I will never give them false information and if they have a question that I cannot answer, I will find out the answer and get back to them with it. I always teach, “Doing things the right way.”
What is your coaching style or philosophy?
I have a unique coaching philosophy that I have learned from some of my valuable ex- professors and other football coaches. It’s a “holistic style” in which I capture the athletes’ mind, body and spirit. I believe a happy athlete will be a confident athlete and a confident athlete will become a great athlete. In all of my years of coaching I have never once yelled at an athlete because I know that I am a teacher, but I am also a student of the game as well.
What is your favorite moment in your athletic career?
My favorite moments in my athletic career are the first time I put on my pads and got my helmet, the first time I stepped on a diamond, and the first time I ever scored a basket. Growing up I played multiple sports and 2 of those were at the Junior College level. By far my favorite moments are the days I was first introduced to these sports.
Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete?
I have been blessed enough to coach so many talented athletes, and in 2009, I helped 32 students earn scholarships to play football in college, when many of them did not even know how to get into college. Some of those players have gone on to play in the NFL. I really would not be able to single out just one player because all of them have gone on to be successful whether it be playing at the next level or earning a college education and degree.
Did you participate in your sport in high school and college?
I participated in football for about 15 years. However, as a child I was diagnosed with A.L.L. Leukemia and did not get the chance to reach my full expected growth, so baseball became a lot easier to play. I played H.S. Football at Quince Orchard but never reached the next level with football. I would have loved to have played football at the next level, so I coach football to help my athletes get something that I did not get: a scholarship to move on!
What is your favorite sports related movie?
Every time I watch a sports related movie, I claim it’s my favorite. Honestly the movie “Hoosiers” has always stuck with me, and I tend to watch it several times a year.
What’s your mantra or favorite saying (in the context of sport and/ or life)?
My mantra is, “Become Legendary.” But I also state a lot, “Don’t listen to people saying that things cannot be done, because they are the ones usually being interrupted by those getting those things done.” Doctors for years said that there would be a chance I would not have kids of my own because of the chemo and radiation. Well on April 17, 2013, my son Chance Michael was born! Never give up and never take “No” for an answer.
Do you have any special talents or a surprising thing someone might not know about you?
I broke into coaching by first becoming a sports writer in Orlando, Florida, for the Orlando Sentinel and the Sanford Herald, in which I have been published over 150 times. I did this being new to the area so I went around and shook as many coaches hands as I possibly could as a reporter. I gained many coaches’ trust and Coach Jim Bernhardt gave me my first coaching job at Sanford Seminole High School.
Who is your favorite coach and why?
My favorite coach is definitely Bobby Bowden. Coach Bowden was a huge mentor to me when I first got into coaching. We built a great relationship, writing letters to each other, speaking on the phone together and getting the chance to go to his coaching clinics. I hang on to those letters from him in my portfolio to share with my son someday. I would also say Jim Bernhardt is a favorite of mine. Coach Bernhardt gave me my first coaching job and was very good to me. Both of them are great men of character and great coaches.
What team do you root for most enthusiastically? (any sport)
I am a huge Washington Redskins fan, but from the very first time I ever saw the late great Len Bias play basketball at the University of MD, I was hooked. So Maryland Terps Basketball is the team I definitely love and have passion for. Watching Len Bias from his freshman year up until he had gotten drafted are some of my favorite memories in sports.