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Quitting was not an option

By Brian Marcia, 03/02/21, 10:30AM CST


I remember starting off in school having nothing but a torn ball that everyone used throughout the day. We had a sand field that was rocky and hard to play on. We had to use the same uniforms throughout all of middle school and the beginning of high school.

I was introduced to a coach that made the most absurd promises and guaranteed me a spot to play college ball in New York because that is where I wanted to go. I wanted to play college soccer and I would do anything and everything it took for me to be seen one day. I would attend his practices, but the training was not beneficial. I was not fit to play at all, but he would not do anything to help me better myself as an individual. It was only about the money that he got from the club he started. So one day after a game that we lost, my coach came up to me and said "don’t worry, I promise that I will get you to where you want to be." I kept hearing this, and I kept hearing it, but nothing would happen. I frankly replied "I’m done with this team. I don’t want you to promise me anything, I want you to train me and develop me as a player, but not even that was done for the past 2 years." So I took off my shirt and threw it to the ground and left without ever coming back.

My life changed when coach Smith came. It was like I had made a full upgrade. He was honest with me, never lied to me, never told me what I wanted to hear, he was sincere. I remember the first thing he said being, "Brian, you are not fit. You need to attend my practice and get fit if you want to play for me." Although this was true, I was never told this. I wanted someone to be cold hearted with me and tell me when I am doing something wrong. He epitomized the ideal coach that I always wanted. I did not like the fact that my previous coaches had mercy on me. When coach Smith came in to my life, I saw just how humble he was. Throughout my time with him, he was never doing things for his personal gain even when people on the outside went against him and his plan for us. He was always close with his players and would always do whatever it takes to build a character of the sport and to build up our confidence. During his sessions, I was pushed to my peak, especially me because I had a goal that was hard to obtain with the amount of time that I had. He was my high school coach and within those two years, I have developed as a person and a player, taught to never say that I could not do something, and I was especially taught that the results I want come from the amount of work and discipline that I put in. During one summer camp hosted by SmithFit, I never missed practice, my daily routine would be to wake up at 7am, get a lite breakfast and then from 8am - 11am we would do a mixture of cross-fit with his wife and then we would do ball work the other half. I would have an hour of break, and then everyone else would come in and I would resume another 3 hours of training. During this summer, I went from weighing 214lbs to only weighing 174lbs. The level of my performance was where I wanted myself to be. I adapted to being pushed further than my limits and it was something that I was ok with. I wanted to be trained to push my limits and become better as the days go by. My senior year we made trips to 2 colleges, St Thomas, and Montreat College (where I am currently playing) and played against them. Later on I come to realize that they wanted to offer me a scholarship for the following year, and I felt a sense of shock and happiness. We made it happen, and he made it happen for me. This was a dream come true. Coaches actually wants me for their team at the next level. I knew that if I was going to take advantage of this opportunity, I had to make his reputation look good because he was someone that never said anything but always did something to help others. He filled everyone’s mindset up with hope and determination. He never allowed for anyone he taught to say they could not amount to something and i have carried that with me to Montreat today. I am getting minutes on the field as a freshmen and I am doing what I have always dream of doing.