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  • Aunyae Imani

Bryant Coley; Student Before Athlete

Being a part of the Explosion Sports Flight Academy, athletes are bound to become a better version of themselves inside and out. On the field and off the field. Defensive back Bryant Coley, is a 17 year old senior attending O'Fallon High School. Bryant is a very quiet individual, stays to himself, and is committed to his football career as well as his academic career. He will tell you he is a “Student before athlete”. He plans to study Computer Information at his dream school Baylor University. Bryant is always staying busy by doing physical activities. He says, “Working out helps keep my mind off other unimportant things”. Bryant has been playing football for about 11 years now, starting at the age of 5. His top goals are to become a starting freshman and an Information Technologist for a big known company.

During Bryant’s first year at Flight Academy, he developed some strong lasting coach connections. These relationships with his coaches helped him learn from mistakes and they pushed him to keep progressing. Bryant states Flight Academy, “Opened my eyes more. I learned to see the whole field instead of only having tunnel vision. Staying low and staying on the back pedal, helped me run the routes better.” This essential foundation led Bryant to become quick on his feet and understand the route concepts. He says his confidence was boosted as he went into his senior year of highschool, “I was able to enter senior year with my chin up high”. He felt as though these practices were his safe place. He learned how to deal with losses and how to cope. Bryant states, “Football is really a mental game”. With the help of his peers and coaches he was able to stay out of his head and not be so hard on himself. Dealing with heavy competition helped sculpt his game a little more. Not only does the Flight Academy have its own prestigious athletes, the teams in their tournaments were extremely stacked with other noble players as well. Bryants says, “You gotta go ten times harder, get better every rep, every snap”. Training with the Flight Academy gave Bryant insight on playing at a higher level.

Bryant is constantly thinking about how college ball will be and how he can use the Flight Academy tools and lessons to his advantage. As stated before, his main goal is to be a starting freshman. “Imagining going against other seniors for that starting position drives me to work harder and stay focused”. He was under recruited and had no offers starting senior year, which kind of made him doubtful. Bryant kept praying and believing though. “I didn’t lose faith, I stayed optimistic and trusted that something would come”. He began to put all his feelings into getting better, and never stopped believing in himself. Ultimately, Bryant gained 3 scholarship offers; Lincoln University, Southwest Baptist, and Quincy University. With the assistance of his family he was able to stay positive. “My brother is a huge inspiration, he’s a fighter, I’m a fighter. My dad is always giving me wisdom when I am feeling down, and my mom knows how to offer that emotional support when I need it most.” Bryant never lost track of his mission and stayed focused through all the doubt in his mind. He has since made the decision to further his student athlete career at Lincoln University.

“My message to younger student athletes would be to learn that everything will not go your way when you may want it to. Don’t be so hard on yourself, it's always another play, another game. Do better next time. Grades are a #1 thing, they will make or break your football career. Make sure to always stay dedicated in the off season.”

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Apr 12, 2023

What an amazing, beautifully written success story. How encouraging!! Continue to put God first in ALL things. God bless.

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