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  • Aunyae Imani

“Survive and Advance” - Andrew Clair

Explosion Sports Flight Academy has a good reputation of challenging their athletes and pushing them mentally and physically. With the astounding talents of the many players a part of the academy, each one is put to the test of developing and growing their abilities. 24-year-old Andrew Clair has become one of the many athletes that has built a better understanding of the game of football during his time spent with the academy. Clair began playing football at the age of 6 and played up his whole life. He was playing all the way until his 8th grade year when he decided to sit out. Clair picked it right back up during his freshman year and that's when he realized he had a real passion for the game. 

Once Clair developed that love for football, he began playing with his whole heart. He gained his first offer from Iowa State his sophomore year and following junior year, he started to gain many more. Clair attended Slu highschool and graduated in 2017. He acquired his bachelor's degree in Business administration at Bowling Green State University, and is currently finishing his Masters degree at Northwestern in Sports Administration. Clair hopes to connect and maintain client relationships, all while building and creating athlete brand images with his degree. He says the connections he has made thus far have kept him going. “Why stop there, why waste it and let it all go down the drain.” Clair is reaching new levels with his networking and is still thriving to make his reach grow. 

Clair started with the academy in 2015 and was able to meet different people that helped him expand his game as far as route running. Playing competitive 7on7 gave Clair a new insight on the game, “I was exposed to a different world, I was given more opportunities to be seen and gain exposure”. The 7on7 games are no contact, and because of that Clair says his mentality became stronger. He was better prepared for the contact aspect of it when he got to college and he developed a certain savviness. “A certain savviness is needed to approach every level" says Clair. “If it isn’t broken don't fix it, get them before they get you.” His mindset shifted throughout his time with Flight Academy and he used his new found skills to prepare him for competition at a higher level. “I approach everything like I’m playing chess”. Although Clair had produced his own style of play for the game, he was unaware of the play life had thrown at him in later years. In 2020 Clair suffered the loss of his sister. This close loss led him to live with regret for a while and lost a little motivation as well. However, Clair did not let that stop him, he turned that hurt into strength and kept fighting. He told himself, “It will all work out, there is light at the end of every tunnel and I want to see it through.” Clair persevered through his pain and it made the game something more to play for. He knew he was no longer playing for himself, he wanted to play and continue making his sister proud. He chose to live in the moment and make the necessary adjustments. “My will has grown and gotten stronger, I have learned to battle adversity in a different way and chose to put my best foot forward.” Clair chose to continue moving forward and enter the 2023 draft and recently was invited to the Chicago Bears mini-camp. He stays ready and hungry to play. 

To younger student athletes Clair says, “The academics should be #1 so hit those hard. Invest in your teammates and coaches as well as yourself. Do that off the field as much as you do on. 75% of your performance is off the field, you must survive and advance even when you’re not playing the sport.” 

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