Marc started working as a Coach Across America coach at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in January 2015. His supervisor, Chris Reed, is the Program Manager at the Academy. They first met nine years ago through Progressive Sports and Entertainment Alliance, which is a nonprofit that teaches at-risk DC high school students the business of sport. According to Marc, "they helped me turn my life around and keep going on a straight path...I can basically say that’s my family.”
Marc, 23, grew up in the Ward 7 neighborhood with two siblings and his mother, who didn’t work. He picked up baseball at a young age because "it was a little different and easy to play.” Through baseball he learned vital life skills such as patience and focus, and it gave him the drive to want to be successful in life. He went on to graduate high school and play two years of baseball at Garrett County Community College in Maryland, before returning home to serve as a volunteer assistant coach with his high school’s baseball team for two seasons.
According to Chris, it’s hard to find quality baseball coaches in DC that not only know the game, but know the neighborhood and the challenges that the children face. So when it came to hiring Coach Across America coaches for the Academy, Chris says "it was a no-brainer” to hire Marc. "I’ve known him since he was 14 years old and he is one of the very few kids that I’ve worked with in my career that actually have a passion and a knack for playing the sport of baseball.” Equally important, Marc grew up in the same neighborhood and under the same circumstances that many of these youth face today. Sharing similar interests, and being relatable on and off the field, is what transforms a coach into a mentor, and helps him make a much bigger impact on these children that is bigger than baseball.
This past February, Marc attended an Up2Us Sports National Coach Training Institute in Chicago. The Institute teaches a session on trauma-sensitive coaching, with techniques on how to diffuse a situation once a child who has experienced trauma is triggered. Within a week, Marc was able to apply this training and calm down a child who had been triggered. He was proud to have a positive and immediate impact on this young person. Marc can now see the bigger picture of what his role as a coach can be. "It’s a whole lot easier now because I understand what we’re trying to do with the kids and their development. It’s given me a lot of help.”
Marc says coaching comes easily, almost as easy as playing baseball. He enjoys being able to help the kids grow, while keeping them out of trouble and off the streets. "Baseball is my passion and to teach it to the kids from the inner city of my home is a true blessing.”