PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Former Oregon Duck running back Darrell “T.R.” Smith is making an impact in his community through training young athletes mentally and physically on the football field.
Smith is founder and owner of Smith Performance, which all started one day when he was training his three sons and the idea instantly came to him.
“I asked my kids if they wanted to do athletics because if they wanted to go all in on them, I would help them along the way,” Smith added. “When I was out there training them the idea just came to my head, I was thinking if I could help my sons out, why couldn’t I help out more kids?”
The training started with only a handful of kids and a few of Smith’s good friends, then expanded more than even Smith imagined.
“Our goal was to have 30 to 40 kids by the end of summer and hope that we can make an impact,” Smith continued, “We were in our fourth session of this training and there were already 35 to 40 kids here and I was in shock.”
These Smith training sessions are not your average workouts for this age group. Smith puts these kids through competitive and intense workouts in hopes to unlocking talents and discipline they didn’t know they had.
“It’s all about putting kids in situations they haven’t been in yet, I always tell parents when they first bring their kid here that this isn’t for everyone,” Smith adds. “We aren’t here to baby these kids, we are here to support them, coach them, and push them.”
Though the training sessions might be hard, Smith is a very energetic guy and loves to support the kids before, during, and after workouts. “Man I just love helping these kids out man, I love seeing them grow and even at times when it seems like I am hard on them, I remind them that I am always here to help them and love to see them grow.”
While training physically is extremely important to Smith, he finds that mental training is just as important and so in order to help the kids grow in that aspect, Smith brings former and current NFL and college players by to talk and train with the kids.
“I think its a huge opportunity for the kids,” Smith said. “I have had my boy Dennis Dixon come by and talk and train with the kids, I have had a few former Oregon State guys here as well, I just think its so important to have these guys who have been there and done it that it’s possible. Just hearing the lessons and words of wisdom they can tell the kids is exactly what I want the former players to do.”