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Family Owned & Operated

GRIT Athletic Academy is driven by the principle that Preparation + Opportunity = Success. GRIT is more than a sports training company. We understand that it’s a tool that kids can use to build a solid foundation of self-confidence and belief in themselves to tackle anything life throws at them. It’s a place that motivates, mentors, inspires, encourages and gives tools that will assist parents and our community in the development of great young men and women.


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Darryl Smith aka Coach Smith

Trainer / Speaker / Talk Show Host

Coach Smith has been coaching and training athletes for over 12 years. He’s originally from St, Louis MO where he was an All-State Football Player in 1995. He spent 23 years in Houston TX raising his children. In Houston, he strived to impact his community through Coaching, Training, Mentoring and Inspirationally Speaking whenever possible. His experience includes being an Executive Managing Member for an Athletic Training Co. that impacted many athletes in the Houston, TX area. In June 2018, Coach Smith relocated to Phoenix to continue supporting his son, Darrius “Bam” Smith, a Student Athlete on a Football Scholarship at The University of Arizona. In 2019, he and his oldest son, Coach D, launched GRIT Athletic Academy to help build responsible young men and women through Athletic Training.

Darryl Smith III aka Coach D

Trainer / Talk Show Host

Coach D Graduated from Iowa Wesleyan University in 2017 with a BA in Business Management. In college, he played football and was a 4 time All-American, 2 time Defensive MVP and Team Captain. After college, Coach D moved to Houston, TX. He became a Teacher & Assistant Coach at Pearland Dawson High School where his younger brother attended & played Football. In June 2018, Coach D relocated to, Tempe AZ where his family resides. Coach D himself has trained at the collegiate level. He has gone through the journey that many young athletes are aspiring to go through in their lives and he enjoys helping athletes realize their untapped potential.


in the context of behavior is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit. Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective).

GRITTY Athlete:

One that fights through the tough training days with the relentless spirit it takes to become a better athlete and a better person.


Giving To of Young Athletes

GRIT Play 7v7 Open Field Series

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What People Are Saying

"I highly recommend their program! My 9 year old son is a quality soccer player. Once he trained his first session with Grit Athletics it was apparent that many aspects of his agility required practice and technical improvement . Coach Darryl has greatly improved my son’s footwork, body control and speed in just a month of training . The coaches set a fun positive environment that promotes hard work and fast results."
Ross Niemann
5 Stars
"This program is great! I highly recommend it because your child is busy while getting better. The coaches are truth worthy and take care of your child."
José Maria
5 Stars
The training is very professional and can cater to the very need of the athlete. Coach Smith is awesome!!!!!
Walter Nevile
5 Stars

GRIT Participating in the


GRIT understands that preparation goes hand and hand with success; we also know that proper preparation is based on focus and consistency (with the athlete and the parent) so our training is priced and scheduled to help parents and the athletes maintain balance with school and other activities. We train elementary, middle and high school athletes of all ages and skill by equipping them with the tools they need to be their best in a variety of sports.

Sports Performance Training (Group)

Our group trainings apply the methodology that a kid has to be taught how to move properly with balance as a foundation. As the athlete becomes more technically sound, we work on increasing functional strength to help with speed, more advanced movements and understanding of how these movements translate to sports. We use a holistic approach to total body training that engages the different muscle groups and prepares the athlete's body for competition.

One on One Training

One on One Training is just that. Personal training based on our athlete's specific goals in a sport or to increase confidence and self-esteem. We specialize in football skill training, however we will be expanding our offerings as we see the need from our athletes. Commitment is a requirement to become a GRITTY Athlete: Our personal training helps athletes find the GRIT that we believe every person is born with.

Team Training

Teams and Leagues can leave the heavy lifting to GRIT as it relates to creating a competitive environment that fosters sound athletes with a strong foundation of athletic movements. Our camp/team programs can be customized to improve athleticism in a specific sport. Team Training is a Win Win for Athletes, Parents, and Coaches. We make it affordable for parents and we're willing to create a schedule that fits the needs of all parties involved.


Speaking Appearance (Motivational)

The Father, Darryl Smith is available for Motivational/Inspirational Speaking Appearances. He has used the platform of Training, Coaching, Being a Parent and just a willing participant in the community to use his life story to Inspire and Motivate The Youth, Athletes and Adults alike over the years.

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