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GRIT: 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.  

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Family Owned and 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.


Darryl Smith aka Coach Smith

Trainer / Speaker
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 has spent the last 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 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 Nov, 2018 his oldest son, Coach D, who’s a 2017 Graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University, approached his dad and proposed to start a New Training Company.  Excited to work with his son and again Impact Young Lives, Coach Smith has created GRIT Athletic Academy with his Son, who’s flourishing as a young professional.  Coach Smith is looking forward to positively impacting his Arizona Community.

Experience:12 Years


Darryl Smith III aka Coach D

Performance Trainer
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.   There he became an Assistant Coach at Pearland Dawson High School where his younger brother attended.  At Dawson, he taught and helped Coach his younger brother during his brother’s senior year. In June 2018, Coach D relocated to his finance’s home town, Tempe AZ where they reside with their beautiful daughter.  Coach D himself has also trained at a collegiate level and has helped his father train other athletes during summer breaks from college.  It’s been a dream of Coach D’s to start a Performance Training company and he’s grateful to have a Father that can help him make his dream a reality.  He  is excited to begin this Chapter of his life and to impact as many young athletes as he can. He is himself a GRITTY Athlete and has gone through the journey that many young athletes are aspiring to go through in their lives.    

Experience:2 Year


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.


Our pricing is very competitive and built on the premise of being as consistent as possible with performance training. We understand the sacrifice and major commitment it takes to live a lifestyle that incorporates performance training into your budget. We've structured our plans to help manage the expense. Don't let our pricing deter you from contacting us. We believe that working with parents is how you truly help a child build a solid foundation physically, mentally and spiritually to stand on. Your child deserves to be a GRITTY Athlete and money shouldn't stop them from having the experience. We'll do our best to work with you.
Group Performance Training
$150/Unlimited Monthly Membership
Create Auto Pilot - Movements without thinking
Build understanding of great work habits
Build knowledge of why Technical Movements are required
Build athleticism through:
*Teaching Proper Movement
*Increasing Balance and Coordination
*Increasing functional strength
*Setting a Foundation for Speed, Agility and Conditioning
One on One Training
/1 - 2 hr Sessions
Assess problem areas and set Goals for improvement
Sport and position-specific training
Position - game situation teaching
Movement breakdowns for next level execution
Self-esteem and Confidence Building through Positive Encouragement
Camp/Team Training
/Contact for Pricing
Designed for athletes of any sport or discipline.
Increase over-all Athleticism of team by training to:
*Increase Core Strength
*Increase Functional Power
*Improve Balance and Coordination
*Build foundation for increased speed
Team Training and Camps are a great opportunity for your youth athlete to have fun with their friends, encourage team building, and challenge their athletic abilities!
Speaking Appearance
/Contact for Pricing
Coach Smith's message is Powerful and Clear. ``Success is a Marathon - Not a Sprint`` It Takes GRIT to Run the Marathon.
Click the button below to see what Coach Smith considers Success and to see some of the Obstacles that he has overcome to now inspire others to overcome.
***We are determined to continue inspiring and motivating people so don't let Budget deter you from contacting us for Bookings.***

Over The Years


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