My name is Hayden Clark, and I am a senior at the University of Alabama where I am a double-major in Business Marketing and Business Management with a minor in Computer Technology & Applications. After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in coaching, specifically football at the collegiate level. I am attracted to this specific career path as it provides a unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of others, specifically young people and young men.

I am from the town of Porter, Texas, a suburb on the north side of Houston. Growing up, athletics were a significant part of my childhood and maturation. As a young child I participated in any sport that I possibly could for as long as I could. In high school I was a three-sport athlete, participating in baseball, golf, and of course, football. Athletics taught me a number of life lessons, such as perseverance and teamwork, while also introducing me to a number of positive role models that have now become friends that I can turn to for anything at any time.

I feel athletics provide a very unique relationship for those who participate (as eluded to above), for both players and coaches. Athletics have the ability to bring together a very wide variety of different people from different backgrounds and force them to work together to achieve a single goal. Through that ‘strengthening by fire’ process, relationships and bonds are created that last a life time, often between people who would never have been friends or even intersected each others lives for any other reason. Additionally, athletes who never played on the same team(s) at any point understand this bond and the effort and sacrifice it took to establish it, and this often results in an immediate bond between two people over a simple conversation of their past athletic experiences. It is for this reason, the relationships created, forged, and built, that I strongly encourage parents to place their children in youth athletics and allow them to experience and grow from and with these wonderful benefits.