As a part of my series about sports stars who are making a social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing… Marcos Matthews.
Marcos Matthews was born on March 26, 1999, in Woodland Hills, California. His father, a successful accountant and his mother, who is successful in Bank of America.
He began kicking a soccer ball around at the age of 6 years old, where he found his first love. In elementary school, Marcos was diagnosed with Dyslexia, a reading disorder, due to this he wrongfully put into special educational classes until freshman year of high school.
Creating a drive at a young age, you can find Marcos always working on the ball. He developed a training schedule where he would be training three to four times a day, six days a week, while eating at least a 10,000 healthy calorie diet.
Due to his work ethic, he is now playing in Madrid, Spain, for CD Leganes, hoping one day he will be playing for the US National Team in the next World Cup.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to your career path in professional sports?
I started playing football when I was about six years old. I joined the Simi Valley ASYO League. Then when I turned nine I went to the club team Simi Valley Kickers, which turned into Simi Valley Eclipse a few years later after Kickers formed. This is where my dad became my coach and should be the fundamentals of the game. When I was 16, I made the Royal Jv high school team where I outgrew the league by my sophomore year and went into the DA League (Development Academy League) from there I had trails throughout England and landed at a small program called RIASA. Becoming frustrated with the level of play, I got an agent, and he brought me to trails for FC Malaga, CD Leganes, FC Barcelona, which brought me to where I am today, playing for CD Leganes.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What were the lessons or takeaways that you took out of that story?
One time in 2015, when I was playing for my high school, Royal High School in Simi Valley, CA. I was on the Jv team and was playing at the Crespi Carmelite High School for the Winter Soccer Classic. We were losing 0-1 with about 20 minutes left of the second half. I remember my team got a corner and I told my teammate who was going to take it if you cross at the front of the Pk spot I will crush it with my head. He did just that, and I back up my word. When we were done celebrating, walking back to our half to do the kick-off, he told me, “Now I gotta chip the keeper during the shootout.” Then, sure enough, the shoot out was tied at 4-4, and the other team missed their 5th PK. All we have to do is score, and we win. My teammate comes up to take it, and guess what? He chips the keeper, and we succeed in PKs 5-4.
What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?
I would tell them no matter how big your goals are; it will never come to you unless you are willing to put in the work. You have to be willing to sacrifice almost everything in life to achieve great things. The sacrifices that you have to make are missing family time, canceling plans with your friends, and going to bed early. Your goals have to become your life, and you will know once you are getting closer to them because when the dogs are barking in means your walking, something that grandpa from my mom’s side always told me.
Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?
There are two people who made me the player I am today. The first person Leon Sharf who was the head coach of the u19 boys for Real So Cal Academy, now coaching at Golden State Academy. The reason why he had such an impact in my life is because he was the meanest coach I ever had and probably will ever have. He told me the blunt truth every single day why I wasn’t performing. He didn’t care how you felt; he wanted to create REAL men on the field. Now every preseason I go back to him because he knows how to break people and many people need to be broken in their lives. The other person is Terry Davila, who is the head coach of men’s soccer at Northridge and the boy’s academy director of Real So Cal Academy. He had an impact on me because he would truly listen to my ideas of football and taught me that without a good foundation that you believe you won’t make it in this world.
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about what it is like being a professional sports player?
The “myth” I hate hearing is how hard it is to be a professional. A common person will tell you, “it’s not that simple.” In reality, it is. All it takes is discipline; you have a disciplined mindset, diet, and work ethic. You don’t have to be more talented or more intelligent than the rest. You just have to be more disciplined. A create example of this is at the end of the movie, Bleed for This.
Ok super. Let’s now move to the main part of our discussion. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?
I want to begin doing personal training with players then work my way to start training coaches to learn how to be a better coach and learn how to have better training sessions and find the proper player for the position.
I also want to help players who are in high school who are struggling to get college attention or help them to contact colleges professionally with the necessary information you would need for them to engage to scout you.
Then I finally developed a clothing line. The focal point of having the clothing line is to express everything I had to go through to get to where I am today, to tie in the community of players, coaches, Dr.s, teachers who all struggle in life but never lost sight of their goals.
To help promote everything, I will be doing fundraisers to feed the homeless, clean dirty beaches, and train less fortunate players and coaches.
What methods are you using to most effectively share your cause with the world?
The method I will be using is unity. Being able to unite people together and push everyone for they truly believe is something that needs to be more common in the world we live in today.
Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?
I feel that soccer is going in America, but some so many coaches are missing the key focuses on drills, games, and when scouting players. I was lucky that coaches who knew how to play the game correctly took me under their wing and showed me.
Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?
I had an old teammate who was talented, but his mindset wasn’t in the right area. When I left the team to continue the growth of my career, he finally listened to me. I gave him a few simple pointers and goals to reach. Since then, he is one of the top goal scorers in the UPSL for FC Fury.
What are your three things I wish someone told me when I first started,” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1.) “You’re not nearly as good nor important as you think you are.” I remember not starting a game, and I was so upset about it that I barely warmed up, and I was silent. But I had to learn this lesson in life because no matter what you did last game or yesterday, you can always be replaced.
2.) “You have an attitude that needs to be readjusted.” When I learned this was in the academy from Lean Sharf, He was only a few people in my life to truly break me. I thought I was this top dog from Royal High School because I won tournaments and was a key player, ut Leon made sure he didn’t care about any of that. We would drills where you put into a situation such as a 3v1, and you were the one, and you had to make the play, or you will be punished every single time you failed. One training I was able to beat the 3v1 situation four times in a row, and I got this confidence, and as soon as Leon saw that, he ripped into the front of the whole team. He said in lines of, “You think a professional scout will give two shits that you finally did your job? This is expected of you, and if you can’t get uncomfortable with that, then fucking leave, I don’t want anyone who “s entitled to shit.” This one of the starts where I finally truly love the sport.
3.) “Most of what you think you know or most of what you learned in books or school is out of date or wrong.” I am talking with my dad about college because I’m not the best at school, but I get by. He asked me what I want to do with my life, and to be honest; soccer isn’t the only thing I want to be own for in my life. He saw me thinking hard because he knows the type of person I am, a growth mindset. He was the first person to ever tell me that I didn’t need to go to college to be successful in life. He told me, “The only way you will be successful Marcos is to do what YOU believe in, whether that’s soccer, studying in a college, or creating a company. You do YOU.” Since then, I have continued my soccer career while creating a business for my post soccer career.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It would have to be something that already has a movement behind it, Climate Change. I would start contributing to the movement and hopefully, in the future, create a team that works to find easy and effective ways to be greener and reduce our carbon footprint.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?
“When the dogs are barking, it means you are walking” My grandpa from my mom’s side first told me this when I was just a kid, and I never what he meant. Then it started when I started becoming an elite soccer player. I set my life on fire by doing everything in my power to chase my dreams. Once I did this, my real friends began to appear, and people who I thought loved me, didn’t want me to surpass them. They would tell lies, beat me up, and try to hurt me on the pitch. I took this experience and realized that I’m that much closer to my goals. When you start to matter in this world, people will always talk negatively about you, no matter what you are doing. The real threat is when nobody talks anything about you.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to sit down and hopefully work together in the future with my future business is Elon Musk. The reason why I would love to sit down and truly have a conversation and hopefully convince him to work with me is his ability to create and capture people’s attention with excitement. I also look up to him because he doesn’t just stay on one thing; he creates then moves to the next and the next and the next. We are similar in this way because I don’t want to be only known only for soccer. I want to create a business, passive income, write a book or two, create an extension program for people, and way more.
How can our readers follow you online?
I am constantly posting photos, videos, stories on my Instagram page. (Marcos. Matthews) There you guys can see action shots from my last game, and there you can always talk to me directly through my dm or via email. I respond to everyone to try to inspire and help the people around me.
Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring.