TUPELO – Brian Reynolds wakes up every day with a goal in mind.
During the day, the 27-year-old Tupelo native works to instill a winning attitude in students with discipline issues at the Tupelo Public School District’s Fillmore Center.
After the 3 p.m. bell, he works as a strength and conditioning coach for aspiring athletes of all levels through his fitness company, Favor Elite Fitness.
“Some of the students have trouble in social settings and large crowds, others might come from a bad home or just get lost in the shuffle,” he said. “Basically I’m training them. Every kid knows how to dream, but very few of them know how to make their dreams work. Every day, I ask them what their goal is. Did you just come to school? Or are you trying to see more in life?”
Reynolds came to teaching after chasing his own professional football dreams. After graduating from Tupelo High School in 2005, Reynolds walked on at Itawamba Community College as a corner, and worked his way to earn the distinction of first team All American. From there, he transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University, and went on to play as a professional in the Arena Football League for the New Orleans VooDoo before returning to his hometown in 2013.
“I made a prayer in junior college that I didn’t completely understand at the time. I made a deal with God that once I made it in football, I’d come back and show other kids how to get out,” he said. “My ball career kind of ran its course, and I knew it was time to pay the other half of the deal.”
He came to strength and conditioning training through a college internship with JDPI Sports Performance located in Tuscaloosa, a facility aimed at developing explosive speed and power in athletes of all sports. Reynolds said having enough heart and dedication translates to success in all areas of life.
“I find myself telling my students and clients the same thing: Understand what you’re working for and set your own high standards. Otherwise, others will set them for you, and you probably won’t like it,” he said. “I love it, whether it’s a client trying to lose weight, or an athlete trying to make it to the next level, or keeping a student on the right path. Hunger and drive in anyone intrigues me, and gives me motivation to keep pushing, too.”