Rob Mendez ESPY 2019 Award Winner: Coach Wins Jimmy V Perseverance Award

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Rob Mendez, ESPY 2019 winner of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, pursued his dream to change into a soccer coach regardless of the very fact he was born with out legs and arms.

“Whenever you dedicate your self to one thing and open your thoughts to completely different potentialities … you actually can go locations on this world,” he mentioned throughout his acceptance speech.

Mendez has a uncommon illness referred to as tetra-amelia syndrome. He gained noteriety after telling his story on an ESPN SportsCenter Featured Piece in February 2019 referred to as “Who Says I Can’t?” The particular is known as for his catch phrase and his soccer group’s rallying cry.

He realized the right way to play soccer by means of the Madden video video games. As a pupil at Gilroy Excessive Faculty, he watched soccer observe from a distance. Coaches invited him into the huddle and began instructing him performs. He realized to attract and write together with his mouth, and diagrams performs on a smartphone utilizing a stylus.

“There’s undoubtedly doubters on the market, like dad and mom,” he mentioned on the trailer. “That lights a hearth below my stomach and will get me excited to essentially simply attempt to show folks incorrect about it.”

It took 12 years of working as an assistant coach at 12 completely different excessive faculties earlier than he was employed as a head coach.

“The struggle in life, I can relate to the struggle on the sphere,” Mendez informed Mercury Information. “Hopefully present them that I’m not giving up, and so they can’t hand over on the sphere. All of us want one another.”

Mendez is the junior varsity soccer coach at Prospect Excessive Faculty about 40 miles from Saratoga, California. His is 31 years outdated and lives in Gilroy, California. He’s additionally a motivational speaker.

His subsequent purpose is to change into a varsity coach.

ESPN introduced Rob Mendez can be this 12 months’s recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award in a tweet Wednesday, together with an earlier video that confirmed Rob Mendez in tears after studying he would obtain the award. He visited ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut for a tour.

“That is my superbowl, for certain,” he mentioned.

Learn extra concerning the illness right here.

Right here’s what you have to know:


‘This Is My Superbowl,’ Rob Mendez Stated Of The Award

Rob Mendez thought he was invited to the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut for a tour of the headquarters. As well as, he realized from ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro he can be the recipient of the ESPY 2019 Jimmy V Perseverance Award.

The community introduced the award in a tweet Wednesday, together with a video of Rob Mendez studying he would obtain the award.

“Rob Mendez, who was born with out arms or legs, was by no means capable of play soccer,” ESPN wrote. “That didn’t cease him from pursuing his goals of being a coach. Coach Mendez will obtain the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance on the @ESPYS Wednesday at 8p ET on @ABCNetwork.”

Pitaro defined the award to him on the video.

“Yearly now we have an occasion referred to as the ESPYs. It’s essential to us, to our firm,” he started. “As part of that we rejoice the bests in sports activities. The Jimmy V award acknowledges perseverance. I simply wish to take a second and congratulate you. You certainly will obtain that award this summer season.”

Rob Mendez was in tears when he realized the information.

“By no means hand over is one thing I’ve all the time associated to,” he mentioned. “It’s simply very humbling.”

It’s an honor,” he added. Thanks a lot, Jimmy, from the underside of my coronary heart. That is my Superbowl for certain.”


He Discovered Soccer From Madden Video Video games

Rob Mendez was born with out legs and arms due to a uncommon illness referred to as tetra-amelia syndrome. The illness prevents legs and arms from rising as an embryo develops, in response to ESPN.

Mendez had a ardour for soccer however couldn’t play the game. As a substitute, he turned a coach.

He realized soccer by enjoying Madden online game. He realized to press the buttons together with his chin and collarbone. He preferred that the sport allowed him breaks. Quickly his mates had been organizing a 32-team event, and he completed 2nd, ESPN reported.

“It sounds so ridiculous, however it’s true,” he says. “That’s how people are — they adapt. I couldn’t let you know what it felt prefer to catch a ball within the flat, however I knew what it was and why it labored.”

As a pupil, he would watch soccer practices at Gilroy Excessive Faculty. The coaches observed him watching at a distance and invited him to affix their huddles. The coach taught him the right way to name performs and let him pay attention to headset to listen to coaches calling performs and sat in on coaches conferences.

“As a 14-year-old child, I used to be having the time of my life,” Mendez mentioned. “I simply fell in love with the game as a result of it’s such a chess match on the market and a psychological recreation on the market that it’s important to name the proper play on the proper time.”

It took 12 years for somebody to rent him as head coach. He labored as an assistant coach for 12 years at 5 completely different excessive faculties.

“The struggle in life, I can relate to the struggle on the sphere,” Mendez informed Mercury Information. “Hopefully present them that I’m not giving up, and so they can’t hand over on the sphere. All of us want one another.”

ESPN mentioned he ends each observe by saying, “I really like you guys.”

Madden coaches his soccer group from a custom-built wheelchair. He strikes the wheelchair round together with his shoulders, Mercury Information reported. Mendez realized the right way to write together with his mouth, and maps out performs on a smartphone hooked up to the wheelchair, drawing diagrams with a stylus or utilizing a pen on a whiteboard.

“Perhaps it’s ego, however when any person tells me I can’t do one thing, or tries to separate me … I simply wish to show them incorrect,” Mendez informed ESPN.

Mendez informed the Mercury Information he understands that going about his day by day life is inspiring to folks and to his group.

“I don’t even have to inform folks to rise up and be motivated and lively of their day by day lives,” Mendez informed Mercury Information. “I simply get random folks coming as much as me. It might get overwhelming at instances when I’m attempting to get my work performed. However I do know that’s primarily what I’m right here for. I present people who it’ll be OK, and I give them hope.

“It’s like going to order a espresso alone and being assured to try this. I didn’t notice this 5 or 6 years in the past — simply waking up, getting off the bed, going to work and making your personal cash, that’s a easy motivation in itself as a result of there are such a lot of steps in itself to do it.”