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Chris Mercer Sr. CEO & Founder of First Step

Head Trainer

Chris Mercer, Founder and CEO of First Step Athletics LLC., has more than 8 years in coaching and training athletes in a variety of sports at different ages and skill sets. He has taught and coached at private and public institutions both at the high school and middle school level.  Coach Mercer over the years has provided private speed and agility training, athletic movement classes, nutritional education and sport performance training for individuals and teams.

Coach Mercer is a former D1 collegiate football player and alumni of Prairie View A&M University.  It is there, that his passion for coaching and training blossomed.  Coach Mercer holds the following certifications: High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Athletes Acceleration for Speed and Agility, Level 1 Functional Movement Screen, Personal training and weight management from the International Youth Conditioning Association.

With a strong knowledge of coaching, conditioning and training, Coach Mercer founded FIRST STEP ATHLETICS LLC. in 2015.  The program is based on improving an athlete’s performance by providing corrective measures for every possible deficiency through the use of functional movement screening.  Coach Mercer and his team of coaches have developed effective exercises that use analytics for prevention of injuries andthat increase mental toughness.

Coach Mercer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Prairie View A&M University and a Masters Of Arts in Educational Counseling.

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Marc Mendez

Director of Operations

Born in Yuma, Arizona due to his father being stationed there as a U.S. Marine, Coach Mendez moved to San Antonio at the age of three. Coach Mendez began his athletic career playing football for Columbia Little League and played Varsity football at John Jay High School as an offensive lineman. Coach Mendez pursued his passion for football in Abilene, Texas where he played for the well-known Coach Jimmy Keeling at Hardin-Simmons University. Coach Mendez later went on to receive a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology with Teacher Certification degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010. Coach Mendez has a huge passion for positively influencing the youth of today and our future. He is currently in his 5th year at Northside ISD where he coaches Football, Basketball and Track, as well as teaching Physical Education and Texas History.

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Coach Brandon McCoy

Skills Trainer/Motivational Coach

Graduate of John Jay High School and Texas Lutheran University in 2010. Played for 4 years collegiate level football. ***First African American to receive the Thomas Eddy memorial award in 42 years***.  Participated in 2 professional combines in Dallas and 2 professional tryouts for the Calgary Stampede and Tulsa Talons.

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Robert Bailey

Skills Trainer/Mentorship Lead

I have a passion for athletics and serving the community that gave so much to me as a young athlete. After attending college at UMHB and Texas State University, where I played football, I gained a strong interest in training athletes. My mission with joining First Step is to help my athletes reach a new level of personal achievement and become a positive role model to which they can look at as a mentor.

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Aaron Matthews

Skills Trainer

Aaron Matthews is a Skills trainer with First Step Athletics LLC that specializes in speed and agility training.  Coach Matthews has been training for one and half years for FSA where he brings his passion for sports and fitness.  While studying Kinesiology at Texas A&M Kingsville, Coach Matthews involved himself in any and every sport he could.  He prides himself on the attention to detail that he brings to each training session.  Coach Matthews on his spare time enjoys spending time with his family and playing video games.

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Aaron Salinas

Skills Trainer

Born in San Antonio, Texas and spending much of his young life in Terre Haute, Indiana, Aaron Salinas was a two sport athlete at Earl Warren High school where he excelled in baseball and football. After receiving a full baseball scholarship from Clarendon Junior College, he transferred to Texas Tech University where he was heavily involved with the campus’ new strength and conditioning program. He worked on many of the universities studies that dealt with muscle fatigue, adaptations to strength training and the recruitment and firing of motor units. Coach Salinas later went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sports Sciences with a minor in Health. Coach Salinas specializes in all football skilled positions and middle infield/outfield in baseball. Currently, he coaches in the Judson Independent School District and is pursuing his masters in Organizational Leadership.

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Ben Velarde

Skills Trainer

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Demarcus Young

Skills Trainer

Born in Houston, Texas, DeMarcus joined the United States Air Force at the age of 18 after graduating from Aldine High School on the city’s north side.  While in the military Coach Young received numerous accolades in the Personnel Career Field and while serving 5 years as a Military Training Instructor training the military leaders of the future.  Coach Young also played 8 years of semi pro football in San Antonio.  He has an Associate Degree in Human Resource Management and another one in Education and Training Management, and is 6 classes away from obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management.  Coach Young is a certified Personal Trainer licensed with The National Council of Strength and Fitness, and spends his free time coaching little league football and weight lifting.  This October, Coach Young will retire as Master Sergeant from the United Air Force after serving 20 years.  His decorations include, Meritorious Service Medal, 4 Commendation Medals, 3 Achievement Medals, an Iraqi Campaign, and Global War on Terrorism Medals.

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Bruce Jones

Skills Trainer

Bruce Jones, the newest Skills trainer to First Step Athletics LLC, brings a ton of experience and knowledge.  While attending Texas State University Coach Jones was a star track and field athlete.  Shortly after college Coach Jones had the privileged of working with student athletes who were a part of the Central Texas Cruisers Summer Track and Field team in Killeen, Texas.  It is there that he was able to coach two UIL State Triple Jump Champions as well as an AAU Triple Jump National Champion.  In 2015 Coach Jones, while a math teacher for NISD, took his desire to condition athletes to help fellow employees reach and maintain fitness goals.  Coach Jones’ philosophy is not only to train the body, but to educate the mind on proper techniques and how to have a positive outlook on fitness.  By doing this Coach Jones believes that this will build an individual self-esteem that will impact their overall well-being for a lifetime.

Certifications

Dot Fit Expert

Weight Management 

Personal Trainer

Speed & Agility Coach

CPR/First Aid

Health/Physical Education EC-12

Nutrient Delivery

Ingredients hit their targets

Delivery goal determines use and dosing of tablets, capsules or powders including co-factors

Controlled-Release (fast to slow)

Proper forms based on clinical research

Certified Youth Trainer