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Dear Coach Derek Inc Family & Friends-

Coach Derek here! I hope all is going well and your new school year is off to a wonderful start.

I wanted to take a minute to keep you updated on what’s going on at Coach Derek Inc.

First, we said goodbye to one of our best- Coach Josh. He relocated to North Carolina to pursue his education. His commitment to working with children through sports will be missed. Also Mrs. Renata has moved. We wish her all the best.

Second, I would like to invite you to welcome Coach Arturo and Coach Stephanie to our staff. I have tried my best to surround myself with the highest quality of coaches, and I feel as though I have accomplished this with our newest additions. Please join me in welcoming them aboard!

All the best,

Coach Derek

Coach Derek: Interview on Sheldon Eskin Show

coach derek locklearSheldon Eskin interviews Coach Derek Locklear, founder of Coach Derek Inc. along with Let’s Give Them A Shot!, a non-profit organization that helps kids get the sports instruction they need regardless of whether or not they can afford it. Coach Derek’s goal is to teach and reach as many children as he can through sports. He subscribes to the belief that teaching the fundamentals of sports enriches children at all levels, ages and skills. These are things that last beyond the end of the game. Coach Derek Locklear’s philosophy of teaching kids life lessons that last even when the game has ended comes from over 25 years teaching and coaching experience – and that’s after 20 years of experience being the player.

Coach Derek played basketball and baseball at Central Cabarrus High School in North Carolina, going on to play college baseball at Montreat Anderson in North Carolina. He was a two-time MVP and All-Conference Player, but most of all, he learned that it’s not worth it if you don’t apply those field lessons to life. And most definitely not worth it if it’s not fun getting there.

Coach Derek is more than a sports coach, he’s also a life coach. His insightful and enthusiastic personality motivates children to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, determination and self-esteem.

Listen Now

About Sheldon Eskin
Sheldon Eskin is a broadcaster, author, and performance photographer. His ties with entertainment, record and radio fields goes back to the 60’s where he started at KPPC FM. It was the first Underground Station in Los Angeles, broadcasting from the basement of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. He was able to learn all aspects of broadcasting, programming, and fine tune his craft from some of the best. Today, Sheldon is the radio host of The Voice of the Blues. Check out Sheldon Eskin and be ready for a great listening experience.

Want to play sports? Spend some time with a book first

By Daniella Segura, The Beach Reporter | Read it on Hermosa Beach Reporter
Tuesday, August 3, 2017

When Derek Locklear started the nonprofit, Let’s Give Them a Shot, 13 years ago, he thought he would simply be bringing sports instruction to kids in at-risk areas in Los Angeles who couldn’t afford it.

After a few years, Locklear, better known as Coach Derek in the South Bay, noticed a problem he couldn’t ignore: Many of his athletes were struggling in school because they had trouble reading.

Now, in a new after school program in Watts, students learn different sports, like baseball, soccer, basketball and football. However, the program is focused first and foremost on literacy.

Before being released to the field or court, children must read for 21 minutes with a volunteer or coach.

“Our job at Let’s Give Them a Shot is to pick up the children that have been left behind,” Locklear said. “The solution was reading and I couldn’t ignore that.”

So, Locklear created a branch of Let’s Give Them a Shot called the Alpha Leadership Academy at 112th Elementary in Watts. The program takes the bottom 20 percent of second graders and puts them into an after school program.

“We can teach them how to play sports all day long, and they may be really good at soccer, basketball or baseball, but if they can’t read, it’s all going to be for naught, because they’re not going to be in school anyway,” Locklear said.

“Sports now becomes the carrot. We want them just as excited about reading as playing a game and that’s no easy task. But, we’re getting there,” Locklear said.

Let’s Give Them a Shot is, in part, funded through Locklear’s business, Coach Derek, Inc.

Locklear, originally from North Carolina, started his company in 2002. In less than a year, he went from coaching five kids to 300. He now serves communities from throughout the South Bay and up the coast to Santa Monica.

Two years after starting his business, Locklear wanted to use his company to give back to the community.

“I had this vision. It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a thought. It just literally came to me that someday I was going to be running youth sports programs for children that otherwise couldn’t afford it,” Locklear said.

CDIThrough his company, Locklear met a Manhattan Beach woman who was an administrator at Manhattan Place Elementary in Inglewood. She asked Locklear if he’d be willing to volunteer his time to offer a sports program at the school.

“So every Friday, I started showing up at this school from 8 in the morning to 2:30 in the afternoon,” Locklear explained. “I would run what I thought would be sports classes, but it ended being P.E., because the school didn’t have a physical education program.”

Through his nonprofit, Locklear volunteered himself and provided staff and sports equipment.

His newest venture, Alpha Leadership Academy, where he’s combining reading skills and sports, entered its second year and has about 25 students. The program has new second graders, as well as the initial group who are rising third graders. The program’s goal is to see these elementary schoolers through to college.

“The biggest thing is getting these kids to college and with reading comes that self-confidence. With reading comes that self-esteem. With reading they’re able to open their mind to endless possibilities,” Locklear said.

Locklear also created another program under Let’s Give Them a Shot called the Coaches in Training Program. A select group of teenagers from Watts are paid to coach and mentor a group of young children. Before becoming paid employees, potential coaches are trained during actual Let’s Give Them a Shot sessions.

Locklear said his goal is to help get these high schoolers to college as well, whether that means helping them with their college applications or helping them physically move into their college dorms.

“When we hire these coaches, the younger kids see that ‘Hey, there’s someone from my community and they’re going to college. I can do that too,’” Locklear said.

For Locklear, coaching and helping kids is more than a job.

“I found my passion. I’m very lucky. I know a lot of people trying to find their niche or what they love to do, and I’ve always had it and have been on purpose ever since,” Locklear said.

Contact Daniella Segura at, or you can follow her on Twitter @dsegurajourno.

Read it on Hermosa Beach Reporter

Nonprofit Starts Watts Kids on Road to College
By Lori Corbin, KABC News | Read it on KABC NEWS
Monday, July 24, 2017

In order for children to be good in sports and make a team, they have to be good in education. Coach Derek says all it takes is for parents to read to their kids about 21 minutes a night. (KABC)

Even though it’s a hot and sticky day in Watts, Coach Derek Locklear and his team are giving kids a little extra time with sport skills and studies.
coach derek kabc
“So we work with the teachers to help those children who really, really need extra special help,” said Locklear. Locklear’s “Coach Derek” program is successful, but it’s his “Let’s Give Them a Shot” program that he is most passionate about.

It’s a non-profit that gives second graders and older kids help in the classroom as well as on the field.

Jerson Ramirez, who went through Locklear’s coaching program, grew up in South Los Angeles, so he understands the challenges of growing up in the area.

“I don’t want to blame the teachers, but sometimes they don’t hire people who have the experience, the time,” said Ramirez, who enjoys teaching.

“We’re meeting children in the second, third and fourth grade that just don’t know their letters. If you don’t know your letters, then how are you going to read?” asked Locklear.

In order for children to be good in sports and make a team, they have to be good in education. Coach Derek says all it takes is for parents to read to their kids about 21 minutes a night.

“Studies have shown that parents who went to college read to their children for 21 minutes. That is going to get your child above reading level,” said Locklear.

Locklear encourages parents to imagine how frustrating it would be if reading is difficult at such a young age. It may manifest into withdrawal, then anger, he said.

He encourages parents to not only read, but listen and have conversations so kids are better prepared in school.

Their goal is to see these second graders go to college. So far, progress is good.

“We’ve seen 100 percent growth in their reading capabilities, their self esteem, their confidence, their conduct,” said Locklear.

Like most non-profits, “Let’s Give Them a Shot” hopes to get the funding they need to keep this dream alive.

Read it on KABC NEWS

youth sportsThis morning, Coach Derek did an Facebook Live interview with Dr. Lori Baudino

Watch it here: Coach Derek Facebook Live interview

About Dr. Lori Baudino, bc-dmt

Dr. Lori’s goal is to provide therapeutic support for the triumphs and challenges of child development and parenting. An integrative approach using mind and body. Contact:

About Coach Derek

Coach Derek Locklear’s philosophy of teaching kids life lessons that last even when the game has ended comes from over 25 years teaching and coaching experience – and that’s after 20 years of experience being the player. More about Coach Derek

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