FC Copa Academy is taking part in this year’s celebration by spotlighting members of our staff/organization whose exemplary work furthers the mission of FC Copa in youth soccer and our community. Stay tuned and join the conversation as we spotlight influential members of FC Copa Academy throughout this month. Our first feature spotlight is David Barbour. In his own words, learn about his role and his motivations.
How would you describe your role with FC Copa Academy? I am the Girls Technical Director and Copa Millstone Technical Director. I see myself as one of the leaders for the club. My role as a Girls Technical Director is to provide direction for the girls’ program by working closely with the coaches and their teams. We are working on making ourselves better to be more effective in our training and management of matches. Just as importantly, we strive to cultivate a positive environment for our players and parents and we work diligently to be the best for all people we encounter on a daily basis.
What would you say you enjoy most about what you do? Working with fantastic human beings. The people in our staff are just great people who I enjoy working with on a daily basis. They make working in an office fun and anyone who knows me, knows that I am not office material. Along with my office staff, I love being on the field with the players and my fellow coaches. Each day we get to be on the field is a great feeling of comfort and love for the sport. Watching both players and coaches develop into better people is awesome to see. It makes me a better person as well.
In what ways would you say you celebrate your African American heritage? I don’t necessarily celebrate African American heritage in any particular way. I am African American every day and I celebrate life with those people that cherish that gift we were given by GOD. I do recognize and appreciate the struggle that my ancestors before me endured for me to where I am today, and for that I am thankful. I work hard everyday to continue the progress that has been made for me to be where I am today. I see myself as a person who must continue to better myself for those that will come after me. My hope is that my work will encourage my children and those that I encounter to be better and make the world that much better of a place to enjoy life.
Who would you say have been your biggest role models? My parents. My Dad is hard working and a caring soul, who attended every soccer event I played in as a youth player. He always supported my performances, even when I was terrible, he always found the positive on those days. My Mom is one of the hardest working women I know. She started her own business during a time when not many African American women did such things. I thank GOD for my parents and my sister and brother who all molded me into the man I am today.
What advice would you give to fellow African Americans who are striving to succeed in sports and education? Believe in what you do. Take advice from those who have been there before you. Ask plenty of questions but do not be afraid to speak up and be confident on your ideas and actions. Work hard everyday and treat everyone as an equal and with respect. Don’t give up when everything seems not to be going your way and stay focused on the goals you set for yourself. Surround yourself with like-minded people but also seek advice from those who may not align with your thoughts as you need to be counseled by people who see things differently. #TheCopaWay #WeAreCopa