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Children with Special Needs

Coach Derek Locklear has worked extensively with teens and young children with special needs. He has an acceptance and understanding of these young people and feels privileged to make a difference in their lives.



Coach Derek has volunteered his time once a month at The Friendship Circle of the South Bay since 2006.

The Friendship Circle of the South Bay aims to provide children and teenagers with special needs and their families with many of the social and recreational opportunities that are currently available to the general community.

Each month, Coach Derek looks forward to participating in Sports Night as The Friendship Circle pairs up kids with special needs with high school buddies for a night of fun & inspirational moments.

Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia is boy with special needs who always dreamed of playing football.


The league was contacted by Coach Derek and Coach Mike, who wondered if it might be possible to let Andrew come down and maybe practice or stand on the sidelines. The d1 Bucs immediately embraced Andrew - and with the help of the league (and aau insurance) got him into a few games. Andrew showed great speed and many of the teams showed great compassion, helping Andrew succeed - he even "scored" a bunch of times. A great learning experience for all of us,...Eloquently summed up by this letter from his Mom:

"Andrew had envisioned himself playing football ... we, his protective parents, had decided otherwise for his own safety ...yet his personal coach (Derek Lockear) saw an opportunity for him and other kids ... and you all allowed it to happen.

Andrew will be forever changed by the experience he had on your team. He learned many things, one of which was that he can overcome and achieve with focus and dedication. He learned how hard it can be to be a real team player, while enjoying every minute of it. He also learned that you can lead others with your heart and a positive attitude, and it is just as valuable as leading with skill and physical strength."

Gratefully yours,
The Garcia Family


More Testimonials

Coach Derek

Coach Derek Locklear

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. Coach Derek inspires children to look within themselves.

Helping Children with Special Needs is an intensely personal experience for Coach Derek:

"I grew up with a brother (who is less than a year older than me) that had some special needs. He was my best friend and due to his difficulties I spent most of my childhood fighting for him both literally and figuratively. I wanted to protect him from the cruelty of innocence imposed by children. I wanted to shield him from defeat in sports which will always come to everyone at some point. But most of all I wanted to help him be better at the sports he chose to play. I excelled in sports yet I always found myself trying to deflect the light I received onto my brother who was, and still is, my best friend. The truth is it brings me tremendous JOY to take a child only a few steps within the realm of sports knowing that it is a 25 mile leap in their lives."
- Coach Derek Locklear

Let's Give Them a Shot

As owner of Coach Derek Inc., Derek founded Let's Give Them a Shot with the vision of creating a program that would serve underprivileged children in at-risk neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.

Learn More About Coach Derek by Visiting:

coachderek.com

Friendship Circle

The Friendship Circle of the South Bay aims to provide children and teenagers with special needs and their families with many of the social and recreational opportunities that are currently available to the general community.

Each month, Coach Derek looks forward to participating in Sports Night as The Friendship Circle pairs up special needs kids with high school buddies for a night of fun & inspirational moments.

Read more about The Friendship Circle of the South Bay at www.gotfriends.com