Summary of Dare to Dream, Play to Win: Learning to Achieve Life-Long Victory

Young athletes need mentors; those who can guide them and help them in making clear, thoughtful, and educated choices. Without guidance, a young man from the streets of Chester, Pennsylvania, never would have become an NCAA Division I football player, an NFL player, or a successful business owner.

Dare to Dream, Play to Win is the story of Johnathon J. Smith who, after a fairly normal childhood, battled through the devastating loss of his seven-year-old sister, which tore his family apart. A military brat, Smith and his family moved frequently, which compounded problems for a young man who, at one point, became homeless.

Smith’s life would change forever when he met the first of several mentors, his high school librarian. Smith realized that he had a burning desire to become a better student athlete and earn a college football scholarship. Along the way, Smith learned many valuable lessons that he hopes to pass on to other young athletes who may be in a similar situation.

With a passion to become a professional athlete, Smith learned that football would not last forever. He, therefore, became focused on earning his college degree in addition to being successful in his sport. In this book, we follow the author’s journey from happy youth to troubled teen to college football player. Smith also shares stories of other athletes who had similar experiences.

For a young athlete interested in playing a college sport and earning a college scholarship, this book illuminates the dedication, commitment, and focus needed to be a successful athlete and achieve a quality education. It also gives insight into the college recruiting process and what it is like to be a scholarship athlete at a Division I-A university.

November 2021
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