KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Knoxville native Heath Martin is enjoying a homecoming on the pitch, playing for One Knoxville SC in its inaugural season.
Martin was born in East Tennessee and spent his first year of high school playing for Hardin Valley Academy. However, his passion for footy took him across the country. Martin then enrolled at IMG Academy in Florida where he earned “Most Improved Player,” a pivotal point in his soccer career.
“I came in and proved myself and put my head down and built my mentality where I’m improving every single day and I’ve used that to ignite my progression as a player over the past few years,” said Martin.
The 21-year-old jumped around to different developmental leagues in Atlanta and D.C. and eventually signed with Forward Madison FC on a two-year deal before making his way back to Knoxville.
“It was a great opportunity and it seemed like it was a good fit for me,” said Martin on signing with One Knox SC. “I’m playing in front of my city and it’s really motivating for me to be able to do that.”
Martin takes the pitch with one goal in mind and that is to win. However, getting the opportunity to sport the One Knox kit means more than just going to battle with his teammates.
“It makes it feel like I am kind of going to battle for a town that has been backing me the whole time,” said Martin. “It’s really motivating for me and it kind of shows that I’ll go to battle for anyone, but especially for the hometown where I was born and raised.”
Martin has also turned his passion for playing on the pitch into a business. The footballer created a brand and app called Nonstop Training that features content to help motivate young players and grow their game.
Martin believes in day-to-day progression and used that ideology to create his brand.
“I feel that’s at the crux of development and that’s the mentality you need to have to become a professional player,” said Martin. “I’ve created this brand to encapsulate that and display that on a worldwide level.”
Martin creates videos displaying footwork drills, warm-ups, and training routines on the Nonstop Progress Instagram, which has garnered 150,000 followers.
Martin hopes to continue to motivate and empower young athletes as he continues to move up the ranks in his professional soccer career.