It’s no surprise Juan Mosquea’s life work is to inspire and to motivate others. His life motto is, “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” In fact, everything Juan says is peppered with a positive, can-do attitude. It is an attitude he has applied to his work as a personal trainer and as a youth sports coach for nearly two decades.
No matter how difficult the task ahead, Juan understands just how powerful the mind can be. He is no stranger to struggle: after emigrating from the Dominican Republic in 2006, Juan faced many challenges as a new resident of the United States. However, he didn’t let that stop him.
“In Santo Domingo, I worked to motivate young people, and I knew I could do the same thing here,” he said.
For Juan, that opportunity came in the form of baseball.
Juan began playing baseball when he was 11 years old, but he never really had the opportunity to show his skill. “It wasn’t until one manager really believed in me that I got to prove myself,” he said of his experience.
Things changed when Juan’s family moved to Santo Domingo, and his attention turned to helping around the house. He turned his love for baseball to his younger brother, who eventually signed with the Phillies at age 17. “I did for him what I wish someone had done for me—I helped and guided him to achieve his dream.”
So far, six of Juan’s trainees have signed with professional baseball teams.
“In order for someone to succeed, they need to first understand that their success is possible. Once they grasp that concept, it’s as good as done,” believes Juan. “Success is a mental concept.”
It’s a concept Juan teaches the young athletes he works with in Lawrence, Massachusetts. But there can be no success without hard work. “I do expect those that I help to work hard,” he said. “If they don’t work hard, there won’t be any results.”
Take for example a young man Juan trained at his gym. The 17-year old athlete wanted to improve his baseball game by getting stronger.
“I told him I would help him. Within two months, he went from 160 to 205 pounds,” shared Juan. “He was invited to a baseball showcase in Phoenix and chosen in a group of 400 out of 20,000 attendants. He didn’t think it was possible.”
The young athlete went on to sign with Monroe College in New York with a full scholarship.
When Juan trains his young athletes, he is more than a personal trainer. He is a life coach, and he truly shapes their lives.
“I tell them that if you don’t fight for your dreams, you’re going to end up sitting on the bench watching others play,” said Juan. “You have to wake up earlier than everyone else. You have to be more prepared and more respectful than everyone else. Because when the moment comes to sign with a school or a team, you’ll get your chance.”
Through FundLatinos, Juan hopes to collect funds for baseball equipment—bats, baseballs, gloves—gym fees, and indoor practice fees for the winter months. Most of the time, these expenses come out of Juan’s own pocket, especially since many of his trainees are hoping to gain scholarships to college and often cannot afford the high costs associated with training.
Juan has helped so many young athletes believe in themselves and in their futures, most of whom are first or second generation Dominican-Americans. Now, Juan is turning to the Latino community for help in continuing his important work. It is people like Juan who make a real, day-to-day difference in the lives of others, and that is something to be celebrated.
To donate to Juan’s community efforts, visit his campaign here!