By Nick Nahas
Tom Feely has made an impact on many young lives, whether it is in the classroom or on the football field. Feely, a National Board Certified teacher and counselor, is the only person in his field with that honor. He has been coaching sports for most of his life, including football for 47 years and three state championships.
Feely, a father of six sons took a special interest in kicking when his son, Jay Feely, wanted to transition from soccer to football when he was in high school. “I had already coached high school football for about 20 years when he was dubbed the JV kicker, but I knew nothing about kicking, so together we embarked on a journey to learn from the few experts of the day,” said Feely. With the combination of what they learned from the kicking gurus and Tom’s background in sports psychology, they were able to come up with a formula for success.
“We developed a distinct approach to kicking that helped me weather the ebbs and flows of the position,” said Jay Feely. “I was successful because I was mentally tough and that is directly attributable to my father.”
After his success with Jay and the knowledge he had gained about the mechanics of kicking, Tom began teaching other students. He later founded Feely Athletics, the premier kicking, snapping and punting school in the U.S. Fifteen of Feely’s students have made it to the NFL, most notably, Jay, who played for 14 seasons in the league and is now a football commentator and analyst for CBS. Other students include current NFL punters Matt Boscher and Brad Pinion and kicker Cody Parkey.
In 2014, Feely’s life changed forever. He was in great physical shape, having run several marathons and triathlons as an adult and was also considered a healthy eater. At the age of 62, he was sent to the hospital after having chest pains, and doctors determined that because of his genetics, he would need multiple bypass operations for his heart. The surgery was a success, and after a long recovery, Feely gained a new perspective on life. “I learned how fragile we actually are, and that if I wanted to continue my life of impacting young lives, I needed to make drastic changes,” he said. “Now I am in better shape than I was 30 years ago, and 40 pounds lighter. I have made drastic lifestyle changes, which have made a huge difference.”
Feely has used his new lease on life to continue to make a difference in young lives. He is now retired from teaching and counseling and spends a lot of his time training football players. His company, Feely Athletics, has become a success, and has helped many athletes gain college scholarships and even make it to the NFL.
For more information, or if you would like to sign up for lessons, visit FeelyAthletics.com.