Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker and 2002 Super Bowl champion Martín Gramática played soccer as a child in his home country of Argentina before moving to the United States at age 9 years old. at LaBelle High School in Fort Myers, and the rest is history.
Gramática has been coaching junior football for over 10 years now. In March of last year, he decided to join the West Florida Flames organization, coaching at the East Lake campus.
Gramática loves the family atmosphere the organization has created, where athletes are the number one priority and the goal is not only to help players develop on the football field, but also to become better players. people. This year he is coaching the U19 men’s team and helping out with the U11 girls.
The Carrollwood resident said after retiring from football his goal was to spend as much time as possible with his family. Football and the love of sport allowed him to bond more closely with his children. He coaches his son on the men’s team and his daughter on the women’s team.
Gramática implemented coaching philosophies he learned from two of his legendary Football Hall of Fame coaches, former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy and former State head coach Kansas Bill Snyder. He said they were the ultimate role models and always cared more about their players as people rather than as athletes. He also said that the West Florida Flames organization does not treat its players like dollar signs like some other clubs do.
The football coach said the most rewarding part of training is watching the kids grow on and off the pitch.
“There are kids I’ve trained for over eight years, and just to see their growth, their physical development from baby faces to now as almost adult adults, it’s crazy when I look at the pictures “, said Gramática. “I’m not the tallest guy in the picture anymore, let’s put it that way,” he joked.
Nicknamed “Automatica” due to his high field goal percentage, the former placekicker still has a love for the sport of soccer. He is currently the color commentator for Spanish radio Bucs. Before football training, he helps teach some of his players who are interested in football to kick. He coached three kids last summer who now play D-1 football.
He said he sees a trend where football players are trying their hand at football as kickers and bettors because, among several other factors, it is easier for them to get a full football scholarship. rather than soccer, because a male-only sport, such as soccer, receives more funding than a Title IX sport, such as soccer, which splits funding between male and female programs. He said it’s rare to see an athlete practicing both sports, as they are both demanding and require full-time commitments to reach the next level.
Gramática does a lot of charity work in the Tampa area. He founded the Gramatica Family Foundation which builds homes for veterans injured in battle. Its players volunteer to help out at these homes.
“It’s very rewarding for me,” Gramática said. “I always say I owe it all to Coach Dungy. He taught us to do charity work, he taught us to put the community first and I always appreciated that message from him.
Gramática said he doesn’t know what the future holds for him when it comes to training, but he may pursue it at a higher level when his kids grow up and leave home. For now, he loves coaching with the West Florida Flames and is content to hang out with his kids and watch them grow.