Nathan Smith is, amongst other things, a professional footballer and athlete. At aged 10 he entered into the register of Grades as the holder of Black Belt Sho Dan in Karate .
His footballing journey began in North London. During his long career he has played for Yeovil Town FC, Chesterfield FC, Dagenham and Redbridge FC, Dulwich Hamlet and the Jamaican National team.
As a teenager he played for the non-league football teams, Enfield FC, Waltham Forest and Potters Bar.
At the age of 21 he signed his first professional football contract at Yeovil Town FC. Three years later he was snapped up by Chesterfield FC and in 2012 he went on to win the St Johnstones Paint Trophy, playing on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium and earning the title of Man Of The Match. It was during his first season at Chesterfield that Nathan was called up to play for Jamaica's national football team.
In 2012-2013 Nathan was named player of the season for Chesterfield FC; the following season became a league title winner. He then returned to Yeovil Town FC, representing them for another 4 years. Opponents included Manchester United and Everton and Nathan man-marked the likes of Lukaku, Sanchez, Rashford, and other top football stars. For the three seasons since 2015 he held the title of being the fastest centre back on Fifa! He even went on to become the highest appearance holder in the football league for Yeovil Town FC.
In 2014 Nathan decided to embark on a different lifestyle journey and went Vegan. Since then he has created a food show on Youtube called ‘Vegan Food 'n' Vibes’ , raising the awareness of healthy meals combined with fun and togetherness. The company have created a unique event called ‘Vegan Food n Vibes -The Experience’ , where Nathan prepares a three course vegan meal accompanied by vibrant music from a live band.
In 2016 the much travelled player decided to go on a journey of self discovery and travelled to India to complete a ten day Vipassana Silent retreat. This involved conditions such as no speaking, no eye contact, no reading and no electronics. An intense retreat with over 14 hours of meditation each day.
In the season of 2017 Nathan rather than go to the sun and holiday he decided to work as a volunteer in a health food cafe for two months during his end of season break. Since then he has travelled to Ethiopia to discover more of the world and himself.
On returning he has been visiting schools, attending events doing workshops and giving inspirational talks on the deep truths of balancing the physical and mental strain of professional football, as well as issues we face in our everyday lives.
When Nathan shares his experience and perspective he strips away the glamour attached to being a footballer, allowing people a rare insight and a better understanding of the reality of a professional footballer’s lifestyle. He highlights the importance of caring for your physical and mental health in harmony. He is an individual of integrity and a role model for aspiring athletes and young people.
Jim Boyd- MD @ The Pressure Zone
Applied Sports Psychology