kitchen table math, the sequel: Hard work. Reverence. Discipline.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hard work. Reverence. Discipline.

I loved this 60-Minutes story about Samoan football players and I couldn't help but draw parallels to education.

It's estimated that a boy born to Samoan parents is 56 times more likely to get into the NFL than any other kid in America.
Fifty-six times! And I don't believe it's just because these kids are bigger or that it's merely coincidental either. Sure, physical attributes come into play when we're talking athletic ability, however there are plenty of big boys in the U.S. that don't have what it takes to make it in the NFL.

[I]t's not just size that makes the Samoans such great football players. His people come from a farming culture that prizes hard work, reverence and discipline. And he thinks that's why scouts and coaches are pulling out their atlases.

Curiously, most Samoan players currently in the NFL didn't even start playing football until high school. They play on makeshift fields with equipment that wouldn't meet safety requirements here. Yet these kids are a testament to that elusive something more that makes all the difference. Except it's not all that elusive.

Hard work. Reverence. Discipline.

Not money. Not perfect fields. Not the best equipment.

Part II

Part III


Anonymous said...

I saw this. It was great! Must be that warrior spirit.

But, why don't those NFL guys pony up and get the kids some decent equipment. That was bugging me the whole time I was watching.


Tracy W said...

Rugby is played without wearing any padding or helmets, though mouth protectors are common. While ruby and American football vary in a number of other ways, both sports depend on tackling, scrums, etc and both deliver a large number of injured players to the ERs. It would be interested to see the relative injury rates, as arguably more safety-equipment could be offset by players being more energetic.