I won’t deny that, as a teenager, I just KNEW that I was going to be an NFL player someday.
Yes, that was me in 1974 after the Yokota High (my school) vs. Yo Hi game ..we won 34-14. But… I still remember their first touchdown. It was punt return and the returner was running toward me and a blocker got me with a body block. I got up just as the returner was running past me; I was off balance and basically awkwardly waved my arms at him as he ran past; I didn’t even slow him down.
No. Athletic. Ability.
A day or so ago, I saw this (note: the Vanderbilt coach is now the Penn State coach)
In this video they show…vertical jump (LOL), 40 yard dash (my best: 5.8..no kidding…and yes, first number is a 5). And they show the shuttle run.
I remember practicing the shuttle run for the service academy physical education test. You had to run back and forth between cones, and no matter how much I practiced and how hard I tried, I really, really, really sucked.
I made West Point and Annapolis (though West Point told me to get in shape before the summer) but flunked the Air Force Academy test. Mind you, I ran a 5:54 mile at the time.
But bursts of speed, quickness…no dice. And I was worst at changing directions quickly, which, if you think about it, is exactly what a football player needs to be able to do. If I flunked a service academy test…what in the world was I thinking in that I was going to be an athlete?
And it didn’t get better later; at Annapolis I flunked the obstacle course twice as a freshman..wait..3 times (passed it later..but only with a lot of practice). Flunked the obstacle course again in Pensacola …after practicing for it. (got it the second time). Mind you, I was running a sub 40 minute 10K at the time. I aced the pull ups, the XC run and the swim. But obstacles…agility while on the move…nope.
It literally frustrated me to tears.
So.. ..when I see it now..both when not-so-great NCAA players think they are going to the NFL..or when a student who can’t do math wants to be an engineer…I can sympathize…lend a kind word…and gently direct them toward their strengths.