The Value of Football
I have not missed a football season since the fall of 1976 and my life has never been the same.
The game of football has so much to teach and so much to give:
Football taught me what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself. Success in football requires selflessness and true teamwork. It is impossible to have any kind of personal success without your teammates - impossible. No matter how talented an individual might be, he will never win one versus eleven. In a powerful way, the game of football is very humbling as it demands that players put the team over the individual.
A football team is unlike any other, in that it depends on all kinds of body types and skill sets. Short, tall, stocky, thin, fast, not so fast, strong, not as strong, cerebral, and hardheaded - they all can have a place and a position on a football team. There are so many different roles and positions and every one of them matters.
Football teams break down race barriers better than anything else I have ever been a part of in my life. When you are in a huddle holding hands you don't see brown, black, white, red, yellow, or green. You see your brothers, your teammates who are depending on you, and who you are depending on to do their job. The best teams that I have been a part of truly love each other. When a young man gets the opportunity to be a part of that, he will never be the same. It is a powerful reality and one that the rest of society certainly could stand to emulate.
In addition to teamwork, football develops toughness - mental, physical and emotional. The toughness I am talking about is not merely the ability to push another player out of the way or tackle the guy with the ball, but rather the refusal to be discouraged or distracted in the face of a challenge. Football teaches the value of hard work, the necessity of honoring commitments no matter what, and the unbelievable power of a positive attitude in the face of adversity. Because it is uniquely demanding, football has the ability to instill belief, self-confidence, and discipline.
We all want our boys to grow up to be responsible and effective in life. Being successful in life as an adult absolutely requires toughness. Maintaining a strong marriage, raising kids, developing a career, and sticking to a value system all require commitment, responsibility, and perseverance. In a culture that is raising boys that seek to be entertained rather than be challenged, I submit to you that no other game develops toughness that translates to success in life quite like the game of football.
I cannot imagine my life without the invaluable lessons, situations, and experiences that football has provided me. I have experienced being a back-up and a starter. I have been the hero and the goat. I have been on both a losing team and a 10-0 team. I have suffered injuries and have seen guys end their career due to injury. I have seen the pain when players fail to make the team and the uncontrolled joy when players are told they are receiving a full ride athletic scholarship to play football in college. Football has taken me to play or coach in 10 different states, paid for my education, and has allowed me to provide for my family my entire adult life. The experiences have run the gamut, but it is all worth it. The most valuable things that football has given me are the people I have met and the incredible lifelong relationships I have built along the way.
It is truly a life changing game!
We look forward to partnering with you and your family, and sincerely thank you for trusting us with your son.
Coach Rob Davies
(adapted from a letter written by Eastern Michigan Coach Chris Creighton)