Behind the Scenes of Football: The Values and Take-Aways Off the Field

photo courtesy of st. mark’s twitter

     Fall’s favorite sport would have to be football. Not a weekend went by where a football game was not televised. Many students share childhood memories of spending weekendsin the living room, crowded around the television, cheering on favorite college football teams or professional football teams.  During the holidays like Thanksgiving, football games are played between friends and family. But the playing and production of football games is much more intense and complex than many realize when simply watching football on TV or playing in the backyard.

     Paxton Scott is a senior and wide receiver at St. Mark’s School of Texas and was recently recruited to play football at Dartmouth. To Scott, a lot of dedication and time goes into the sport of football. Scott began playing football when he was a kid, starting with flag football. “I loved the catching and scoring aspect of the game,” he said.

     He soon graduated to tackle football, where at first, the adjustment was a challenge. “I did not like the contact, and the helmet hurt my head,” he said. Yet despite the initial discomfort, Scott kept playing. “I love playing the sport and there is always something you can improve, so you continue working to be the best player possible,” he said.

     Now in high school, football requires substantial focus. Because of the sport, Scott has had the values of hard work and mental strength instilled in him, especially from having to learn how to play through and overcome injuries. During football season, he trains for fourteen hours a week, including practice.

     Despite the hard work and commitment demanded in football, the payoff is definitely worth it.  Scott recalls his favorite memory of football sophomore year, when, after beating Greenhill in overtime, all the St. Mark’s fans stormed the field to celebrate the big win.

     Something that plays a huge part in the sport of football besides the players is the actual football itself. Chris Calandro and his company Big Game produces footballs for a variety of colleges and schools in the South including LSU, Jesuit and St. Mark’s. Calandro began manufacturing footballs after noticing how some footballs were not of the highest quality. He decided to take matters into his own hands and create a specially crafted football. After taking samples to some teams who loved his creations, his company, Big Game, began.

     However, just like in-season training, crafting footballs to use on the field requires dedication. Calandro said that attention to detail is paramount. “To go from good to great, you have to focus on the details. You have to do better and be stronger than the opponent,” he said. “The little things add up.” 

     Calandro also learned values of teamwork and cooperation from football. “Not one person can beat a team of eleven. They have to cooperate together,” he said. Similarly, many factors go into creating a football which are all equally important. He must calculate the perfect weight, so the football is not too light or heavy, he uses science to find a seamless aerodynamic football shape, and he tests which matierals perform well in all weather conditions.

     At the end of the day after creating and producing footballs, Calandro still remembers going to a football game with his dad, the smell of barbeque, the colors from the band and the uniforms and the excitement surrounding the game. The same football values of cooperation and attention to detail are principles Calandro lives by daily.

Behind the Scenes of Football: The Values and Take-Aways Off the Field     Looking behind the scenes of football and the dedication that goes into the sport, it is easy to see how the principles learned from football impact all those involved. The hard work, mental strength, focus on details and cooperation instilled in those who play the sport and help produce the sport carry on into their everyday life.

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