Thunder has always been big. He is Samoan big, and all the goodness that goes with it. That means he has also always been strong. Consequently he doesn’t have to work at athletics the same way that other kids do.
The temptation with strength of any kind is to coast a little bit where others are really having to work hard. Thunder, like everyone else is not immune to this temptation. The key for him and how much he will develop has always been whether he learns to “put his foot on the gas.”
Two weeks ago, Thunder asked if I would help him with his workout so he could improve. He recognized that coasting was holding him back. After 15 minutes into our first workout and lots of encouragement, he reached down deep and drew from that well of Samoan Strength that he hadn’t tapped. His bat speed easily doubled and he was crushing the ball like never before. His hitting was always impressive. Now it is awe inspiring.
Fast forward to Monday. He and his team were working out at a local indoor batting facility because of bad weather. After he worked out in the cage for a while, one of the instructors there for another team told him that he has the fastest hands he hand ever seen in a boy his age. Boom. He gets it.
We don’t all have a well of Samoan Strength to draw from, but we all have the ability to dig down deep and tap that inner strength that frequently goes unused. Like all of us, Thunder might forget it is there from time to time. We just need someone to come alongside and remind us that we are stronger than we think. That is really the heart of Samoan Strength. Yes, they are physically strong. But more importantly, they are strong of heart and can reach deep down inside and give you more than both of you expect. That is Samoan Strong.