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September 10, 2021

Troy Polamalu’s Advice to High School Football Players

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Troy Polamalu played 12 years in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, so we asked him the following question: 

What is some advice you have for high school athletes looking to play in college?

Troy: To me whether you’re an athlete or not, the question is, ‘What is going to drive you to be successful?’ Is it hard work, dedication, and sacrifice? Because it needs to be all of the above. For me, I was so focused on my craft that it usually didn’t matter what other people said to me. I was determined to work hard and be successful, no matter what it took.

The advice that I find most important is to do whatever it is that can make you successful as an athlete. Which is the same thing that will make you successful as a student and vice versa, so that is why I think it is really important for someone to be an excellent student-athlete and not just an athlete.

Some people are blessed, and to build on that talent, you have to work hard. You may have to work harder than someone else in math to be special in math, and that is the same way it is with football. You have to put in the work to overcome competitions and God-given ability. It is the same characteristics that come with hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that are going to allow you to excel, and it has to be part of your game and your life, whether you’re a student, an athlete or a student-athlete. You don’t want to have the mentality that ‘I’m going to work hard at football and not work hard in school.’ It has to be part of you to become someone who is great.