Before we can revisit the Marinovich project, I think we should know a little about Todd. His father Marv was a USC star and played a short stint with the Oakland Raiders. Marv was quick to retire and become the first strength and conditioning coach pro football. His studies made him beg the question “what if I started training an athlete at the beginning of their life?” He did just that. Todd was groomed to be the perfect quarterback and he was living up to expectations until the pressure became to great and it all came crashing down.
Todd Marinovich is 44 years old now and I am sure that he is tired of people talking about him “throwing away” his career and his “gift” for football. That is not what I want to revisit. It seems like Marv Marinovich was on to something when he started training and grooming Todd for greatness almost directly out of the womb. I believe that Marv’s mistake was not balancing training and letting Todd be a kid. Experience shows that many who are over worked for long periods of time go out and try to take over the world once they are given a little bit of freedom. Todd only started experimenting with drugs after his father’s presence was lightened. The media also played a part in Todd’s internal struggles by over hyping the young man. The amount of pressure and expectations that Todd endured could crush almost anyone.
Is there a way to incorporate constant training for the duration of a child’s existence while letting them have fun and experience being a kid? I believe that is the million-dollar question. Every sports fan that is a father wants their kid to grow up and get farther in sports than they did. I myself daydream about having a boy one day who grows up to play in one of the three major sports (MLB/NFL/NHL). Will I have the gumption to make them train every day and feed them all unprocessed foods? Will I know when to let the kid be a kid? I hope to all things holy that I will. So, to all you sports fan dads out there; train your kid to be successful but know when you ease off the pedal. It may just save your family some heartache. I myself will try to find that middle ground and give my kid the best chance to be great and happy.