Home Trends Manase Tonga

Manase Tonga

by smart

[Music] i i think we could i think we could okay all right we’re live we’re live okay good evening ladies and gentlemen tong and pro athletes of today’s and yesterdays welcome to our weekly conversation with our tongan pro athletes we are honored every week to bring to you one of our athletes to have a conversation get to know them and to find out what it takes to become an a pro athlete their commitment their sacrifice mental toughness to preparation hard work and determination in hopes that we learn from their journey and what it takes to become the athlete they are but before we start i want to ask everybody to please uh if you like what we’re doing please share our conversation uh share our page and also um if you uh go to youtube and type in tongan pro athletes uh you’ll find all of our conversation there so so our guest tonight is he grew up in the bay area attending aragon high school in san mateo california where he was in all county and all league he also holds several records including yards and in season and yards in the game he also has his jersey retired by his high school which is a nice honor that’s awesome after graduation after graduation from high school he served an lds church mission uh in honduras uh when he returned he attended byu uh playing as a fullback and the lead blocker for for the all-time rusher harvey uma tonga manasseh also scored 22 touchdowns at byu after the his college uh career manager was signed by the oakland raiders in the 2010 nfl draft as an undrafted free agent vanessa played for the raiders for three years and now working as a mental health mental health field helping those that need help uh manasseh we um we’re honored and tonight for you to accepting our invitation for us to have a conversation you know our page is just uh we wanted to bring back the light on uh some of our athletes that have represented tonga taking that name all over the world and wanted just to bring back some memories to people that uh you know to our people that the athletes that has taken these the tongan name out there uh are still around and just to bring some some light to them and bring them uh you know bring their name back and uh that’s the whole the conversation is all about just to reminisce about you know back in the days so but um before you know before we start i want to ask you just to come in introduce yourself um let us know about your parents introduce your parents uh where they come from in the you know what village you guys come from in tonga um and then we’ll we’ll continue after that but uh welcome amen i thank you for coming on oh no thank you for having me uh it’s an honor to it’s honor to be here and uh just join the conversation uh just be a part of this uh podcast and i’m excited i mean i’m honored to be here also you know kind of just touching on what you said just with regards to tongan athletes um it wasn’t until i joined the page and then you know until after i was done playing or towards the end of my career college and professional i started to pay attention a little bit more about um you know the the the pioneers if you will for sure song following the tongans that kind of laid the you know they blaze the trail coming you know from the islands to here and you know people like yourself uh you know really you know putting you know putting our little island on the map and then just kind of allowing us to you know to carry the torch so it you know it’s a huge it’s a huge honor to be uh among the many that that came before us as far as me uh so yeah i grew up uh born and raised in san mateo california oldest of five siblings um my parents are la tium my mom she’s from halau fully in vawa and my dad was raised in formatu and so you know very very obviously very humble beginnings they they both met in in the bay area sure um and then so that’s kind of how watered-down version of how our family got started right sure yeah so um we’re growing up here in the bay area um as a kid was growing up as a kid just go back to when you were a kid playing when did you start playing football or did you always like football did you play other sports i mean we always watched football we always played backyard football sure um you know but as far as like i didn’t really start playing organized football till high school until i got into high school okay um you know just we didn’t really you know pop warner was you know it cost money so that’s that was always never an option you know we did you know starting middle school sixth grade you know we got into uh i got into playing basketball uh ran track and then i kind of and then also you know we we got it i i personally got into playing music i was or not like so i played the trombone in elementary all through and then i actually really liked playing in the you know i played in the symphonic band and the jazz band oh nice i really liked it i played all through i played all through high school that’s one of the secrets that i like to keep amongst playing music helped athletes a lot i i just i’ve heard that somewhere that you know uh some uh athletes that play music uh they’re you know it’s they’re pretty good at at both of them but it helps it helps too with the yeah definitely helps you know it helps especially with you know when you play when you’re playing sports that require you know having some kind of rhythm you know you can kind of you know you know ballroom dancers you know there’s some guys that were said that they were they’re doing ballroom dancing ballet right his own music too you know it just you know it teaches a different kind of discipline learning how to um you know i don’t know i think i’m getting off topic but you know i played music but we started out playing basketball and then in middle school and then ran track and then in high school um i continued uh so we played football in the fall basketball in the winter ran track in the spring and then uh i got into my around like about like fifth sixth grade you know my dad was still kind of on his way out playing rugby the san mateo team so you know i would tag along with him when he would go to practice you know and i i remember running out in the field just you know playing touch with the old man and and then eventually you know got into you know just playing rugby a little bit um but that was the one sport my dad was like there’s no at the at the time right so this is like mid-90s yeah you know late 90s and he’s like now there’s no future in rugby go stick to football yeah so no the same deal it’s the same appreciation for rugby yeah it’s the same thing with me my dad my dad didn’t want me to play rugby at all he said you stick to football you know i i don’t even want you to step on that rugby field because both of my older brothers played rugby but uh the same thing like your dad told you that you better stay off the rugby field go go and play uh uh football yeah so you know but um i i read a few things about you uh being in high school i mean you were pretty good in high school uh as as a running back and um you just said that you just you you didn’t play till high school so and you must have been uh talented enough to uh to become uh a great athletes coming out of high school and playing in high school what uh what was the motivation there um honestly it was really simple my my dad never really pushed us to do anything uh his only rule was if we’re gonna do something we have to do it full speed do it 100 and so i mean just kind of i feel like that was kind of like everybody just but um but you know with that that’s that’s kind of like the blanket statement and then you know once they start playing then it’s like okay now that i know you’re trying hard you need to be the best and so that was kind of like uh you know that was the the motto going into high school the mentality yeah you know and then you know it’s just always it started out very you know just go out there do your best to see how you know see how it goes sure and then once we figured out and even then playing it was always just we’re just gonna play football it wasn’t really uh like we didn’t really know that that that playing football was an option so i was just going to ask you that is that an option no i was just going to ask you was that an option i mean did you uh you’re thinking that well i’m going to play football so i can you know go on to college or go on to another to university is that this just happened then you you were good enough that that the colleges or universities was looking at you well so like i was saying you know going into it so let me backtrack to just give it a little bit more context so like i said you know we grew up playing backyard football and in the neighborhood like i was i was good you know playing you know but when i my freshman year oh man i will if i i tell you i kid you not i was like on the verge of like quitting football after that season oh wow it was it was a really bad experience for me and you know and there are well and a lot of it was coming with high expectations and you know so i i i didn’t do very well i didn’t do well at all um and then you know i i was fortunate enough to have some coaches that that saw you know saw some skill and athleticism you know they saw my talent so they yeah they kind of coached me along so because of that that kind of gave me the extra motivation that i you know off season i needed to work out i needed to you know really um put something in the game of football put some time into it yeah it wasn’t until my it wasn’t until my junior year in high school going into my junior year and and after this is my sophomore so freshman year i sucked and then my the varsity coach actually moved me up to varsity in my sophomore year and he basically said you know what i think you’d be better if you went up and played with the bigger kids played with older kids because um yeah and so it was like a trial by fire sure and i’m glad he did it because i had a i had a breakout like sophomore year was really when i was okay i i can play football i know i can play football especially playing with the upper classmate yeah yeah and so going into my junior year there’s all this talk you know i had academic counselors talking about you know the junior years it’s a very it’s a make or break kind of year for for a lot of the high school kids especially when it comes to um uh applications you know filling applications for colleges and still like i was oh whatever you know college we’re thinking about going to csm anyway and then i realized you can get a scholarship to go to college playing football football yeah that was that’s when it was introduced to me was my junior year but from my academic counselors and my high school and my head coach and when i realized that uh i could get a free education that’s when i turned it into like overdraft and i went all out and so um yeah because you know a lot of times um you know kids are going into football and uh just thinking oh we’re just gonna play football and i’ll just go to the junior college or whatever it is uh and thinking the thinking is that well my parents can’t afford to put me into college anyway so you know but uh like you just said there is that you finally realize there’s a way for you to get into universities or colleges through football through sports and um you know and and i think most of us most of our uh us polynesian most of our parents can’t afford to put us into college and and the only way a lot most of us can get into college is through sports and and another thing you know some some kids are good in academics but mostly that our us policies and that’s the only way we can get into college but when did you realize that you can you would you can be able to get a scholarship to to go on to uh and further your education um at the beginning of my senior year so like my junior year it was more okay i need a college is an option college there’s there’s an opportunity there i have a good shot at it sure and so really when i say overdrive it was more me buckling down on my on my academics and just school and really focusing on school the you know because i prefer for a lot of us you know football or it’s just sports you know just being outside it comes easy yeah you know and so like i felt like for me um i could i could still put in the time at football but i could i could cut corners here and there just for a little bit so that i can focus more on my academics at the beginning of my senior years when i started getting approached by um small you know lower level colleges smaller colleges and then um i would say maybe around like week four or five of my senior year and and again i i had to put in the work and you know it the only reason why these coaches were coming after me were was because i was producing you know i was putting out a good product on on the field and so you know i was fortunate enough to have you know coaches that pushed me teammates that you know kept me motivated and then i was able to do my part and then by week four or five was really when all the you know the letters started to flood in and yeah that’s a great feeling though and that in that great feeling just to especially in high school when you started getting letters from from big colleges big universities and man what a feeling is that just to yeah getting letters from these colleges oh yeah so yeah it was it was definitely a good feeling and it made you know kind of validated all the hard work that i was putting in and at the same time it kept me motivated to to keep trying um so yeah i would say my senior year was really when i when i knew i had a shot so let’s let’s let’s say uh what’s what what is your um would you say to high school kids coming up through high school because a lot of times we have these kids that are really good in in and football but struggles in their classroom struggles to get their the the uh their grades to get into to major colleges um because i i think uh some of them lose focus in terms of worrying about more uh about their football skills than worrying about their you know grades in in the classroom what do you say to them about you know getting themselves ready to to move on to the next level um i mean i’m trying to figure out the right way to put it because yeah at the end of the day like and and you know i would be a hypocrite if i said you have to focus on your studies but at the end of the day right but with all that being said you know um if you if at the high school level especially the way the way things are now especially with the way technology is social media um you know i keep going back you know and when we were playing we didn’t have these outlets like youtube and huddle accounts and you had to go to like big schools and you really had to put in that extra time to make sure you were at you know at in tip top you know performance every week now i mean you still have to perform on the weekend on on game days but you know you still have other outlets where you know there are people and there are resources that can help you get better in the offseason yes school is the one thing that if you can’t discipline yourself to take care of your grades in high school when it’s easy you know it it just makes your college experience that much more harder because um yeah again you know with high school i mean it’s i i you know having been through both of us you know high school is easy yeah you know and then and on top of that even if i wanted to miss school you have people you have hall monitors you have parent you everyone you have teachers that will call home and tell your parents that you miss school you know in college you miss a class the teacher does sometimes the teacher doesn’t even know your name yeah you know so the teachers don’t really care if you miss class or not um and so like if you don’t if you can’t lock down that discipline to get your grades or to do your homework to take care of school uh it’s gonna take away from the like your true college experience yeah you know you’re gonna struggle in college you’re gonna you’re not gonna really enjoy college because you’re too busy you know going to study hall and being on academic probation that’s right we’ve been there it’s not fun at but yeah i mean like you’re saying is in high school i mean there’s help i mean because a lot of us really sometimes are afraid to ask for help you know thinking that well they they probably think i’m done for asking some you know help but you know most of the time that if in high school you’re trying to get your grade there’s there’s help out there plus like you said if you don’t do that in high school your college experience going to be rough going into uh in college because here’s the other thing is that when you leave home there’s nobody else are out there telling you what to do it’s all up to you what you want to do up there because they don’t tell you to wake up and go to class they’re going to tell you to do your homework it’s all you doing that by yourself for the discipline you have to be disciplined to do all that stuff you know because you know i mean i mean the football staff and the football program do help you yeah get through it but you have to be willing to do it also to uh to benefit yourself from doing all this stuff so fast forward though so you left high school um you went on a on a church mission to honduras is that uh is that was your choice to uh to uh to go on that those uh on on your uh church mission before entering college yeah that was uh that was my choice um i was grateful for that choice it was it was a really hard choice to follow through on i’m glad i did kind of going back to the whole recruiting experience and uh you know you know how you say it’s it’s fun getting all these letters and they’re coming to visit you at school and call you um it’s not so fun when you ask them hey i need to you know i’m wondering if you could just give me like a two-year break for for church reasons you know after the letter stopped coming and you know then the then the phone calls start turning into well you know let me talk to the coach and i’ll get back to you and it’s really their great way of saying uh yeah no no don’t do it yeah everything you know everything just kind of felt like it was going downhill like really fast um but it all worked out in the end i was able to you know i was able to get signed and you know things worked out but it was definitely a pretty rough like uh decision to make or it wasn’t a hard decision to make but it was hard to kind of follow through with sure what what colleges that you were thinking of uh that would that recruited you heavily so at the time i had pretty much everyone in the pac-10 okay with the exception of um with the exception of ucla okay so i had everyone packed in and then i had some smaller schools like montana and then i had um and then there was a school that backed out last minute uh northwestern um but a lot of it but all those schools and then in the end at all utah utah was also in the mix okay but i think now with the um i think a lot of this universities uh you know what what byu has done you know from long time even you know given if if you wanted to go on your church mission they allow you to do it and i and i think some of the colleges now are doing that that uh allowing some of these kids to go on their mission uh not just byu but some other colleges and allowing kids to do that now is that is that is that true yeah you’ll find now a lot more and more uh players are are going on lds missions and without needing to go to like a byu before you had to go it was only byu was given that yeah byu you tossed some of the schools that had like the you know the lds influencer um but for them or yeah and and there were i would say there were there were a few one-offs you know there were some people that did um [Music] go on missions and still go to the school that you know outside of utah and byu but i feel like that was that you know some head coaches having you know being familiar with you know what the church mission means to some of us boys and and how to handle them when they get back and kind get their legs back was that was that was that helpful for you to to uh when you were going on to two years then coming back because you missed two years of football you know you go on a mission you you missed two years of football you’re not even thinking about football at all and then you come back after two years you you jump in right into it was that uh how how was the uh the the difference and the transition was i would say the transition was pretty smooth um yeah two years you know football would kind of come and go but you know we were pretty occupied with with other things you know just doing on our mission but it was a rough it was a rough transition um coming back but i think because byu has you know they have the staff and they’ve been doing it for so long they were able to get me back in shape on the field without any serious injuries and i was you know and i was able i think a lot of luck had to play with it too so the year i got back normally when people get back from their missions they take a year to kind of get their legs back and recover yeah um fortunately back yeah yeah but fortunately i was able to come back and play right away along with a couple others that went on their missions so um i think for me being away for two years one it really made me appreciate how how fortunate i was to play football and to still be playing football so it kind of gave me that level the extra kind of encouragement to not waste the opportunity but secondly it definitely um helped me again just be more disciplined and more mature i think you blew up a little bit too i mean you grow up immaturely i mean you mature a little bit you grow up a little bit you you see things that hold different differently than coming out of high school right yeah definitely and so yeah it’s i mean it has its pros and cons i will be honest like it’s there are some cons to it but i think the pros outweigh the cons just in my personal opinion yeah so coming back you played with you know uh you know i mentioned here that you blocked for for harvey and uh how was that playing with playing with harvey and and the team that you played on uh at byu oh man we had we had so much fun um that first year coming you know when i came back i was actually you know i came back i still i had lost like 60 pounds on my mission oh wow and so when i came back still trying to come back and put on some weight and so the first running back that i that i blocked for was actually fakutahi oh okay and so he um i i was actually fortunate enough to have him you know he was a senior my freshman year and so you know he was you know he had his aspirations to go to the nfl and you know his his mind was sentenced so he was doing things to help himself get there and and i was lucky enough to to kind of tag along and just see his work ethic see how he uh you know studied the game of football and how he played and then so that helped you know the following years when i started playing with uh curtis brown who first broke the record and then harvey broke his record the year after so i always just would you know i got lucky i played with a bunch of good guys yeah you know that made my easy and then on top of that we on top of all that we had uh robert and i was our offensive coordinator oh awesome you know he he brought this whole new like attitude you know that paulie style i don’t know damn line up 10 people in the box we’re going to run the ball kind of that’s it that made it that made you know practices very fun and competitive and just you know it was it was awesome playing with with a lot of great guys well i i think that’s uh like you’re saying you know you had some upper classmate that that when you came in as as a rookie as as a freshman i mean you look up to these guys and and and thankfully they helped you out you know lead you in the right direction and especially you’re the blocker so they better be nice to you because you’re blocking for them luckily i wasn’t that kind of person that would just miss the block yeah so what what’s what was your weight when you uh playing when you came back you came back and said yeah you needed to gain some weight back what was your weight yeah when you came back i came back i was way i came back weighing 210 okay and i left i left the field i was about i was about 240 235 240 240 and so um yeah i came back i came back at 210 and i tried to pack on all the weight like as fast as i could thinking that i i needed so i was eating non-stop and uh it made for a very rough camp my first week and then so i finally started to figure out how to put it on uh slowly a healthier way of putting it away yeah so now um in college so when did you realize uh that you might have a chance to uh to get into the nfl um because i think there’s uh most of us when we do when we go get into playing i mean that’s the goal right that’s the goal yeah most of us have is to make it into the nfl but you know and sometimes uh when in college there’s sometimes things doesn’t look promising or go a different way but um you know it’s but sometimes you really really realize that well maybe i can make i can make the nfl so yeah for me it was kind of yeah the same thing like we all wanted to play in the nfl we all had dreams of playing so it didn’t become a reality until i um i was just similar very similar to high school until i got to my junior year and then i started um you know by then i had i had you know a lot of the mentors i would call them like just people that i looked up you know call for advice who were playing in the league you know and uh they would give me feedback and be like hey you know keep it up you know you know you’re looking good and if you know so that’s kind of gave me the motivation to push that i needed so i’m going yeah about my junior year and then my senior season it was kind of like at that point um that’s kind of where i decided i was just going to put all my eggs in that nfl basket just it was kind of like nfl or bust for me right right why not you know no but yeah thinking that’s always the thinking you know and if you don’t think like that then then why even you know get into playing football because listen i mean for me i when i was a kid i mean coming up as eighth seventh ninth grade i was already thinking about the nfl you know that was my mentality that i was thinking about the nfl at that time and then i was doing things that some of these kids weren’t doing at that time you know what i mean i did things on my own i went and did stuff on my own and and uh you know i we we did all the work that we did supposed to be doing it in school but i also did you know other other stuff to to better myself but but if you don’t think like that if you don’t think about making it to the nfl then you know something is you know kind of wrong yeah at that point then you know like before i used to be like well then at that point what’s the what’s the point why are you putting your body through so much because you know at the end of the day we put our bodies through so much pain and like and you know now we pay the price for it you know years after playing so i mean at that point if you’re gonna if you’re gonna sell you know there’s you know the motivators they’ll say you know if you’re getting this for you might as well get paid for it right you know you’re gonna exactly if this is the if you’re going to play this if you’re going to play this fighting sport you know at least make it worth it in the end yeah yeah you know because you know the the the um you know guys that make it into the nfl after college it’s it’s one percent or one and a half percent that makes it into the nfl so it’s a low percentage of making it to the nfl so uh you know if like you said if you don’t think about making it to the nfl then why play the game uh that’s i mean that was that’s the goal for for anybody that for most most players that plays this game is when make it to the nfl so and the other way uh the other side of it is how important is that for for a player to [Music] to have a degree when he comes out of college because most of us really mostly don’t make it or or make it you know one or two years and three years and that’s it i mean that’s that’s the that’s the uh the lifespan of of any of a running back is two to two to three years yeah oh man like that’s uh so you know kind of going back to what i said i i putting all my eggs in the nfl basket um it gave me the results that i wanted sure right but um but because i didn’t i didn’t finish my degree on time it actually delayed everything that i wanted to do and achieve with my family it kind of put us it set us it set me back and it set my family back uh at least five years because i you know we played and then i once i was done playing and i got released you know i’m trying to apply for these jobs and the only thing i can put on my resume is on my nfl i mean there’s a lot to be said like i can i can definitely like prove that i have work ethic i have leadership skills you know all the things that come with being a successful athlete but a lot of those things don’t compare to like work history and you know if i don’t have my degree the credentials to back it up yeah then all they see on a piece of paper is all this guy is just the former football player you know not a lot of people understand what it you know what goes into being you know playing football but you know so for me it was once once i got done playing my wife and i we took our family we took a year off and just kind of went eva and we you know we enjoyed our time and then i was like okay let me let me get let me try to find a job and i tell you it was the most depressing year like not being able to put anything on my resume because i’ve never worked you know football takes up all of our time never held a job that you know that counted you know yachty doesn’t count you can’t you know you can put on a resume but you know that doesn’t count and then so you know i have to go back to school so fortunately i was able to go back to school and finish my degree and then even after finishing my degree i still had to build up some work history so i mean a degree yeah so what i always say is i mean yeah the nfl is awesome but you know if you really want to take advantage of that experience you know get your degree before you go into the league because once you’re in the league when you when you go and this is not this was the hardest lesson that i had to learn was i got into the league with no degree and because i was in a league i had access to so many people i was you know i was constantly meeting like ceos and business owners and people who genuinely would like hey you know whatever you need let me know like i can help you and so i’m reaching you know i’m looking for you know looking for some job yeah did you get did you finish your degree oh no i don’t man get your degree out and i’ll plug you in wherever you want to go and that was kind of the the conversation so yeah you know it it sucked being around all these people that that could really help me but you know i didn’t i didn’t have i didn’t have my degree and i didn’t have the credentials it took to for them to help me so yeah yeah so yeah because you know like you said you meet a lot of people uh doing playing football and all these people are promising hey whatever you need let me know but and then you get out of football like you just said they said ah did you get your degree uh yeah no oh why don’t you go get it then then call me back yeah or it was like oh well i can hire you over here it’s a little office job but you know you can hold that job until you finish your degree then we can you know bump you up to a supervisor but even then like i had to go to school and you know that was a i i really felt behind in school just because i i took my foot out you know i i focused on football 100 and so yeah it it bit me in the butt in the end so um um you’ve uh when um shitake was hired to byu um i i saw that that you were you know you went into to be a ga a grad assistant for him was how was that experience did he allow you to come and get your degree there and help out with him so i actually um i finished my degree with bronco um and then that was his last year and then when kalani came on you know he uh you know i was out fortunate enough to just to kind of work i was volunteering for for for a year and then i got hired out of the ga shortly after um but yeah it was always you know working with working with kalanian and the rest of the staff was kind of like very it was a very proud moment you know because you sure you know first tonga head coach yeah um and then you know he he brought in great people and the people that i was able what a lot of people didn’t uh didn’t know is my last year as a ga i was on the defensive side so i worked with elisa and and and those guys and so for me because i still you know my passion is still football so i wanted to learn as much as possible and so kalani was oh yeah just you know do do uh do you know do some go work as a ga for the on defense so you can see because you’ll be able to help help them because you you have eyes as a you know as a running back you can see some of the the gaps in it and defenses and so it definitely worked out you know he was definitely a mentor he pushed me to to always try to you know achieve more and kind of broaden my horizons when it came to football was that a goal that were you looking to see if you could get into coaching i mean that was always a goal whether whether it was coaching at byu i mean obviously that’s the you know that’s the ultimate goal college coach um but really my my main goal was just to stay involved in football football you know i just you know that’s just that was just one of my deals like i i just wanted to be a part i just wanted to be around the game sure and so whether it’s volunteering or just kind of you know working on and you know being around the game learning about the game learning all like as much as i can like i was really you know that was what made me a great player in college was i was a student of the game so i could you know i studied a lot more i studied more to get in the film room than i’m in my actual textbooks yeah and so um yeah that was my motivation that’s kind of what what pushed me and you know and i was fortunate enough to work with these guys like i said they that was that was like they were very supportive and then like you know whatever we can do because the real reality is there’s only so many positions you know coaching positions at the college level and so on if given a chance to go back and if given a chance to go back and coach would you would you do it in a call now yeah i think now now i would um is that because you’re ready now is that because now you’re ready mentally you’re ready for it or no it was just you know having been in the nfl the the one thing that’s never taken into account is just how volatile the career so like you’re always on the bubble you never know like what the next year is going to hold so after every season it’s kind of like you’re holding your breath to make sure you you stay on the roster right every year yeah every year every year you know later every year you’re like you’re coming in january yeah hoping that you still have a locker and so you know at the coaching level i you know i i started to see you know you’re putting in more hours uh you’re putting in you know there’s a lot more time that goes into coaching and it’s it’s just as you know up and down as being a player so for me that was my like that’s kind of why i decided i wanted to step away because schedule-wise and you know my kids were getting off age where i started taking interest in sports so the the final straw was you know i if i was you know that talking just talking with my wife you know just talking my kids they wanted to play sports but you know this the schedule was just too demanding at that right now so i figured if i was gonna you know put all my time and energy you know in any kid it should be my own yeah hey you know that’s uh i i think you hit it on the head there because um as a coach you as especially a college coach that it takes all their time away from their families because not only during the season that you’re coaching and traveling off season you have to go and recruit and you be you’re out there you know all year round and not have time for your for your your own kid you just set it right there you know if i if i’m going to give my time i would rather give it give it to my kids and uh i mean that’s that’s just a hell of a of a statement right there yeah and you know honestly like again like i would if given the opportunity i would go back i i would you know if if even though in a perfect world once everyone is done playing um but you know i i really say that because i understand the sacrifice it takes you know we yes my family my wife they sacrificed a lot while i was you know playing because i was gone all year in the off season i was out training and you know doing all these things so you know i’ve i’ve asked them to sacrifice you know i’ve asked her to sacrifice all that time before you know and then for come back and ask her to sacrifice it again um you know i just i felt like that would be selfish of me and so i wanted to at least give her some time you know me being around so like but yeah i mean if if it was just me i would have already already been there right yeah so let’s let’s um let’s let’s get into the uh to the nfl so you came to oakland right next door to where you grew up where you went to high school you know and uh what was going through your mind man because coming home you’re going home to play you know what i mean you’re going home to play all your families are out here uh and uh you’re coming home to play how how was that feeling man that has had to be a great feeling just knowing that you’re you’re coming to play for the raiders and all your families around here man it was uh honestly it was very bittersweet you know growing up where we at you know i think everyone with the exception of two people in my family were all raiders all niner cats sorry oh and then it was only my uncle and my mom’s oldest brother and then my cousin they’re they’re the only raider fans in the whole family and so for me i i it was great being able to go back home and just you know be somewhat in my stomach right you know i grew up in the west bay but you know i was in familiar territory so it was a very easy transition for me um but it was also uh it was kind of hard at the same time because um in a time where you know you need to be you know discipline and dedication and heart you know all that stuff that you you’ve learned in your high school college period really applies at the nfl level um and so for me it was it was great to be home but it was it was it wasn’t that great because it was easily it was easy to get distracted distracted yeah yeah you know we had family events or you know friends and and for me i i wanted to go and i wanted to go catch up with it from the moment i graduated high school you know i left and so i was gone i was out i was out of california and so you know being able to catch up with some of my friends and just link up with and go out to eat and do whatever like that was fun for me but you know sometimes i could i found myself being okay this this could potentially be a major distraction yeah i think yeah i i think you just said it uh i was just gonna say that it’s it’s a big distraction for you because um being home being closer close home and all your friends around um you know they all want to hang out with you they all want to do stuff with you but you know sometimes you know you hate to say no to them uh but sometimes it’s a big distraction and it takes away from from what you were out here to do was you know making it playing uh playing football so but how was the experience though i mean i mean you played in the nfl how was the experience it’s i mean had to be a good experience for you because hey you made it to the nfl oh man it was uh you know just to put it plainly it was a dream come true it was it was an experience of a lifetime um everything that i had dreamt it would be yeah uh that’s that’s what it was like i i everything that i that i thought it was going to be everything that i envisioned the nfl being you know being able to play and then all that stuff like that’s that’s what that that’s what my that’s how my experience was and then some you know it was just very the football part of it the football aspect of it was was amazing being able to play different stadiums and and um you know just being able to play with a play on the same team as and against people that you know you grew up playing maddie yeah you you know you watching it um but at the same time that i think for me what the the cherry on top was just being able to get to know some you know get to know my teammates and get to know the other players in the league and realize that i would say 90 98 of the guys in the league are just as normal as you and i you know you probably have one or two oddballs that you know that actually you know the types of people that end up in the news for you knows going bankrupt and you know doing weird stuff dui like like the the guys that i had in my locker room in our locker room they were man some of the most genuine loving just awesome awesome people and i would say a lot of them were were people that if you were to see them in this in the street you know just out in downtown you never would have known you’d never guess that they were you know multi-millionaire yeah with just normal people normal normal people yeah that was a pretty awesome experience there’s a lot of times people put put football players on the pedestal you know they just put it up there and they look up to them but like you said they’re just regular people uh but you know but they are different because you know they they they made they they’ve gone through some uh trials and errors to make it into the professional level so you know that’s that’s the difference with other people but but uh personality wise they’re just the same as as everybody else yeah um so yeah it was that i mean that that’s that’s really what pushed my experience over the edge was knowing that you know there was a locker room full of guys that were just very respectful um you know in my family we were like you know coming in undrafted you know there were some things that you know that are normal you know in an nfl locker room you know yeah thousand dollar you know christmas christmas gifts and secret a gift and you know not having to worry about it because everyone knows that i’m undrafted so they they know what kind of money i was making at the time and they knew i had a family so you know like i said it was just very just wholeheartedly like just loving loving people like people that i i mean i’m not gonna shout them or put their name out there but it’s definitely forever i love them yeah you’re still friends with these guys you know i i’m still friends with the guys that i played with so we still talk and uh you know it’s it’s a fraternity you know getting into the to the nfl is it’s a fraternity so and uh you know sometimes it’s people put us on a pedestal but otherwise we’re still the same people uh walking down the street we breathe the same air you know we eat the same food so but um what what uh after leaving uh the nfl uh what are you doing now with uh so right now i’m a program manager for uh for youth home for uh it’s called the rtc so it’s a residential treatment center also the boys that the boys that i that i have they actually live at the facility that we so i’m i’m the program director there um and so my yeah my i i kind of took uh a liking to the whole you know when i went back to get when i went back to get my degree i found myself more and more interested in the you know the mental health substance abuse field sure and uh oddly enough kalani said his dad tom uncle tom so he was uh you know he was a big dog over at the utah state hospital in provo where it’s it’s a mental state it’s a it’s a mental state facility and he did uh he did vocational training there and he was uh he was one of the the top dogs up there so to make a little money i went and started working with him at the hospital um and then from there i kind of just i learned really quickly that i have a a good rapport with with people you know i i’m easy you know people like they respond really well to me and so um from there i kind of just started building my resume in the mental health field did some marketing business development for other facilities and now i’m just doing the so yeah like and so now i’m a program director for a place called highland ridge hospital and i do their uh rtc boys so actually that’s something i mean being in the mental health uh field um you know people see that as you know nowadays with all these shootings and all this stuff that’s happening around the world and you know the first thing they said is it’s mental health uh you know um but you know you if you’ve learned to adjust and learn to to uh to to like these you know i take it that some of these your clienteles like you because of what you do for them you know yeah you know there’s um you know there’s a huge like right now there’s a huge stigma like when people say mental health they automatically jump to like what they see in the movies like you know they’re crazy people right yeah um but really like a lot of the boys that i bring in and i think the reason why and it’s not just me uh polynesians in general uh and this is what i’ve heard from numerous people across the country they just have we just have a natural ability to walk into a room and just everybody calms down and we don’t really have to say much just our presence alone um and so you know the boys that we deal with you know a lot of them they you know they suffer from you know they’re diagnosed with you know adhd which means they’re hyper or you know but really the you know i i kind of treat it you know not on as a strict scale but like you know the way the way we were raised you know if if i if i was having a bad attitude if i was uh if i wasn’t be behaving you know i got disciplined uh obviously we can’t really touch the kids but you know we can we can punish them and or we can discipline them or correct their behaviors a lot of times these kids you know it’s really just a behavioral issue you know the mental the mental side of it kind of comes you know once they once they can figure out that their behaviors get corrected right right and so a lot of times so so my approach to a lot of these kids especially these kids that come from like dts and juvenile centers um like i said they they do have some some pretty severe mental issues but you know we all do and i don’t want to i’m not trying to i’m not trying to minimize mental health right mental health is a serious thing but it’s not as i feel like it’s not as serious as like hollywood tries to make it seem like we can we can we can still reach people people with mental illness are still human beings that you know they just have real feelings and so as polynesian i mean and we just naturally have a you know we’re laid back people but you know when it’s time to drop the hammer we can drop the hammer and so you know so that that’s kind of what i i i learned about myself and that’s kind of why i that’s a lot of patience it’s a lot of pain yeah you know it requires it requires a lot of a lot of patience and humility humility it’s good yeah i mean that’s i mean i i think that’s that’s what it is about life anyway you got to treat people the way you want to be treated and if uh you know if somebody is has a little trouble then you know you got to treat them more a little bit more careful and and then and not just yell at them yeah you know you you you kind of learn some of the skills yeah you don’t just yell at them yeah i mean at the end of the day the kids that we have and they’re pretty you know a lot of them have had suicide attempts or they you know they’ve tried to you know they they constantly have these thoughts but you know that doesn’t mean you don’t treat them like a human being you know there’s different ways to approach these people but at the end of the day they’re real people with real feelings so you just tap into that as long as you can find a way to tap into that then everything else kind of takes care of itself yeah man more power to you man because you know if you tap into some of these kids and and uh they get to to like you then you’re doing a great job galo uh welcome back uh anything else before we uh close out with uh manasseh no i’m just really glad that i managed to um catch up with uh you gentlemen and especially with you um malasi uh i’m not too sure why my laptop has decided to just give me half a screen but i only i i can’t see the 21 other members that have commented so i do apologize to the members but uh diploma how sia uh sends his best wishes to you manasseh um and also cindy samuel she mentioned here that she was um uh really in supportive of you uh that you chose to go on your mission so uh just relate you got the hardcore uh raider nation on you know i’ll take all of that [Laughter] i i can’t see the rest of the the uh the comments but uh just relaying the members love and uh admiration in uh for you um yeah thank you we’ve uh gone through about an hour now man i know his time is limited so uh thank you for uh accepting our invitation man good conversation man love i love this uh our conversation and um uh good luck with you with uh everything that you’re doing now with your family and and and what you’re doing now with the mental health um if it happens for you to go back to being a coach more power to you and then your last word you want to leave us our audience with um no i just want to thank you all for your support thanks for tuning in carlos nice meeting you thanks for having me on tim it’s always a pleasure you know chatting uh yeah it was a pleasure linking up but i just wanted to say thank you to everyone and if uh you know if you have young you know high school kids or if you have young kids you know who want to pursue whether it’s athletics or anything academic you know my my advice to them is just surround them with as many resources as they as you can and just let them go to work i found that you know pressing him too hard too fast might might burn him out but you know paul you know us just naturally as polynesian people we are so gifted there’s a lot of untapped you know talent that we that we don’t even know about so like i i’m excited for for our younger generation you know the things they’re doing now with music uh with you know just graphic design like you know our young kids right now are are freaking flying so i want to just encourage you guys to keep going and let’s just keep supporting our and just keep supporting each other all right man thank you thank you for that message appreciate it and uh we’ll see you soon man we’ll talk soon all right sounds good yeah okay thank you very much tim thank you members don’t forget tim you you’ve got the steering wheel oh okay well thank you we’ll uh end it here okay milo oh


rn
Manase Tonga
rn

Related Posts

Leave a Comment