“Football is one of the greatest teachers of life, teamwork, dedication.”
American Football is a big deal in certain parts of Europe. Switzerland happens to be one of those countries. I’ve had the honor to have met a fellow American who brings the sport to European athletes year round. Dwaine Wood is the head coach of the Basel Gladiators in the Swiss Football league SAFV. I asked Coach Wood a few questions to get his take on the sport:
Perfect: Who are your favorite American football teams?
Wood: Cowboys and Raiders
Perfect: Who is your favorite American football player of all time?
Wood: Although he was great on the field, he is greater off the field. Ray Lewis gives me the feeling that he gets it!
Perfect: How long has football be a part of your life?
Wood: I have been a player from age 12. I have 39 years playing or coaching.
Perfect: How much of your life involves American Football?
Wood: All…next to my family…it is my life. Of course I have to earn money for food…but football is me!
Perfect: What is your current role involving Football?
Wood: I am a Fan, Coach, and ex-player.
Perfect: Why have you stayed involved with American Football?
Wood: I love the strategy, the chemistry and the youth keeps my soul on fire. I don’t know what I would do without it!
Perfect: what is the best thing about football for you personally?
Wood: Practicing…seeing the light bulb go off when a kid understands what we need from him. Working harder than the kids could have ever imagined and seeing them enjoy that! Easy is not good!
Perfect: What do you consider the greatest part about being involved with American Football from your current capacity?
Wood: Watching boys grow into great men! Turning into givers!
Perfect: What level of American Football do you consider the best?
Wood: I love all youth football up till college. Best is when they start to get it…high school, college.
Perfect: Do you think American Football is a sport that all kids should learn to play?
Wood: I think most should play football. Football is one of the greatest teachers of life, teamwork, dedication. It mirrors life in a quicker film. You can quickly see how hard work, teamwork, dedication and communication improves in football and that represents everything we do in life. That is important to kids….they really need to learn those skills for life….for family!
Perfect: What do you consider the biggest changes in American Football between it’s beginning stages and its current state?
Wood: Since I have been involved, the power football has moved to spread. I think it is good for football.
Perfect: How do you see the game of American Football changing in the future?
Wood: I think teams will go to more no huddle and they will all have radios in their helmets. We need to go that direction. Those long breaks (huddles) between plays should still be allowed, but not be a must. Go fast or go home!
Perfect: What does American Football mean to you?
Wood: At this point in my life, after my family, it is the most important thing. We need better role models and those are the kids in 10 years! Teach them now or they will never learn it!
I would like to thank Dwaine Wood for taking the time to answer my questions and wish the Basel Gladiators the best of luck this season!