Football is often referred to as the ultimate team sport.
Saturday the University of Hawai’i football headed northwest to Schofield Barracks to learn from the greatest team in the world: The United States Military.
The Rainbow Warriors hooked up with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, sharing an introductory Haka with the Troplcal Lightling’s Ha’a.
“We haven’t bridged the Haka subject a whole lot with this team yet.” Rainbow Warrior head coach Nick Rolovich said.
“I said if you’re going to do it you better mean it.”
The meaningful moment was felt from both the soldiers and football stars.
“I did it with my full heart and I totally felt and respect them for what they did for us.” Rainbow Warrior defensive end Makani Kema-Kaleiwahea said.
“Once coach Rolovich told us two days ago that they were gonna Ha’a for us we couldn’t back down.”
Following the opening festivities, the day consisted of team building exercises. The players split up into offense and defense, taking a pair of helicopters to the Army’s Lightning Academy.
There, the ‘Bows worked on the mental side of their game with team-centric problem solving activities, and tug-of-war.
“You never win a game as a group.” SSG Jonathen Riley said.
“So when you’re a team that’s how you’re going to win games. You’re going to effectively work together.”
“This was to challenge their mind challenge their adaptive learning and leadership.” Rolovich added.
“Really to make them understand a little bit more that it’s about counting on each other, not X’s & O’s.”
The Rainbow Warriors will open fall camp on August 1st.