High School Football America has asked Salvi to give our readers an inside look at his Italian journey throughout the 2014 season that begins in March after a month-long training camp. Below is his first entry. You can also learn more about Salvi by listening to our interview with him before he left America on his journey.
by Chris Salvi
Free Safety, Torino Gaguari
|Downtown Torino, Chris Salvi Twitter pic|
The greetings by Roberto (president of the Gaguari), Rico (head coach) and Frank (team manager) gave a small taste to how different we are from Italians - a kiss on both sides of the face from each of them.
They took us to our new home where I was in for a few surprises.
First, they don’t use clothes dryers, so you have to hang the clothes to get them to dry out. I don’t like doing laundry to begin with, so that wasn’t a good surprise! Next was the TV, as a snob, I was hoping there would be some channels in English. There's one channel and it is MTV. That is probably my least favorite channel, so I find myself eating breakfast while watching the cooking channel. These are just two examples of the differences I have seen in the first week.
The communication between players and coaches is much different then we Americans know. In our experiences we are used to being told what to do while only asking direct questions. Italians, on the other hand, discuss with the coaches at length about schemes, plays, or techniques.
Italians are a passionate people that enjoy talking and although I don’t understand a single thing they are debating, it is easy to tell when it gets heated, which is actually refreshing to see. I always want players and coaches to be heavily invested in what they are doing, and it’s clear that they are.
To give you an idea about the players, our linebackers average about 220lbs. By no means are the players small, but the skill level and knowledge of the game is not like the D1 college level. Plenty of very talented Italian players are sprinkled in to make it competitive.
I am lucky to find that most of the players are able to speak English well, but there are plenty of moments when we have no idea what each other is saying. I must also point out that the women in Italy are beautiful, but the language difference makes it difficult to hold a full conversation, and it makes it that much more fun.