For Angel, the football field is a place where he can get his mind off the stresses of his everyday life. “It’s really fun just being out there and being different,” he says. “It gets my mind off different things.”
But playing receiver on his high school football team doesn’t come without its own special type of pressure. On game days, he does his best to prepare himself for a high-stress match. “You wake up in the morning,” he says, “and you’re like, ‘Alright, game day.’ You got pressure on you, you’re stressed all through the game.”
With the help of the Southern California Honda Dealers and a special friend, Angel will be given some tips to deal with the pressure.
The Southern California Honda Dealers have been giving back to the community with their Random Acts of Helpfulness now for over 10 years. One of the ways they give back is by helping at schools across SoCal, whether they’re providing supplies for a classroom or helping a fan to upgraded seats at a local college football game.
While well-known for their presence at USC and UCLA football games where they help fans with a lift to stadium, provide free parking for Hondas, and give out helpful game-day items like sunscreen and cooling towels that help make the day even better for the fans, the SoCal Honda Dealers also show support for the student athletes who someday may play for the state’s big name college teams.
The team showed up to Angel’s football practice to cheer him on, and at a critical time, according to coach Lorenzo Hernandez. “Angel is under a lot of pressure,” says Coach Hernandez, “and it’s very demanding psychologically and physically.”
In addition to needing to know every single play on both sides of the ball, there is an additional pressure on Angel, whose father is assistant coach of his team. “Coaching your own child is hard,” Coach Hidalgo admits. “The expectations are high.”
To give Angel a reminder about the necessity of pressure, the Helpful Honda Guys in Blue brought a friend: Melvin Gordon, star running back for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Angel could related to Gordon’s thoughts on pressure. Gordon let the team know pressure is a part of the game for a pro football player. “I know all about dealing with pressure,” he told Angel. “I look pressure in the eyes, man. Because when I’m out here doing these drills, I’m out here busting my butt, I’m committed to my craft, I’ve done what I need to do.”
Gordon ran drills with Angel and the rest of the team. In addition to the technical tips he taught them, he also offered some empowering reassurance to Angel. “Your dad’s gonna always get on you, man. But it makes you better. You can’t let it break you.”
Arranging a visit by a member of the Los Angeles Chargers, however, was not the only surprise that the Helpful Honda guys had for the kids. “Courtesy of the SoCal Honda Dealers,” they added, “we are going to help fix up and improve your training facilities.”
That promise has a big impact for Coach Hernandez and his team, and will continue to impact the teams that follow. It’s just one more way the SoCal Honda Dealers are being helpful.