Jarryd Hayne

Top 5 Reasons He Should Be Your Child’s Role Model

In today’s media driven society, role models are offered up to children at a fast and furious pace. A pace that, combined with a meteoric rise of single parent households, makes it easier than ever for young minds to confuse the process of discerning the often ephemeral popularity contest called fame with any true substance or character.

Therefore, ahttp://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/220px-Jarryd_Hayne_2009.jpgs parent, it’s more important than ever to assist our children in the vetting process. In doing so, I put forth the guy who is the talking point thus far in the NFL-Jarryd Hayne-and give you the Top 5 reasons I’m happy to have him as a role model for Kaia to eventually look up to. This, despite the fact, he was always the guy I loved to pull against as a Parramatta Eel.

1. Exemplifies the importance of setting lofty goals

Before making his big jump to the City by the Bay, Hayne checked off many boxes in his 8 year illustrious NRL career. From earning Rookie of the Year for Parramatta back in 2006, Hayne has represented both Fiji and Australia in multiple Rugby League World Cups and been named the National Rugby League’s ‘Dally M’ recipient in numerous categories.

The guy could’ve easily sat back, rested on his laurels and rode his well-established ‘Hayne Train’ moniker into the sunset, his status as one of the game’s greats well and truly secure. But in the end, it appears Hayne felt he needed a new challenge. Not just a different code of rugby but, rather, a completely new sport whose only two similarities are the presence of an oblong ball and frequent and violent collisions. It doesn’t get much more ambitious than that.

2. Unwavering Self-Belief

Sure, you don’t get to any professional sporting level without an abundant supply of self-belief and confidence, but for what Hayne is close to pulling off, something altogether different is at play. He’s attempting to earn a spot on team sport that prior to his big move he’d only played in video game format and, at a level that sees bodies break and careers end at an average of a mere three seasons.

As children we are told by well-intentioned parents we are capable of anything we put our minds to. Then, life’s many circumstances transpire and we subconsciously begin amending caveats to that doctrine. Apparently, the former Parramatta Eel just never got that memo. He actually believes he’s capable; so much so, the 28 year old was literally willing to put his money where his mouth is.

3. Proves money REALLY isn’t everything

Money. If we only had a dollar for every time someone’s told us over the course of our life the minute role money should factor in to things, we could probably afford court side seats in the Los Angeles Staples Center for life. That and how it’s so important to play for the ‘love of the game’. But yearly free agency roster shuffling, contract hold outs and basketball, baseball and football strike shortened seasons prove this is a complete farce. Because, when all is said and done, money really does matter. A LOT.

But apparently not so much to Jarryd Hayne’s NFL aspirations. The guy turned down a guaranteed million dollar contract with the Eels in Australia for a ‘mere’ guaranteed $100,000 (a number that will become a league minimum $435,000 if he indeed makes the team.)

Of course, there will be those that will point out that such a guaranteed amount is still a lot of cash, or that young Hayne has already made far more in his eight year NRL career then most blue collar employees will earn in three lifetimes. (A lucrative contract between Hayne and Australian cellular network provider Telstra helps to bolster that claim.) But, in the end, it's all pretty irrelevant.

The point is, when was the last time you remember being prepared to jeopardize anything-let alone close to a million dollars- on an endeavour that detractors are quick to call little more than a pipe dream?

4. Humility & a Willingness to Learn

It’s true that a swift and brutal application of the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ has left the average Aussie with an almost phobic aversion to chest beating and showboating. As a result, they tend to be almost humble to a fault. For Hayne, however, it would be so easy to buck that trend and allow his many NRL accolades precede him to the National Football League. Yet, by all accounts, the man has stayed very true to his roots and has wisely kept his mouth firmly zipped and his ears wide open. Like a sponge, he’s apparently put himself in a position to do what he knows he needs to do to succeed. That, first and foremost, is to play catch up. Catch up and, more importantly, learn.

5. Work Ethic

Last, but definitely not least, is Hayne’s reported unflinching work ethic. Because without this arrow in his ‘attributes quiver’, everything else is for naught. Because the fact is, while we can study anything, not until we go through the physical motion and practice that whichttp://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/JH-49ers.jpgh we are studying (be it art, dance or football), success will prove elusive. According to reports, Hayne understands this better than anyone. As a result, no one has spent more time before, during and after practice actually doing the drills needed to learn how to perform basic tasks (like learning to take a simple hand off) that his teammates learned back while playing Pop Warner as 8 year olds.

It’s for these reasons, regardless of whether Hayne makes the final cut to join the San Francisco 49’ers or not, I’m happy to place the guy on a pedestal for my young daughter. Because when all is said and done, for Hayne to have even made it this far is undeniable testimony to the fact the guy’s already succeeded. This, despite anything the man himself may say to the contrary.

Because at the end of the day, when Hayne looks back on this experience, he’ll be able to do so without any lingering ‘What ifs’ hanging over him. And that, more than any touchdown he may score or records he may set, will be the one role model trait that I hope my daughter will come to appreciate the most.

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