Feb. 6, 2012
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Steele Divitto lives by faith, patience and hard work and he took these three principles to heart over winter break to prepare for spring practices.
The sophomore linebacker spent one week building homes in New Orleans through Operation Helping Hands and two weeks training at Athletes' Performance in Phoenix, Ariz.
"For me, it's a confidence thing," Divitto said of his time training. "I'm pretty confident as it is but it really provided me with the tools so I can be the best player I can be."
With only one day at home between the two trips, Divitto made the most of his time away from Boston College to develop as an athlete and as a person.
"Every day when I wake up, I want to feel that I got better the day before," he said. "I'm always looking for the edge and to get extra work in. This was great for me to see where I fall as an athlete."
Everyday in Arizona, Divitto went to speed training sessions in the morning and lifted in the evening. Training with NFL draft prospects, such as Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Houston's Case Keenum, was helpful for Divitto because he was able to get a sense of where he needs to be in two years and showed him BC isn't far off from where everybody wants it to be.
"It gave me an idea of exactly where I'm at as an athlete and a player," he explained. "It was good to talk football and get a perspective on other programs too to see we're really in the same boat with everyone else."
Like many of his teammates, Divitto was frustrated by the team's disappointing 4-8 season and that was part of the reason he asked his father to send him to Athletes' Performance for his Christmas gift.
"I didn't want to sit around and watch bowl games, especially if they were teams I thought we were better than," he said. "Whenever I get frustrated, I really got to keep myself busy and usually working out is a great antidote for me."
While he pushed his body to the limit, Divitto also learned how to best manage his diet and gained inspiration for his own individual training.
"My day-to-day eating habits have all transpired from the training program," he explained. "They laid out everything for me so I've really been able to maximize exactly what I'm doing and what I intake into my body. Also, it gives me a different perspective on some extra stuff I can do by on my own, training-wise, so I can really get the best out of this offseason."
As for his trip to New Orleans, that too was a Christmas gift. His mother paid for him and his younger sister, Blake, to travel down to volunteer because both have a passion for community service.
"I'm very close to my sister," he said. "We have a pretty special bond so it was good to go down there. We had a good time."
In the end, Divitto knows that BC has potential and will need everybody to be on the top of his game come next season. After finishing the season third on the team with 72 tackles and playing all 12 games, he also understands that he needs to step up to help fill the shoes of one of his mentors, fellow linebacker and potential first-round NFL draft pick Luke Kuechly.
"I want to step into that leadership role," Divitto said. "It takes time and it takes respect. I really want this team to be successful, and I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team. I've always been the person trying to find the edge over everybody else."
Written by Jen Dobias