Tua Tagovailoa was born March 2, 1998 to Galu and Diane Tagovailoa, the oldest of four children in a Samoan family. He was said to have grown up with an intense interest in football with his parents noting that he would sleep with a football under his arm every night as a small child. Tagovailoa's father, Galu, began training Tagovailoa at the age of two and forced Tagovailoa to begin throwing with his left hand instead of his right. During Pop Warner games when he was age 8, when his peers could typically throw a football little more than 10 yards, he routinely threw passes more than 30 yards. He was slow to grow into his body, but according to his high school coaches, "his Samoan genes finally kicked in" at about age 12.