7.26.17

JJ Watt: The Destination

JJ Watt

In his early teenage years at Asa Clark Middle School in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, J.J. Watt was just like any other kid.

“I can remember back in middle school when a new Eastbay catalog would come out and everybody would bring their catalogs to school, and in the cafeteria we would all poke through it and circle things we wanted.” Watt said. “That was a huge talking point for weeks.”

Now, over a decade later, Watt has grown into one of the most feared playmakers in all of football, but he still finds it crazy that he and his younger brothers Derek and T.J. have been able to journey so far into the sport they’ve always loved.

“It’s been pretty incredible — we used to play backyard football and pretend we were NFL football players and now here we are and get to do it for real,” Watt said. “I think that it is still hard to wrap our minds around sometimes, but it’s also a testament to what hard work and belief in yourself can do.”

JJ Watt

Not only does Watt have the motor and competitive drive many could only wish for, but he also has the size, strength, and speed to make just about any play he wants.

Over his six-year career, he has totaled 76 sacks, 379 tackles, and forced 15 fumbles, leading him to four Pro Bowl selections.

However, the standout numbers he has put up in his career didn’t just come out of nowhere. Watt said he continues to give his all in his training because every day is another chance to get better.

I know that every day is an opportunity to take one step closer to where I want to be, and I’ll never reach the destination because it’s always changing. The beauty is that I get to wake up every day and work towards something, which is what makes football such an awesome game.
JJ Watt
DE, Houston

Aware that he is chasing a set of ever-changing goals, Watt said getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and proper nutrition are his top priorities, followed by running and lifting.

After waking up from a good night’s sleep, Watt always makes sure to get a big protein-packed breakfast in before going to the gym for around three hours. During his workouts he also prioritizes making time for warming up, cooling down, stretching, and rolling out his muscles afterward.

“I think all of that stuff is really important,” he said. “Everybody benches and everybody squats, but it’s how you are taking care of your body and making sure that you are doing everything possible to keep yourself healthy — those are the biggest things to me.”

Day by day Watt strives to make himself a better athlete so that by the time the season rolls around, he is ready to grab the bull by the horns.

JJ Watt

“I don’t just train as a football player, I train as an athlete,” he said. “My number one goal in the offseason is to create the best athlete I can and then hand that to the coaching staff and say ‘here use it as you want to.’”

As Watt continues to work his body into regular season form after an injury-plagued 2016, he will push to remain on path to his destination while reaching his goals one by one.

Then, as a 13-year-old kid paging eagerly through an Eastbay catalog, or now, as a Pro Bowl defender training for another season, J.J. Watt is always preparing for greatness.

“It’s a relentless pursuit — it’s day in and day out understanding the goal and then not letting anything get in your way on the journey,” he said. “There are so many distractions in the world and so many excuses you can give, but if you are willing to cut out the distractions and the excuses, you can do great things.”

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