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.”


1 Comment

  • Denontae Clack:

    Wise words from a legend

Jordan Retro 11 Football Featured

Jordan Retro 11 Football Cleats: The GOAT Joins The Huddle

The Jordan Retro 11 Football Cleats are finally here — they carry that iconic look you love and are built to perform on the gridiron.

Mike Hughes

Mike Hughes: Returning To The Top

Corner Mike Hughes may now be one of the top players at his position in the 2018 rookie class, but his road to pro football has been anything but easy.

Tanner Carew

Tanner Carew: The Best Long Snapper In The Nation

Pro football's biggest scouting event is an opportunity for 336 athletes to showcase their skills to pro teams. Tanner Carew is in a league of his own, however.

Ronnie Harrison

Get To Know Ronnie Harrison

Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison is a big--time hitter and he's ready to dominate against the best football players on the planet.

James Daniels

James Daniels: The King Of Versatility

Iowa's James Daniels is one of the top lineman of the 2018 rookie class thanks to his unmatched versatility and athleticism. Get to know the future star.

J.T. Barrett Featured

J.T. Barrett: A Leader At Every Level

J.T. Barrett has been lauded for his leadership, competitiveness, and skills for years now. And the Ohio State legend is ready to bring all of those traits to the next level.

Da'Ron Payne

5 Things You Need To Know About Da’Ron Payne

Da'Ron Payne ended his college career in style, dominating the trenches in the national title game. But before he's wreaking havoc in the pros, get to know the big-time defensive lineman.

Vita Vea

Vita Vea: Destined For Big Things

Vita Vea is a big dude, even by pro football standards. But he is also quick on his feet, a fast learner, and ready to make a name for himself in the pros.

Baker Mayfield Featured

Q&A With Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield finished his college career as one of the most decorated college athletes of all time. And now, he's ready for his next step: pro football.

The Gear You'll See In Indy 1

The Gear You’ll See In Indy

This year's rookie class is top notch — and so are the cleats that Nike and adidas have built for them. Here's the gear you’ll see in Indy.

Featured Preview Indy

Get A Backstage Pass To Pro Football’s Biggest Scouting Event

Eastbay will be live from Indy next week, giving you exclusive access to pro football's top prospects. Here's what you need to know:

2018 Rookie Class: 6 Players To Watch In Indy

As you tune in to every 40-yard dash and bench press,here are six Players To Watch In Indy during pro football's biggest scouting event.

See More