Wisdom From J.J. Watt

If you are a fan of NFL football, there is a good chance that you have seen J.J. Watt make some tremendous plays on the field. In just three seasons, he has already been selected to two Pro Bowls and been named the Defensive Player of the Year. He is undoubtedly one of the most feared defensive players in the game. The video below offers a brief glimpse into his dominance.

Yet, despite the introduction to this entry, I am not writing to highlight J.J. Watt’s football career. Sure, there is no denying his talent. What is more important however is the wisdom he recently shared when asked about his extreme dedication. Take a look at what is written below.

J.J. Watt on dedication

Promising athletes from all sports can learn from this simple advice. If there is something you wish to achieve, it is up to you to determine how hard you are willing to work for it. And when you begin to make sacrifices, there will always people who question why you work as hard as you do. Certain people in this world will never understand. That’s okay. It is not your job to explain the passion you have to someone who does not share it.

As a boxing coach, a big part of my job is convincing fighters to make sacrifices outside of the gym. A fighter may train hard for 2 hours a day, but that does not give him a free pass to ignore the remaining 22. What happens outside is often just as important as what happens inside. I couldn’t tell you how many athletes I have seen who essentially threw away their careers by making the wrong decisions in life.

I know there are several fighters who read this blog so it is my hope that they pay attention to what is written above. You don’t need to be a football player to follow the example set forth by J.J. Watt. Focus on your goals and don’t be distracted by those who do not understand. Never forget that the clock is always ticking so do not take any day for granted.

Make the most of the present if you wish to create a future that is worth living.


“A lot of people post cool Instagram quotes talking about how hard they work, but at the end of the day it comes down to what you’re actually doing, how hard you’re actually working.” – J.J. Watt


  1. Saw this quote on Twitter yesterday and it rings true. Unfortunately us coaches can’t put in what God left out! We can help those who will let us, and guide them through the process.

  2. Look at the great Jim Jeffries training program for his match with Bob Fitzsimmons. It is reported that Jeffries jogged 14 miles a day, usually finishing the run in about 2 hours. Not any world breaking speed, but then again, Jeffries was a solid 220lb piece of granite. He would play 3 games of handball. Seems handball was a part of a lot of the old time fighter’s routines. Hit the heavy and speed bags for 20-25 minutes, followed by rope skipping. Next Jeffries would spar at least 12 rounds, followed by either a wrestling session or tossing an 18lb medicine ball around. All this work was done daily while he trained for Fitzsimmons. The numbers could very well be inflated as is often the case ala Mike Tyson, Herschel Walker, but Jeffries did have inhuman stamina in his prime. And face it, back in the early 1900’s people had a much greater work capacity, Jeffries had swung a sledge as part of his job as a boilermaker before entering boxing. Training with the old timers wasn’t for a couple of hours, but instead it was a full time occupation.

  3. “”Jeffries had swung a sledge as part of his job as a boilermaker before entering boxing. Training with the old timers wasn’t for a couple of hours, but instead it was a full time occupation.””

    Yes, it was. Old timers. Its like “Pavel” said with his GTG method. People think of training has..only having 1 hour or half hour and thats it. Basically one should be training all day and any way they can. Walk to train station, use stairs, etc..Keep a KB your kichen..LOL..u get the idea ;)))))))…Body becomes its function…

  4. It’s a touch down! period. Thanks for sharing Ross, again this will serve as one of my motivation.

    Kudos to JJ.

  5. Ross, this reminds me of the intro to a training plan for rowing crews published on the Concept2 web site: http://www.concept2.com/files/pdf/us/training/Training_WolverinePlan.pdf. Basically, the goal can be negotiated. What it takes to achieve the goal can’t be negotiated. The plan notes, “If the goal is to win, the price can’t be negotiated. The only thing that can be negotiated is the goal. We could train less and still beat a lot of crews. The decision you the athlete must make is, how many crews am I satisfied with beating?”

  6. Thanks Ross. This applies in sooooooo many other areas of life! I will definitely share. I already have…

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