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Beating the Odds

How J.J. Watt Did It

Not long ago, J.J. Watt was delivering pizzas for a living. Yesterday he delivered one of the biggest plays of Wild Card Saturday.

Watt intercepted an Andy Dalton pass and returned it for a touchdown, leading the Houston Texans past the Cincinnati Bengals in the first game of the NFL playolffs.

Watt’s, play according to Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, came from hours and hours of the right kind of practice.

“When you do it practice, you’ll do it in the games,” Phillips said, referring to Watt’s exceptional practice habits. “You’d be surprised how many times he’s done the exact same thing in practice. We were probably surprised he hadn’t done it (in a game) before.”

“He does it every day in practice.”

Not so long ago, Watt wasn’t working with the kind of focus that he’s shown recently. His early college career was spotty, and he found himself down in the dumps and delivering pizzas. At a certain point, he regained his motivation and realized he didn’t want to be a pizza guy for the rest of his life.

He won’t. He got his career back in order, was drafted in the first round by the Texans, and practiced with fanatical attention to batting down passes. All the practice added up.

Ed Smith, best-selling author and creator of the One Minute Motivator, says, “Your short-term actions multiplied by time equal your long-term accomplishments.”

That certainly is true in Watt’s case.


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