They’re the best of the best, the most elite players doing the hardest job in sports – playing quarterback in the NFL. How do they do it? It’s all about work ethic. Get inspired by these five Super Bowl Champions.
There’s only 32 of them each year.
Earning a job as a starting quarterback in the NFL is a crowning achievement in most players’ lives. Most don’t become household names. But a select few rise even higher, leading their teams to Super Bowl victories, and cementing their legacies as one of the greatest to ever put on a uniform.
These elite quarterbacks became champions for one reason: their incredible work ethics. Even if you’ll never put on the pads and in an NFL game, you can still take their lessons and apply them in your own life. Get inspired by these 5 Super Bowl Champions:
1. Aaron Rodgers: It Starts With Passion
If you don’t love what you do, you won’t work as hard for it. That’s why passion has driven Aaron Rodgers to become known as the all-around best quarterback in the NFL today.
“I think it’s a change, a slight change that happened the last few years, where it really has become just a love affair. From [being] a game I always enjoyed playing and enjoyed competing and am hyper-competitive [in] to just really loving the process even more — the practice, the preparation, just enjoying those moments even more. This is what I want to do. I love football, and I want to keep playing as long as possible. And when you have that kind of slight shift in your thinking, then you start going to, ‘How can I do that?’ And the way you can do that, in my opinion, is taking care of yourself at a hyper-sensitive level to all the areas that that entails — the rehab area, the eating area, the workout/focus area. And all those combined have kind of given me the idea that I’d like to keep playing at a high level, as fun as it is right now.
2. Peyton Manning: You Can’t Do It Alone
On the field, and in life, you can only get so far on your own. That’s why Peyton Manning ensured his teammates worked as hard as he did to rise to a championship level.
The clock in the hotel room shows 9:45 p.m. Peyton Manning is standing in somewhere between the bed and the television set holding a football, as if he is taking a snap from center. On one side of him is Emmanuel Sanders. On the other, Cody Latimer. The wide receivers were summoned by Manning, as they have been many nights before. For 20 minutes at the end of a long day at the team hotel during training camp, Manning is working with two new acquisitions so they are on the same page with cadence, code words and signs. They have to know him. He has to know them. Sleep can wait.
The three of them had gone through the same routine on the field after practice that afternoon, when almost every other player had left the field and moved on to eating lunch, returning texts or vegging out.
3. Carson Wentz: Details, details, details
Despite his relative youth, Wentz has proved to be one of the most valuable players in the NFL. In 2017, he led the Eagles to the top of the league before suffering a season-ending injury late in the season. The Eagles would go on to win their first-ever Super Bowl – and they wouldn’t have gotten there without Wentz’s performance during the regular season. How does Wentz do it? It’s in the details.
Malcolm Jenkins, arguably the most important veteran in the Eagles’ locker room, prides himself on being the last man out of the building every Friday. Most players are done by 1 p.m., freed from the grind for a few fleeting hours, but Jenkins has made a habit of using that time to get in extra lifting, a cold tub, a massage and additional film study. One Friday, Jenkins came back from a massage and there was Wentz, five hours after everyone else had gone home, sitting at his locker and studying film.
“Hey, man, go home!” Wentz teased.
“Nah, man, you go home,” Jenkins joked in return.
It was a small moment that stuck with Jenkins. This kid gets it, the cornerback told teammates. He understands the value of routine, of fussing over the details long after the building has gone quiet.
4. Russell Wilson: You’re a champion, so now what? Be the greatest ever
Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl in 2014, and he became known as one of the best players in the game – but that wasn’t enough for him.
“Ultimately, if you want to be great at something in life, no matter what it may be, you have to be a self-motivator. For me, I don’t need people to motivate me.
I come to work, I try to be the best to ever do it.
I’ve got a long way to go. But you just take one day at a time and enjoy the ride. That’s a big part of it, just enjoying the process … the mental fortitude of being great. Day in and day out.”
5. Tom Brady: Eat like a champion
With 5 Super Bowls to his name, Tom Brady is regarded as the greatest quarterback in the history of the game. He’s also the oldest non-kicker in the league. One big reason for his longevity: his diet.
On an average day, Brady says he wakes up around 6 a.m. and “immediately” drinks 20 ounces of water with electrolytes. Brady stresses the importance of staying hydrated and says he drinks 12 to 25 glasses of water a day, always with his TB12 electrolyte concentrate added.
“I add electrolytes to virtually everything I drink,” Brady writes, including lemonade.
After his obligatory 20-ounce glass of water, Brady showers and goes downstairs to make some sort of smoothie.
“Typically, it contains blueberries, bananas, seeds, and nuts,” he says. “It’s nutrient dense, high in fat, high in protein, and high in calories.”
Even if you can’t eat exactly like Tom, things like proper nutrition and sleep can benefit all of us in our daily lives. See what the rest of Brady’s diet looks like on an average day here.
Passion, working with others, getting the details right, improving even after you achieve success, and maintaining health and wellness – these are just some of the lessons we can learn from the most elite quarterbacks in the NFL.