Dream Big, Work Hard, Help Others. Those words define NFL player JJ Watt’s approach to life and his recipe for success on and off the field. Although JJ, who plays for the Houston Texans, is perhaps the best defensive player in the National Football League (NFL), he is just as focused on being the best human being he can be. His story is one of perseverance, heart, family and caring.
Recently, JJ has focused his efforts on helping victims of Hurricane Harvey. As the videos below show, he has been a national leader in raising funds and bringing people together to help. But first, where did JJ get his start in life and how did he become the person he is today?
Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin he was told that he was “too small and not big enough” to ever play professional football. “There’s no way”, they said. Instead of letting the opinions of others bring him down, he used them to inspire himself.
He grew up learning to work while everyone else rested. JJ would get up at 4:30 in the morning to work out each day. He kept believing in himself, kept fighting and never gave up. He also got great support from his parents, family and friends.
JJ’s story is not just one of achieving excellence in football, but in making a difference in the live’s of others. Listen to this inspiring story (courtesy of NFL Characters Unite) of JJ supporting a young man who, like him, was told he would not be a football player.
Here is another awesome story showing a remarkable friendship that JJ has formed with 3 children who suffered a great tragedy.
More recently, JJ became a national leader in helping his city of Houston raise money to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Here are two videos that show his amazing impact.
- Here are some great IMK quotes about perseverance and hard work / doing your best
- Read and watch other great IMK stories about perseverance, football and sports
- Learn more about JJ Watt here on Wikipedia
- Check out JJ Watt’s foundation that supports after school sport programs
Topics for Discussion:
- What is most impressive to you about JJ Watt?
- What is perseverance? What are ways you can show perseverance?
- Can you think of someone you know who demonstrates perseverance? How so?
- Describe a time when you have shown perseverance
- The next time you are doing something worthwhile that is hard and you feel like you want to quit…remember how people like JJ Watt stuck with their dreams.
- Practice perseverance in your everyday life. Practice becomes habits and good habits change us for the better.
- Think about one thing in your life that could benefit from more perseverance. Now…just do it!