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Workout Advice From Clay Matthews: How to Be a Better Athlete

This Green Bay Packers linebacker knows his way around the gridiron—just ask any of the quarterbacks he’s left winded in his wake—but he also has his mental game dialed in better than most pro athletes. Here are his best tips for the most common pitfalls

YOUR DILEMMA — INJURIES
CLAY ’S TIP: “First off, I think the injury rate in the NFL is 100%. So you’re having to deal with injuries week in and week out. Incorporate as many different things as you can into your off-season workout, so when you do go into the season you can tell yourself you’ve done everything possible to try and prevent a serious injury.”

YOUR DILEMMA — PLAYING TIME
CLAY ’S TIP: “I wasn’t heavily recruited in high school and didn’t get much of an opportunity to play in college. Now that I’ve had the chance to succeed, I’m going to keep on running with it. If you haven’t had to persevere through being benched, you’re not going to appreciate it when you get out there. I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder.”

YOUR DILEMMA — MIND GAMES
CLAY ’S TIP: “I like to get to the stadium at a certain time; I put my tape on before the shoes, and then the pants, so there’s definitely a method to my madness. There’s no greater feeling than when you’ve put in the time, watched your film, and worked out, knowing when the game starts you did absolutely everything you could have.”

YOUR DILEMMA — SELF WORTH
CLAY ’S TIP: “You need to have some talent to play in the National Football League. But if you’re willing to work and put in the time and effort, you’ll have a better chance [at succeeding at your level] than someone with just raw talent. You’re going to be more likely to make a team and make an impact on the field [if you’re a hard worker].”

Next: Clay Matthews' favorite workout >>>

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