Why NFL Quarterback Derek Carr Credits Kobe Bryant For The Best Training Advice - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Why NFL Quarterback Derek Carr Credits Kobe Bryant For The Best Training Advice

As Derek Carr heads into his ninth NFL season, he opens up about the importance of recovery and the best advice Kobe Bryant gave him regarding his training regimen.

When it comes to the NFL, it seems any and all discussion of quarterbacks tends to take place solely around the name of a Mr Tom Brady. But to be a fan of the sport is to understand that while Brady might be the undisputed GOAT, other players have shone on the field with an athleticism previously never seen before in a contact sport that demands so much from its stars, yet rewards so few. Where talk of elite sport often leaves little room for ageing, for Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, he seems to prove only the opposite. As he heads into his ninth season in the NFL, Carr has become a name not only revered for his skill, but for his incredible longevity in such a taxing sport. 

At 31-years-old, it’s safe to say that Derek Carr is no spring chicken, and yet watching him on the field is to see no evidence of his age. But with added years, comes greater responsibility when it comes to training and taking care of your body and for Carr, that means paying even greater attention to recovery. In a recent interview with GQ, the NFL star revealed that he typically begins his mornings with a breakfast shake, before getting into the hot tub and stretching to ensure his body is ready for the day. After practice and a workout, he then spends the rest of the day tending to his recovery needs. 

“It’s all recovery after that,” says Carr. “I’m in the pool trying to flush my legs, hips, back, all that kind of stuff. I’m getting treatment in the training room to make sure that anything that does feel right can feel the best it can for the next day.”

Speaking about how his approach to nutrition and training has changed over the years, Carr expressed that as a 20-something kid entering the NFL for the first time, his body was able to process all manner of processed foods and still stay lean. Now that he’s older, that’s not the case. “Things start to hurt. You know, I’m 31 now. This will be nine years in the NFL. It’s like dog years and it takes a toll on your body. I’ve just learned over the years that the more I’ve cleaned up my diet, the better I felt,” says Carr. 

“Taking care of my body from a recovery standpoint is where I’ve definitely gotten better. When I was a rookie, I could go out there and as doonas you handed me a football, I’d throw it 75 yards. That’s just not the case anymore. I gotta warmup before I can do that.”

derek carr

As for who inspired him in sport, Derek Carr didn’t hesitate to mention one of the all time greats – Kobe Bryant, who he credits as being his favourite athlete of all time. Speaking about an interview of Kobe’s he watched, Carr expressed that when asked what Kobe would tell his 18-year-old self, the NBA star said: “I would tell him to stretch,” which is something Carr took to heart. 

“It was really in the middle of my career that I heard him say that. When you’re young you don’t feel like you need to do those things because your body feels great every day. Now I’m 31 and I feel like I’m 21. I’m thankful for that because I’ve been taking care of my body. It’s really helped me,” he said. 

Bryant again helped Carr during one of his toughest career moments, after he suffered a broken fibula in 2016 that saw him sidelined for much of the season. As Bryant told the quarterback, “Dominate recovery,” words of advice that helped Carr not only return to the sport, but grow stronger in the process. “That was the mindset: This is what was dealt to me, so I’m going to dominate that. That right there alone kept me going and kept me pushing and I learned that I could get through it,” he said. 

By Jess Campbell

Hobby jogger and pickle enthusiast, Jess is a writer committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport. When not staring down the blank page of a word document, you can find her getting a little lost and a little cold out on the trails. Previous work featured in GQ Australia.

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