With two video games left within the 2021 NFL common season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and linebacker TJ Watt had been all however eradicated from playoff competition; one statistical supply gave them a scant two p.c probability of constructing the postseason forward of the staff’s Week 17 Monday night time sport towards Cleveland.
In the meantime, Watt had already set the franchise document for sacks in a season (17.5), however breaking Michael Strahan’s NFL document of twenty-two.5, set in 2002, had about as a lot chance as a Steelers playoff berth.
After which, the unbelievable occurred, twofold: The Steelers one way or the other made the playoffs after wins towards Cleveland and Baltimore (plus some assist from different groups), and Watt tied Strahan’s single-season sack document with 4 sacks towards the Browns and one towards the Ravens en path to being named the 2021 NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr.
Happening behind the scenes throughout Watt and his staff’s near-miraculous end was a proper social media “cleanse,” led by Six Star Professional Diet, Watt’s sports activities diet model of selection. The cleanse was a staff effort between TJ Watt and 6 different Steelers (his brother Derek, Chukwuma Okorafor, Devin Bush, Trai Turner, Joe Haden, and Diontae Johnson) that stipulated zero social media use beginning Dec. 29 and operating to the top of the common season (January 9).
Six Star challenged Watt and his teammates as a part of a 2022 New Yr’s marketing campaign (#TwentyYOU) to lift consciousness round persistent display screen time and cyberbullying – with the unintended good thing about serving to the Steelers win a pair soccer video games.
However severely. Did the social media cleanse actually ship Pittsburgh to the playoffs and provides TJ Watt the additional vitality and focus he wanted to complete with 5 sacks in two video games? Nobody can say for positive, however Watt’s not ruling it out.
In an unique M&F interview, he discusses how the cleanse helped him, how he plans to maintain is display screen time in test going ahead, and what it’s actually wish to be trolled on Twitter by armchair quarterbacks.
What had been you hoping to get out of the digital cleanse? What had been your expectations going into it?
To be sincere, I simply wished to get out of the monotony of simply sitting round, scrolling by way of my telephone. On daily basis I’d come dwelling from work, I’d sit on the sofa and scroll by way of my telephone. And earlier than you recognize it, two, three hours had handed. And it was a type of issues the place when you check out the display screen time and see how a lot time you’re losing, it’s identical to, “Why am I doing this? What’s the purpose of simply sitting right here after I could possibly be having an amazing dialog with my fiancé, asking how her day was?”
What social media platforms did you concentrate on for the cleanse?
I’ve simply been sort of an Instagram and Twitter man. I had already deleted Fb, and I’ve by no means been a TikTok man. I was on YouTube rather a lot, too. I might simply click on by way of movies. YouTube’s a loopy place, man.
It simply so occurred that you just and your Steeler teammates received two massive video games on the finish of the common season whereas doing the cleanse and made the playoffs in shocking vogue. Do you assume the cleanse helped your play on the sector?
I feel it undoubtedly can. It’s simply a type of issues the place you don’t at all times should be studying what’s mentioned about you. I feel it’s essential for skilled athletes, particularly, and anyone that has their job publicly on the market the place folks can simply attain out and Tweet at you. One Tweet can actually change how you consider your self, and it impacts your day. To have the ability to get off social media and never learn what persons are saying, whether or not it’s good or dangerous, helps you keep in a rhythm with your self and never let anyone throw off your day. I feel that was necessary for us towards the top of the season.
What’s it like being a public determine and having hundreds of thousands of strangers saying issues about? Do the haters and trolls ever get to you?
It’s all what you learn. I had each of my brothers develop up in the identical highlight, so I might see how they dealt with it, and I had their tutelage to inform me learn how to deal with it as properly. I feel I’ve completed a superb job of not studying every part, whether or not it’s good or dangerous. I’ve so many good folks in my nook. I worth their opinion a lot, and that’s actually all that issues on the finish of the day.
Did you utilize any particular methods through the cleanse to make it simpler to remain off social media?
Yeah. You possibly can change the closing dates in your display screen time in your telephone settings. You possibly can change it to zero minutes, or you’ll be able to change it to 10, 20 minutes, no matter you need. I additionally be sure that I’ve no social media on my dwelling display screen, which makes it much less handy.
I feel the most important key was accountability. When Six Star introduced this cleanse problem to the desk, it made it extra actual to me that I wanted to carry myself accountable. And when you’ve got teammates doing it, too, it turns into… if they will do it, why can’t I? I feel it was necessary to carry the staff facet to it, or for others to have somebody do the problem with you, to carry you accountable.
Did you and your teammates, certainly one of which is your brother Derek, do something to carry one another accountable?
Yeah. If I used to be ever round them and I noticed them on social media, it was like, “Hey, we’re cleaning proper now. Get off there.” I feel that’s okay. I imply, it’s going to be tougher for some guys than others, however that’s why it’s necessary that we had been all in a position to maintain one another accountable. And anytime I went over to my brother’s home, having his two sons operating round, I don’t actually should be on my telephone a lot anyway. So, it’s simply residing within the second.
Do you’ve got any suggestions for others who could wish to do a cleanse or in any other case work on decreasing display screen time and social media?
It’s a type of issues that you just at all times inform your self it’s essential do, and you are able to do it for a day, after which after that you just go proper again to what your previous habits had been. I feel if you will get somebody that’s near you that may do it with you, it undoubtedly helps with accountability. However I additionally assume you simply should have a dialog with your self to say, “When is that this going to cease?” As a result of the display screen time is simply going to maintain growing. A number of instances you’re scrolling in your telephone for no cause, simply losing time. I feel rather a lot folks don’t wish to have a look at their display screen time as a result of they’re scared to confess how a lot time they’re spending on their telephone. However it’s important to make a acutely aware effort, in any other case it’s not going to vary.
What did you find out about your self throughout this course of?
I noticed that I used to be simply selecting up my telephone for no cause. There are occasions when your telephone’s sitting on the sofa, you simply choose it up out of behavior. However through the cleanse, I shaped new habits. I began cooking with my fiancé extra, simply being concerned within the kitchen extra, having conversations extra, and watching TV reveals collectively versus simply each of us sitting on the sofa our telephones. I’ve loved life with the cleanse, and I’m going to proceed to attempt to do my finest to restrict my display screen time going ahead.