5 Tips to Peak Performance

How Giants Defensive End Owa Odighizuwa stays on top of his game.

Photo Credit: Joe Robbins, robbinsphoto.net

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Getting picked up by New York's G-Men in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft was a solid start way to start Owamagbe Odighizuwa’s career, but once the season began, he knew the only bragging right that matters wouldn’t come until the end of January. And with a division so tightly contested as the NFC East, the only wiggle room is between better and best. Find out how Owa Odighizuwa stays in peak condition (both physically and mentally) to demolish his goals.

1. How do you prep to destroy the competition? Any game day rituals? 

"I don’t listen to music two hours before a game. When you’re blasting your head full of music, you're focused on the wrong thing. I don’t mind if it’s around me in the locker room or out on the field, but I’d rather be in the zone… warming myself up and taking in everything around me. I’ve already got enough adrenaline pumping… my mind is fine… now it’s about getting the body ready. Would you eat a bunch of food before a game? No. You need time to digest all that. Don’t overstuff yourself."  

TIP 1:   Tune out everything but the goal.

2. How do you eat in between games to stay both powerful and lean? 

"Breakfast on a normal practice day is usually an omelet: turkey sausage, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and cheese… with a side of potato and some fruit. In-between meals, I’m a Quest Bar guy. They’re the perfect size and enough taste for when you’re hungry but don’t actually need to eat a lot. Cookies & Cream had always been my favorite, but that new Pumpkin flavor… yeah, that’s the one. And yeah, I know those are protein bars, but I don’t really count carbs or protein. I just kind of eat when necessary, but I keep it as lean as reasonably possible. That’s the only way to get those quick sacks."          

TIP 2:   Stay stocked up on snacks that serve your nutritional goals.

3. Do you think you’d do things differently if you weren’t a defensive end? 

"If I didn’t play Defensive End, I’d probably be a left tackle, tight end, or a wide receiver. What I really think about though, more than anything else… regardless of position… what can I do to be great? What resources do I have to put in front of myself to achieve this? What am I doing, or NOT doing, to get myself to that next level? I’m trying to be all I possibly can be, D-End or otherwise."       

TIP 3:   Use all available resources to achieve your goal.

4. What if you were playing a different sport? What would you play? What would you do differently? 

"Definitely basketball, probably as a small forward. Maybe center. Or just… LeBron. He’s unstoppable from any place on the court. You wanna talk about being everything you can possibly be? Right there. He’s found greatness. Football is a very different game. The NFL is place for high intensity opportunity, out on the field… it gets SERIOUS. It can bring out the best in someone, but it can bring out the worst of them, too… all depends on what you put into it. I’m trying to put in something great. Let’s see what comes out of it."       

TIP 4:   Don’t back down. Focus all your willpower on the goal.

5. You clearly love the game. How does that passion fuel you? 

"It wasn’t always completely there, but it wasn’t some spark or specific moment, either. I’d always liked the game growing up, so by playing it more and more as I got older… I found success with it, and in turn learned a lot about myself. My love for the game naturally grew. When you make it this far, you’re at a point that very few ever reach: a chance to be truly great. To make an impact that can never go unnoticed. That opportunity, and especially that ability, comes from a passion that takes time to develop. I’ve played it my whole life already, but now as a rookie… it all begins again."   

TIP 5:   If the goal is really worth it, it’s gonna take time.


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