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 creating the postseason forward of the group’s Week 17 Monday evening sport towards Cleveland.
In the meantime, Watt had already set the franchise file for sacks in a season (17.5), however breaking Michael Strahan’s NFL file of twenty-two.5, set in 2002, had about as a lot likelihood as a Steelers playoff berth.
After which, the unbelievable occurred, twofold: The Steelers by some means made the playoffs after wins towards Cleveland and Baltimore (plus some assist from different groups), and Watt tied Strahan’s single-season sack file with 4 sacks towards the Browns and one towards the Ravens en path to being named the 2021 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months.
Occurring behind the scenes throughout Watt and his group’s near-miraculous end was a proper social media “cleanse,” led by Six Star Professional Diet, Watt’s sports activities vitamin model of alternative. The cleanse was a group 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 tip of the common season (January 9).
Six Star challenged Watt and his teammates as a part of a 2022 New 12 months’s marketing campaign (#TwentyYOU) to boost consciousness round power display time and cyberbullying – with the unintended advantage of 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 power and focus he wanted to complete with 5 sacks in two video games? Nobody can say for certain, 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 time in examine going ahead, and what it’s actually prefer 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 trustworthy, I simply needed to get out of the monotony of simply sitting round, scrolling via my cellphone. Day-after-day I’d come residence from work, I’d sit on the sofa and scroll via my cellphone. And earlier than you understand it, two, three hours had handed. And it was a kind of issues the place when you check out the display time and see how a lot time you’re losing, it’s similar to, “Why am I doing this? What’s the purpose of simply sitting right here once I may very well be having an amazing dialog with my fiancé, asking how her day was?”
What social media platforms did you give attention to for the cleanse?
I’ve simply been form 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 lots, too. I might simply click on via movies. YouTube’s a loopy place, man.
It simply so occurred that you simply and your Steeler teammates gained two large 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 believe it undoubtedly can. It’s simply a kind of issues the place you don’t all the time need to be studying what’s mentioned about you. I believe it’s crucial for skilled athletes, particularly, and anyone that has their job publicly on the market the place individuals can simply attain out and Tweet at you. One Tweet can actually change how you concentrate on your self, and it impacts your day. To have the ability to get off social media and never learn what individuals are saying, whether or not it’s good or unhealthy, helps you keep in a rhythm with your self and never let anyone throw off your day. I believe that was necessary for us towards the tip of the season.
What’s it like being a public determine and having tens of millions 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 may see how they dealt with it, and I had their tutelage to inform me find out how to deal with it as nicely. I believe I’ve carried out a very good job of not studying all the things, whether or not it’s good or unhealthy. I’ve so many good individuals 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 in the course of the cleanse to make it simpler to remain off social media?
Yeah. You’ll be able to change the deadlines in your display time in your cellphone settings. You’ll be able to change it to zero minutes, or you may change it to 10, 20 minutes, no matter you need. I additionally guarantee that I’ve no social media on my residence display, which makes it much less handy.
I believe the largest 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 may have teammates doing it, too, it turns into… if they’ll do it, why can’t I? I believe it was necessary to carry the group facet to it, or for others to have somebody do the problem with you, to carry you accountable.
Did you and your teammates, one in every 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 believe that’s okay. I imply, it’s going to be more durable 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 cellphone a lot anyway. So, it’s simply dwelling within the second.
Do you may have any suggestions for others who might wish to do a cleanse or in any other case work on decreasing display time and social media?
It’s a kind of issues that you simply all the time inform your self you might want to do, and you are able to do it for a day, after which after that you simply go proper again to what your outdated habits had been. I believe if you may get somebody that’s near you that may do it with you, it undoubtedly helps with accountability. However I additionally assume you simply need to have a dialog with your self to say, “When is that this going to cease?” As a result of the display time is simply going to maintain rising. Numerous instances you’re scrolling in your cellphone for no motive, simply losing time. I believe lots individuals don’t wish to have a look at their display time as a result of they’re scared to confess how a lot time they’re spending on their cellphone. However it’s important to make a aware effort, in any other case it’s not going to vary.
What did you study your self throughout this course of?
I spotted that I used to be simply choosing up my cellphone for no motive. There are occasions when your cellphone’s sitting on the sofa, you simply choose it up out of behavior. However in the course of 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 time going ahead.