Bill Belichick Explains Intricacies Of Training, Diet For Patriots Players

BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady’s diet and exercise routine have become so well-known in recent years that “avocado ice cream” has become a common household term throughout New England. It’s so popular, in fact, that all-world tight end and oft-injured Rob Gronkowski has jumped aboard the Brady train to perfect health.

Considering Gronkowski made the news with his diet and exercise choices, the topic was raised during Bill Belichick’s session with reporters on Wednesday morning. And the coach offered some expansive answers.

While Belichick passed on the opportunity to speak specifically about Brady’s workout and diet plan, he did explain in great detail how much work the Patriots put into training all of their players in whatever works for the individual.

“Well, we tailor everything we do to each individual. So we train players that are 185 pounds, we train players that are 350 pounds. We train players that have a lot of different things they do on the football field,” Belichick said. “Some are very specific, like specialists, like quarterbacks, kickers, snappers, things like that. Some players have a very extensive role – special teams, offense or defense, first, second, third downs – so we have different training programs. And again, each individual is different – their age, their physical makeup, their build and their strength and explosion and power and so forth.

“We have a certain general way of training everybody, but it really becomes pretty specific depending on the individual and what we ask them to do,” he continued. “So, we don’t want to train a player to do something that we’re not going to ask them to do. Unless it’s just part of the general training, we want to train players to do things that fall in line with what we would see them and ask them to perform on the field. So, depending on what the player is, then probably his age, his experience, his physical makeup, other medical issues if there are any, his role and so forth all is part of what we look at for each individual player.

“So, what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next person. Not saying it’s wrong, but maybe there’s something better we can do for the other person.”

And when it comes to certain players suffering muscular injuries with some regularity, Belichick discussed the adjustments that are made to players’ programs.

“We’re always looking to improve, so I mean that never stops,” Belichick said. “Certainly, if a player has a condition that there’s a history of or there’s a concern with, whatever that is, then we try to address it on the preventive end rather than sit in the training room and wait for somebody to come in with a this or a that or a something else – a tight back or a soft tissue injury or foot issues or whatever. If we know that there’s something that we’re concerned about – either they’ve had it or we think that because of the way they perform or their build or whatever that there’s a risk. And our testing will sometimes tell us that, too, relative to leg length – lower leg strength versus upper leg strength, or right leg strength versus left leg strength, or right leg flexibility versus left leg flexibility and things like that. We do that type of testing. If we see that there’s an imbalance, then we would try to straighten that out rather than sit in the training room until the guy comes in, and then OK, here’s the problem, now we’ll try to fix it. We try to get those things taken care of before they become a problem.

“So that’s really the idea. The idea is for the wellness to be on the front end of as much of these things as we possibly can,” he added. “So, guys that are involved in more contact, like a lineman, for example, there’s certain things we do to train and I would say prepare them and try to keep them out of potential injuries and situations that we’ve identified. We try to stay in front of everything as much as we can. If something comes up, then we address the problem to try to get the player back to being a full participant. But, we try to stay ahead of those things so that they don’t occur.”

While no such program in a sport like football can prevent injuries, Belichick indicated that players are generally accepting of the Patriots’ planning.

“I think a lot of the players feel good about that, that something that was maybe a little bit of an irritant – maybe it didn’t keep them off the field, but it was something that they noticed – has now been addressed, hopefully eliminated or minimized and they’re able to perform at a higher level and the issue hasn’t reoccurred,” he said. “So, that’s our goal, but when you have a lot of new players on your team like we do, then that process of finding out what it is – again, doing the testing, seeing where the potential problems or imbalances may be – and I think our strength and training staff do a good job of that and try to address them, make the players aware of them so they’re working on them and then, for the most part, we’ve been able to avoid things in that area.”

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