Last season — as part of a partnership with the NFL Players Association — all NFL players were provided with a WHOOP Strap 3.0, which is a body-worn device that monitors and tracks a person’s respiratory and heart rates. WHOOP — which calls itself a “human performance company” — developed this wrist-worn strap to allow anyone with an active lifestyle to record body strain, sleep and recovery.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of this device’s early NFL adherents — and wore his throughout the 2020 season.
On Tuesday, WHOOP released a summary of the data they accumulated from Mahomes’ 24/7 activity in 2020. Among other things, it showed that the biggest strains on Mahomes’ body were in the games where he attempted the most passes — one them Super Bowl LV against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But it also showed that one of Mahomes’ best 2020 games followed his best pre-game recovery.
On Sunday November 1st, before he really started taking on intense levels of strain from the grueling demands of the long season, Mahomes woke up with a 91% WHOOP recovery. His body was primed to perform, and it showed.
That afternoon, he completed 31 of 42 passes for 416 yards and a season-high 5 touchdown passes. He also posted a passer rating of 144.4, his best of the year.
Mahomes said he has learned to check the device on a regular basis.
“[Checking my recovery score is] the first thing I do when I wake up,” Mahomes said on a recent episode of the WHOOP podcast. “I look at it because I want to know how I’m feeling, how my body is feeling, where I’m at. Usually if I’m feeling pretty relaxed it’s a pretty good score.”
But during his appearance, he also addressed many other topics — including how he first came to be a football player.
“I went on a sophomore day at the University of Texas and they sent me over to play safety,” he recalled. “I knew I wasn’t going to be a safety or anything like that. On the road back home, my dad said, ‘You should just focus on baseball and basketball because that’s the way you’re going to go.’ I thought about it — but more than anything, I just didn’t want to not be there playing with all my buddies when they were in football season.”
But he said that even after moving to quarterback, he still figured he’d end up as a professional basball player — like his father.
“I didn’t think I was going to be a professional quarterback until probably after my sophomore year in college. I went in [to college] thinking I was going to play football — and I was going to play baseball as well — and after three years [in school] I was going to go play baseball.”
He also gave some details about the famous conversation he had with then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the Chiefs had lost the 2018 AFC Championship to the Patriots in overtime.
“He said, ‘I appreciate how hard you work — and I can tell what type of guy you are by how you act and how you handle yourself out there on the field. I can tell your teammates like you.’ He said, ‘Continue to do that. Continue to do that and you’ll continue to have success.’”
He also spoke about the league’s new 17-game regular season.
“I’ll just say it will definitely be a change. It’s a lot of games on the body. You’ve got to think about all of the guys that already get injured in the late part of the season. I think it will be bad for the players — but it will be good for the money.”
And it appears that throughout the season, Mahomes will be checking his WHOOPS wristband to see how he’s recovering from the additional strain.