To succeed in the NFL, a quarterback has to have more than just an elite throwing arm. They also need the right mindset — one that can help them navigate the challenges of competing at the highest level. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson knows all about the importance of mindset, which he prioritizes just as much as his physical conditioning.
Wilson is so committed to mental fitness that he uses many of his football-related mindfulness exercises in his home life as well. He even uses the same communication techniques with his wife that he uses with his receivers on the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson’s NFL career so far
The Seahawks selected Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, using the 75th pick on the 5-foot-11 quarterback. Most commentators agreed that Wilson would likely have gone far higher if he had been taller. Wilson didn’t let his doubters slow him down, however, and quickly proved himself an NFL-ready player.
Wilson slotted into the starting position as a rookie, leading the Seahawks to an 11-5 record. His individual numbers were more than solid for a first-year player: 252 completions for 3,118 yards and 26 passing touchdowns, with a 64.1% completion rate. Since then, Wilson has been one of the most reliable QBs in the league.
In fact, he hasn’t missed a single regular-season game in his entire career. Meanwhile, he’s been an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFL in passing touchdowns in 2017, and led the Seahawks to a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Through nine seasons, Wilson has amassed 2,820 completions, 33,946 passing yards, and 267 passing touchdowns, with a completion rate of 65.1%.
Being a QB at home as well
Mental fitness has always been important to Wilson. According to CNBC, he has worked with a mental conditioning expert for over 10 years now. One of the primary skills that training has instilled in Wilson is the ability to remain “neutral in the midst of chaos.” That strategy has proved equally useful to Wilson in his family life.
Wilson and his wife, R&B singer Ciara, have two children together: a daughter, Sienna Princess Wilson, and a son, Win Harrison Wilson. Wilson is also stepfather to Ciara’s other son, Future Zahir. Managing a hectic home life has come easy to Wilson, thanks to the mental conditioning he has learned in the NFL.
Revealingly, Wilson even talks about his marriage and parenting strategies in the same terms he uses with the Seahawks. In a recent profile in GQ, Wilson spoke in the article about his “discipline of communication,” which he applies to both his on-field receivers and his wife:
“If I don’t communicate to my receiver, he doesn’t know what the play is. It’s like, ‘Uh, hey, what are we doing here?’ It’s probably more significant than that, even, but for us, for me and Ciara, communicating, it’s the same: ‘This week’s going to be a challenging week, babe, because I’ve got this responsibility. What about you? What do you have?'”
The advice Russell Wilson gave his wife Ciara
Mental conditioning isn’t the only technique Wilson uses to ground himself. He is also a devout Christian, one whose faith informs virtually everything he does in life.
According to the GQ profile, Wilson once gave Ciara an important piece of advice in the form of a biblical quotation. The piece of scripture comes from the Book of James:
“Consider it pure joy when you face trials and tribulations, for the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Ciara revealed how influential that advice has been for her, and how it has helped to guide her through difficult periods of her life. It’s easy to infer how Wilson has applied that same mentality to his football career, helping him battle through various challenges without losing sight of who he is — both as a person, and as a player.
That type of communication on and off the field has proved to be a big part of Wilson’s success.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference