- Rob Carr/Getty
- Kirk Cousins is obsessed with micromanaging every detail of his life.
- Cousins reportedly manages the electrical activity in his brain, records his hormone and testosterone levels, sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber, and more.
- It appears to be paying off as Cousins is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and on his way to a massive payday.
The sports world at large has been fascinated with Tom Brady’s determination to micromanage and obsess over every detail of his life, from his rest, recovery, muscle pliability, brain function, and most of all, diet.
However, for all of Brady’s obsessiveness, he may be beaten out by the Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop, Cousins follows a similar model as Brady, tracking and detailing every aspect of his life, but he may even outdo Brady.
According to Bishop, during the week, Cousins consults with his brain coach to track the electrical activity in his brain. This is just one specialist in Cousins’ team, which includes, according to Bishop, a fitness guru, physical therapist, naturopath, kinesiologist, biochemist, and several mentors, one of whom is a former FORTUNE 500 CEO.
Bishop laid out the other aspects of Cousins’ micromanagement:
“Cousins is half QB, half biology experiment. He spends tens of thousands of dollars annually on saliva testing and brain training, tissue rejuvenation and blood work and massages. He sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber. He measures his deep sleep and his REM sleep; his hormone, adrenal and testosterone levels; his heart rate and his breathing. This season he started analyzing the left side of his brain, rather than both sides, because it controls his internal speech, the part of his brain he’s trying to calm.”
According to Bishop, to try and improve Cousins’ ability to manage the electrical activity in his brain, he used a computer program over the summer that played movies and slowed them down or shrank the screen when he showed too much brain activity. He watched all seven “Star Wars” films.
Cousins likes to wake up early and make to-do lists that he calls “action plans.” He’s obsessively detailed, pinning pictures of reporters to the wall in his office so he can remember their names. He keeps a stack of folders dating back to 2010 of notes for each game.
According to Bishop, the day after Cousins’ wife went into labor with their first child, Cousins FaceTimed from the delivery room into the team’s quarterback meeting, despite being excused from practice the day before.
“The doula thought that was weird,” Cousins told Bishop. “She wanted me a little more present.”
All of it is paying off, however, as Cousins is in line to be handsomely paid this offseason. Like Brady, Cousins was underestimated for most of his career, an average to below-average athlete whose skills weren’t as highly valued as some of his peers. However, though obsessive study of the game and preparation, Cousins has cultivated himself into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. This offseason, the Redskins have a few options: give Cousins a franchise tag worth about $34 million or wait until another team offers him a similarly giant contract and weigh whether to match it.
So while Cousins’ “process” doesn’t seem very fun, it appears to be working.