Will Gholston is a top-tier NFL Lineman playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but he believes that BJJ is actually even harder than the practice for his day job as a football star. He’s only recently started training in the sport, just prior to the 2021 NFL season, but he believes that it has already helped his career as a professional football player and helped get him ready for the start of the season. He’s hardly new to football either given that Gholston was the Buccaneers’ fourth round pick in the 2013 draft and has been a regular player, signing a five-year contract back in 2017.
Will Gholston explained just how much more difficult he found BJJ than football practice, even though the former doesn’t take place outside in the hot sun: “I was doing some Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the hardest thing I’ve ever tried. It’s harder than football practice, to be honest with you. The gi is just as hot as it is outside.” It’s actually pretty common that athletes transitioning from other sports are quite surprised at just how difficult grappling can be, and how taxing it is on the body.
It wasn’t just the difficulty that Gholston enjoyed either, as grappling has some direct crossover with football as well: “The hand-to-hand combat, the wrestling, leverage, grappling, all that, basically a D-lineman… My endurance is up. I think the people to ask are the O-lineman. I don’t try to put them in the bad little hold, but I kinda get in those holds all the time.” He isn’t the first person to notice this connection either as the Offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns, Scott Peters, has been using it to train his team for quite some time.
The interview with Will Gholston where he discusses his BJJ hobby was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the team he plays for, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: