There are a lot of traits that make Patrick Mahomes special — his family, friends, faith, intelligence and physical ability.

Bobby Stroupe, who has been training Mahomes since the fourth grade, added, “Sleep.”

“Patrick is great at sleeping,” Stroupe, of APEC (Athlete Performance Enhancement Center), chuckled.

But then Stroupe emphasized how important sleep is to everyone’s health, not just athletes.

“Patrick, just as everyone, benefits from sleep,” said Stroupe, noting that good sleep provides energy to both the brain and body. He continued by saying studies show sleep helps athletes with speed, accuracy and reaction time, plus rebuilding muscles.

So, sleep is another thing where Mahomes excels as the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback leads his team against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in South Florida. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. (FOX) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

APEC TRAINING

Stroupe said APEC exists to educate, improve lives and protect futures through the field of human performance.

“As Patrick got older you could recognize his skills,” said Stroupe, who has gyms in Tyler and Fort Worth. “You could see he was great at problem solving, the ability to solve problems makes him elite; not just looking at how he jumps and runs. Patrick has been blessed not only for the gifts that God gave him, but the gifts from his parents (Pat Mahomes and Randi Martin Mahomes) as they raised him. Patrick is incredibly passionate. He is so similar to Pat senior.

“Patrick is the product of so many — God, parents, family, his circle of friends and his coaches.”

Stroupe borrowed a phrase from an African proverb.

“It truly takes a village,” Stroupe said. “God gave Patrick incredible gifts and his parents, family and friends have been a great influence.”

Stroupe added after Mahomes’ freshman year at Texas Tech where he played both football and baseball, Mahomes went all in on football.

After playing in seven games his freshman season as a Red Raider, he started 13 games his sophomore year and 12 his junior season, when he decided to declare for the NFL Draft.

“After Patrick’s junior season, Texas Tech did not make a bowl,” Stroupe said. “We started working the weekend after Thanksgiving and he spent a few weeks in San Diego with a quarterback coach. Between then and his rookie (NFL) season, I believe he became a better athlete and quarterback.”

DIRK’S A BIG FAN

Mahomes grew up a huge Dallas Mavericks fan and Casey Smith, the Mavericks Director of Player Health & Performance, is friends with Stroupe.

So Stroupe and Smith would talk “strategy” about what was next for Mahomes.

“It came full circle when Casey said Dirk Nowitzki wants to meet Patrick,” Stroupe said. “Every season Dirk would work on a different element of his game. Dirk was always wanting to add to his game.

“Patrick is no different,” Stroupe said.

After winning the NFL Most Valuable Player award last year and coming so close to a Super Bowl berth, after an overtime defeat to the New England Patriots, Mahomes was ready to go back to work.

“Patrick never mentioned the award,” Stroupe said. “He wanted to get to the Super Bowl and win.”

So a plan was developed for Mahomes to prepare his body for the weekly punishment in the NFL. After all, defenders already love to hit quarterbacks, but add MVP beside your name, and they relish it more.

Since Mahomes is not your standard QB (he incorporates other sports, basketball and baseball into his game), mobility is a key.

Thus, he shedded a few pounds and worked on strength, power, speed, stamina and endurance, Stroupe said. He added Mahones worked on joint stability and joint mobility to withstand awkward falls and spills.

“We wanted to make sure he was comfortable in uncomfortable positions,” Stroupe said. “Because his playing style is so unorthodox, our training has to be built in a way that protects his creative freedom. What I mean by that is we’ve got to do a lot of things where he can produce power in really unorthodox positions.”

The offseason helped as Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the opener against Jacksonville and then dislocated his kneecap against Denver in October.

“Both of those injuries that could’ve put people out for the season or many weeks,” Stroupe said. “Not only was he able to play through them, but play at a high enough level.”

FOCUS

“He’s worked his butt off,” Stroupe said. “He trains hard to maximize the gifts that God’s given him. It means a lot to me to see somebody reaching their dreams. It’s incredible to experience that.”

“Patrick’s character and his professionalism has allowed him to flourish. Patrick knows that being a great athlete is not the key to happiness. That’s not the ultimate, being a good person is — that was instilled by his parents.”

This week in Miami, Mahomes said, “I think, with my mom, the biggest influence she gave me was just hard work. I mean every single day doing her job (at Hollytree Country Club) and then going to my games and just being there every single day. That shows me no matter what your situation is, if you put in hard work, you will succeed.”

FAITH

Mahomes said he is where he is because of his faith.

“I understand that He’s given me a lot of blessings in my life, and I’m trying to maximize them and glorify Him,” Mahomes said.

In his Whitehouse High School yearbook (2013-14), there is a photo of Mahomes and his bible study group.

He wrote, “I think it is very important to be a leader of faith because God gave me a talent that I realize. (God) gave (me) for a purpose to show my beliefs and to lead people to Him.”

Mahomes’ Christian faith is a big part of his life.

“My faith has always been a big part of what I do … I’ve grown up in church and (faith) really helps, you know why you’re playing the game, and who you’re doing it for,” Mahomes said.

“I think it’s allowed me to be who I am,” he said to CBN News this week in Miami. “Being comfortable with who I am and showing my personality. Doing what I do every single day, and then knowing that as long I’m doing everything the right way, the way that He’d want me to do it, then I can walk off the field with my head held high and be able to be the man that I’m supposed to be. He’s given me a lot of blessing in my life and I’m trying to maximize and glorify Him in everything I do.”

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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