The little details are important in New England, as Kendrick Bourne learned early after Bill Belichick held him out of practice.
The incident ended up being life-changing for the receiver.
Bourne had spent four seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers before signing with the Patriots in free agency, but as he shared on a recent episode of "Getcha Popcorn Ready with T.O. & Hatch," he didn't realize the corners he was cutting. After failing a hydration test, of all things, the Patriots coach didn't let him participate and let him know why it was so crucial.
"He taught me really how to hydrate – he sat me out of practice because I failed a hydration test," Bourne said. "I'm like, 'Oh, he's serious about this.' Like, he ain't playing with him. I told him I want to practice, though."
Bourne bought in on what Belichick was preaching about how proper hydration improves performance, recovery, and injury prevention – to name a few benefits. After changing his routine to include a lot more water, he's seeing the difference.
"I just learned how to drink water in the morning, drinking it all through until practice and I just found myself getting better," Bourne said. "Now my body is feeling better, I can make it through practice easy, I can go longer after practice, go extra. … My bodyweight is up. I put on 10 pounds of muscle. It was just a shift. I really bought into everything. And that was one of the smallest details of buying in. It's a small detail, but people don't think about it. They don't drink water."
The results aren't just visible to Bourne, though.
Is it a coincidence that one Bourne upped his water intake he experienced a breakout year on the field to put up some of the best stats of his career thus far? Probably not. But the self-care has opened his eyes up to the benefits of proper nutrition.
Bourne doesn't anticipate he'll quit fast food cold-turkey, but he plans to tighten up his diet a bit entering season two with the Patriots.
"Bill Belichick -- man, 100 percent, Bill Belichick changed my life," Bourne said. "He is the best coach in the world. Shout out to you, Bill Belichick."