Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Derick Armstrong knows when it's time to horse around and when it's time to focus on football.
A native of Texas, Armstrong is all business on game day, but also knows he needs to spend time away from the field in order to get refreshed and refocused.
"I sleep in as long as I can, but my adrenaline is going early in the morning, so I causes me to wake up a little bit earlier than what I expect," Armstrong said of how his day begins.
"Then I just get into the bible for a couple minutes and prepare myself. I pray about the injuries and stuff like that."
From there Armstrong moves on to the task at hand.
"When I get to pre-game I'm in the zone. Then as far as knowing what I have to do, going over game tape to help our team win," he said.
When it comes to food, Armstrong is pretty wide open for his pre-game meal.
"I'm not a picky guy. I can eat anything," he said. "Whatever's there I eat, but if I don't have to appetite then I won't mess with it.
"Chicken is good. I am not fond of pasta and I like steak. Don't forget that."
With practice days occupying three to five days a week, Armstrong says they can wear on a player.
"Oh Lord, help me make it through another day," he said when it comes to getting ready for a practice day.
"Working on your game before you get to play and knowing what you need to do to win, I take that seriously, even though I joke around in practice a lot.
"When I am not serious, I know that when I get into a game I'm just going to make mistakes, so I take pride out there. It starts on the practice field before the game."
Armstrong used to have a routine in college at Arkansas-Monticello, but he hasn't been able to bring it with him here to Winnipeg, literally.
"When I was in college I used to ride my horse before the game," he explained. "That would ease my mind from playing.
"Now it's different because I don't have my horses here. I'll have to go about another demeanour. Seeing my kids and my wife makes me happy."
They were scheduled to join Armstrong this week here in Winnipeg from his off-season home in Houston.
"I'm excited about that," he said.
In the off-season, Armstrong spends most of his time in Houston with his family.
"We all ride horses together and just enjoy each other," he said.
"I try to spend as much time with my family because I know when the season starts I am gone for a while. They miss me, so I make sure I get my time in."
After college, Armstrong signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2001 and then moved on to the Houston Texans in the NFL in 2003. Being originally from Jasper, Tex., Armstrong felt comfortable setting up roots in Houston.
"We've been there for four years going on five, so it's been a blessing for me," he said.
And he says there is one noticeable difference between Winnipeg and Houston, besides the obvious.
"Here it's more laid back," Armstrong said. "Back home everything has a sense of urgency. Here you can get a peace of mind real good and enjoy yourself. Down there you can't."