Travis Kelce is a force to be reckoned with on the field. The Kansas City Chiefs tight end is a six-time Pro Bowler, holds the record for the most single-season receiving yards for any tight end in the NFL, and was a major factor in the Chiefs’ historic win at Super Bowl LIV in 2020 (and their return to the Super Bowl in 2021). But as the longest-serving player on the Chiefs roster (he has played in Kansas City since getting drafted in 2013) he’s also a leader in the locker room, too. And judging from our conversation with him during a recent virtual interview, it’s a role he takes very seriously.
“I love this Kansas City fan base, and I love playing for the coaches and players in this building,” he tells Men’s Journal. “I put it on myself to up my game so that I can be a leader.”
After a heartbreaking loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last year’s Super Bowl, Kelce is looking ahead and working on improving. The work starts in the off-season, where he focuses on core fitness pillars like running form and basic football fundamentals. That way, when the first kickoff rolls around, he can depend on his body to perform and devote more attention to strategy and the mental side of football—like working in sync with his quarterback, NFL star Patrick Mahomes.
For Kelce, communication is the key to creating a good working partnership with Mahomes (and a big reason why he has been able to rack up so many receiving yards). But in Kelce’s view, he’s just lucky to work with the best in the game.
“He’s number one in my book,” says Kelce. “You can’t tell me any different. I see it on a daily basis.”
Of course, training isn’t the only thing on Kelce’s agenda this offseason. In our conversation, we also talked about his charity work—helping underserved youth with 87 & Running—and his partnership with Helzberg Diamonds, where he’s helping guys pick out engagement rings that’ll be surefire winners. From navigating the “four c’s” of diamond shopping to choosing between natural and lab-grown gems, there’s a lot to know, but Kelce is already something of an expert. He’s the proud owner of a Super Bowl ring, and that makes him well acquainted with what quality diamond jewelry should look like.
“It glows up like a disco ball,” he says.
Check out the full interview in the video above.