Kenny Britt doesn't sugarcoat it: Training camp and everything that comes with being an NFL player in the month of August is the toughest part of life as a professional football player
The ninth of Britt's career wasn't any easier than the previous eight. Even with a modified practice schedule that limited his usage, Britt joked he can no longer just show up for the day ready to go, instead needing "a warm-up before warm-ups" to get his body right for the grind that awaits him.
Every ounce of motivation counts, and Britt's family ensured he had more than enough to power through the dog days and come out as fresh as possible as he embarks on his first season with the Browns.
Britt's wife, Sabrina, sent her husband off to training camp with a detailed care package. Along with various candies and snacks, Britt had an envelope to open each week. Themed for each chapter of training camp, the notes reminded Britt just how capable he was to make it to the end and reap the ultimate award of more time with his tight-knit family.
"Training camp is the hardest part of playing this game, especially going year after year," Britt said. "As your body tires down, it's a little motivation and stuff, little tips and reminders to get my mind right and go play.
"She understands how training camp is and what my mindset is. She tries to plans everything out with my schedule so I can just focus on football and mainly football. She does a great job with the kids. Even the off-the-field stuff, family back home and taking care of the house."
The first note this year was titled "Nervous," but the contents didn't match its title. Britt had nothing to fret.
"Hey let's be honest. Are you ever really nervous? LOL no," Sabrina wrote. "That's because you are so sure of yourself and your capabilities as you should be. You have been cooking ... from Bayonne High to (Rutgers) and now here at the Browns."
On the final day, Britt opened an envelope titled "The Ender."
"You did it! You made it through training camp for the 9th time! Sheeeesh! We are all so proud of you and who you have become on and off the field."
Sabrina has been by Britt's side for 11 years and the couple has been married for the past five. Their daughter, Ava, arrived when Britt was in the first stage of his career with the Tennessee Titans and is now old enough to make her own contributions to the care package.
Before a recent preseason game, Ava delivered Britt a box of cookies that came with a heart that said "Love u Dad" and a note of her own.
The game has become even more fun for Britt ever since Ava started understanding what he did for a living. She was at the center of a moment Britt describes as one of the best of his career in 2015, when he hand-delivered a ball to her after catching a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Before each game, Britt finds Ava in the crowd and gives her a kiss.
"I go up and give her a kiss and motivate her and she motivates me," Britt said. "She doesn't like the big rockets and explosions so she's always crying, so I go calm her down."
Kenny Jr. is still too young to grasp what his father does for a living. His sad reactions whenever Britt has to retreat to the hotel to beat curfew are some of the toughest moments Britt experiences throughout training camp.
Soon, though, he'll be just like Ava, who is already starring as the only girl on her flag football team.
"I told my wife as I'm getting older, I'm starting to feel my body and I don't know if I've got another two-three years in me," Britt said with a laugh. "(Sabrina) told me you can't retire until he understands you played in the NFL. It's pretty cool."