Seth Davis Shares His March Madness Wellness Routine

The broadcaster talks long flights, quick lifts and the power of meditation

March 17, 2024 12:00 pm
Broadcaster Seth Davis, flanked by gym equipment to his left and the March Madness logo to his right.
It's the most important workweek of my year. That doesn't mean my routine goes out the window.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

On the first day I walk into the Warner Brothers Discover studios in Atlanta to cover the NCAA tournament, I find the stage manager, bring him or her into a small dressing room with a couch and a comfortable chair, and say, “If you can’t find me, I’m probably in here meditating.”

This is important on several levels. First, it means I’ve found a quiet, secluded place to meditate. Très importante. Second, if something unexpected happens and I need to be on air, I can be found. Third, knowing that I have an emergency plan in place, I can fully relax and get into my zone of bliss. Those opportunities will be few and far between the next few weeks. I need to maximize them.

Meditation will be an important part of my wellness regimen as I put in ridiculously long hours in the studio, over my laptop, on the phone, in meetings, on airplanes, and on very rare occasions, in my own home. I live in Los Angeles, I work out of two studios in New York and Atlanta, and I will be working at the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona. I won’t often know what time zone I am in or what day it is (or even what network I’m on, since there are four covering the event), but I’ll be having so much fun it won’t matter.

This will be my 20th year covering the tournament for CBS and WBD (formerly Turner Sports). When people ask me how I prepare, they are referring to studying up on all those teams. Instead, I respond by talking about my wellness regimen. I cover this sport year-round; it’s not like I start cramming a few days before Selection Sunday. The more important prep is making sure I am mentally and physically ready for the grind.

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My Tournament Itinerary

Before I detail my fitness routines, here’s a quick look at my travel itinerary the next few weeks:

  • March 15: Fly from L.A. to New York. Work at CBS over the weekend, including Sunday’s Selection Show. Work-wise, this is the most important hour of my year.
  • March 18: Fly to Atlanta
  • March 19-24: Atlanta studio for First Four and first two rounds
  • March 25: Fly home to L.A.
  • March 27: Fly back to Atlanta
  • March 28-30: Atlanta studio for Sweet Sixteen
  • March 30: Fly to New York. Work in CBS Sports Network studio for weekend Elite Eight games.
  • April 1: Fly back to L.A.
  • April 3: Fly to Phoenix for Final Four
  • April 4-8: Cover Final Four for TBS
  • April 9: Fly home. (Whew!)

My Daily Regimen

Yes, it’s exhausting — but when that red light comes on the studio camera, I have to be mentally sharp and on my game. How do I do it? Here are the main pillars of my wellness routine:


This is more important than studying teams, working out, or even eating. If you don’t eat for a few days, you’ll be highly uncomfortable. If you don’t sleep for a few days, you’ll be totally non-functional. I do everything I can to get as many hours as possible.

Strength Training

If I wake up early enough, I’ll hustle down to the exercise room in my hotel and break a sweat. Once I get past that first Friday, many of my work days don’t start until mid-afternoon, so I’ve got plenty of time. Hotel gyms are fine, but I find it’s worth the investment to take an Uber to a local gym and get in a full workout. I might even get to a hot yoga studio for some stretching, sweating and strengthening. 

For me, there’s something incredibly energizing yet peaceful about being in a gym. I usually listen to a podcast for the first half of my workout and music for the second. (I’m the guy you see in the corner dancing to Hamilton music.) I am not competing with anyone but myself as I pump iron and think about my day or whatever else is going on in my life. I walk out of there with endorphins surging and a healthy attitude. Plus, it helps me fit into those snug-fitting suits.

When I’m home, I almost always end my workouts with a trip to the sauna. My hotel in Atlanta has one, so I’ll try to get in there a couple of times to sweat out the toxins and get my heart pumping. 


I’ll start my day with 10 to 30 minutes of mindfulness meditation, depending on how early I wake up. I will also find periods throughout the day to meditate. It might only be for five or 10 minutes, but even that can have a profound effect on my energy and focus. Sometimes I’ll have enough time to drift off to sleep, usually while listening to a guided yoga nidra meditation, but I won’t snooze for more than 30 minutes. Otherwise, I’ll wake up more tired than I was before.

Intermittent Fasting

I try fast each day for as long as I can. I’ll push myself, but not too much. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting so long, I know when it’s time to eat.

When I say “fast,” I am including a morning coffee (supplemented with MCT oil and ghee butter, Bulletproof-style) and green juice. The great people at the studio know how important that juice is for me, so they’ll have lots of bottles ready when I walk in. I like to keep it green, sans apple or any other fruit, to limit the sugar intake. My go-to concoction is cucumber, parsley, spinach, kale, lemon and ginger. (I can’t tolerate celery.) Trust me, it’s not as gross as it sounds, and it makes me feel clean and energized. I’ll also do ginger shots along the way and have a fruit smoothie on hand to give me fiber, fill my belly and satisfy my sweet tooth.

When it comes time to eat, I’m a big sushi guy. It’s perfect for a long day and night at the studio because it’s healthy, you can eat it in moderate amounts and then bring it in and out of the fridge when you want more. As the night goes on, I confess, these protocols devolve. Pizza is my kryptonite. Several nights last year in the Atlanta studio, they brought in boxes of the most delicious lemon pepper chicken wings you ever ate. Ernie Johnson and I absolutely crushed them. Someone took an off-camera photo of me getting my face powdered by the makeup artist, while I was stuffing those wings into my mouth. Of course that photo made the air.

I try to keep it healthy, but my number one rule with food is you can’t torture yourself. I have never been one for fad diets. Intermittent fasting has been a game-changer for me, and I otherwise try to eat healthy. However, my rule with eating, as in life, is: Everything in moderation, including moderation. Put a pecan pie in front of me, and I advise you to keep your fingers at a safe distance. I love chips, chocolates and other snacks. I ask to have peanut butter and jelly near by. (Three cheers for Uncrustables!) I don’t drink nearly as much alcohol as I used to, but I love a glass of red wine with steak (yes, I love to eat steak) and occasionally a nice glass of Scotch served neat. I’m not a huge restaurant guy, so when I’m out to eat, I order whatever I want off the menu. Life is for living, people.

It’s not easy staying disciplined when I’m working in a TV studio for long hours. I am surrounded by food, and I am able to order whatever I want from outside. So when I get home after a couple of days of eating heavy, I give myself a day or two to reset my body with long fasts and juice cleanses. Then I’m ready to get right back at it.


We all need down time, but it should be productive down time. It’s more reset than rest. When I’m entering that mode, I don’t scroll my phone, check emails or binge-watch shows. I prefer to meditate and read, preferably a good novel. (I’m going through a James McBride phase right now.) When we read, our brains secrete serotonin, which is the serenity hormone. Often people will ask me how I have so much time to meditate and read, I smile and say, “I don’t have time, I make time.” I encourage you to do the same. 

I cover college basketball year-round, but I am consumed with the sport during the NCAA tournament. It is a wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating grind. I study up on all the teams and work the phones as a reporter, but the most important thing I do is take care of myself — body, mind and spirit. Let the Madness begin!

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