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Matt Bradley’s hard work has built a season of success

He’s three for three on buzzers.

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

We’ve talked about the teens an awful lot this season. Usually, we’re referring to the Ninjas ages 15-18 that were invited to run the course this year. But there’s another teen who’s making a splash.

Matt Bradley is 19-years-old and having a great rookie year. How great? He placed fifth with a buzzer on his night of the Qualifiers. Matt placed ninth on his night of the Semifinals with another buzzer. Pretty solid, right?

“I wasn’t too happy with it,” Matt said. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Mistakes bother me a lot and I made a lot of little and big mistakes during that run. But I finished. I’m here. That’s what matters.” With that mentality, Matt hit a Stage One buzzer at the National Finals.

The first night of the National Finals proved just how seriously Matt takes this competition when they showed that his adrenaline has a physical effect on him before and after his runs. But it doesn’t affect how he handles the obstacles. Matt is famous in the Ninja community for the obstacles he and his dad build together in their barn. So naturally, he spent the downtime between Semifinals and National Finals adding to his collection.

“I built a lot of new obstacles. I built the Air Surfer from Qualifiers. I built a pair of Diving Boards. I think the first Diving Boards replica I’ve ever seen. I broke them twice! I trained a lot. A lot of rope climbing. A lot of Stage One training. I feel pretty confident.”

Matt is a Ninja who prepares. He’s a competitor who cares deeply about his performance. And he’s a Ninja Warrior fan who is ready for this shot.

“I’ve waited so long. I started watching the show when I was 11. I’ve been training ever since. Finally getting my chance means everything.”

The next chance arrives for Matt when the gates open on Stage Two of the National Finals.