Mental Performance: Tom Brady At The Highest Level
Who is Tom Brady? How has he become the greatest American Football Player of all time? I share my thoughts on how Tom Brady’s mental performance keeps him performing at the highest level.
For those of us who don’t know, he’s arguably the best NFL quarterback to ever play the game. At age 41, Tom has been playing with the Patriots for 17 years and counting. His biggest accolades include:
- 6x Time Superbowl Champion (The most of any quarterback in current NFL history)
- 4x Time Superbowl MVP (Most Valuable Player)
- 3x NFL MVP
- Most Superbowl Appearances in NFL history (9)
While those are amazing accomplishments; it’s his impressive durability, routine and mental performance that has led him to success. This had a great impact this season, with The New England Patriots winning the 2019 Superbowl. Silencing any doubt that he was the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.
The NFL is a challenging, demanding league. It’s where the best of the best play American Football. As a quarterback, you are the marquee player of the team, the leader, the driver and hold extreme responsibility for your teams performance. So how does Tom Brady still continue to achieve such great success and keep performance and his mental toughness at the highest level?
Trains The Brain for Mental Performance
In addition to Tom’s physical performance, his mental performance is equally as important. Brady values keeping his mind sharp and on point, so he incorporates brain exercises and mindfulness into his daily routine. One of his simplest, but biggest ways to train the brain is to go to bed at 9pm, waking up at 6am, which he refers to as “9 hours of uninterrupted therapy and regeneration”.
Tom also uses neuroscience to train his body into developing new and improved habits for success. In his book, The TB12 Method: How To Achieve A Lifetime Of Sustained Peak Performance, Tom quotes;
“To create stronger, faster connections in our brains, we need to practice a habit skill or behaviour again and again. The more we practice that habit, skill or behaviour, the more automatically our brains recognise it”
This quote does not reflect on just sport, but in any form of success and performance. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, author or are simply setting yourself goals for yourself, creating the right habits is crucial in getting the outcome you set for yourself.
Finds His Own Motivation
We all find our motivation from different sources. Tom Brady’s motivation doesn’t come from winning or even losing. When asked, it was his teammates that keep driving him forward. On what motivates Tom, he was quoted ‘Doing the best I can to put my teammates in the best position possible’. His motivation differs from former basketball player and 5 time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant, where he quotes “People just don’t understand how obsessed I am with winning”. Kobe’s motivation was winning. These are two incredible athletes in their respective sports, motivated in different ways. By finding our own motivation, we are able to envision our physical and mental performance and stay on track, achieving our full potential.
Believes In Himself
How often have we been told to ‘believe in yourself’, without actually taking some time out to reflect and understand how, or what this really means. I’m convinced that when you believe in yourself, you are believing in the work of what you can accomplish in the ultimate way. Tom Brady was never destined, or never thought to be the best quarterback of all time when he was first drafted in the year 2000. He was drafted in the 6th Round, which meant there were 5 other quarterback players ahead of him where teams believed they would get more value from. In all honesty, he was a sympathy pick. No one believed he would have the kind of impact he’s had except for Tom. The reason; he believed in himself.
“IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, WHY IS ANYONE GOING TO BELIEVE IN YOU?”
– Tom Brady
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If you happen to be very lucky, when you are 10 years old, you will have people in your life tell you that the world can be anything you want it to be, and you will believe them. And those same people will never put limits on your abilities. So no matter the circumstances, you always try your best and you never give up, because that’s what you do when you’re chasing your dream. If you’re lucky, you will have family, teammates, coaches, mentors and trainers along the way to help you when you lose faith in yourself. And they will give you the strength to carry on. If you’re lucky, you may get picked last, you may ride the bench, and many times the team may move on without you, and you come to recognize that, in return, you are given the chance to earn the greatest edge of all that can never be taken away: WILL. HEART. To anyone who feels left out or is afraid of trying their best for fear of failure, you are not alone. The magic you’re looking for is in the WILL of trying and not giving up. The love of your dream is in your HEART. One day, you will look back on your life and appreciate the struggle and have nothing but gratitude for everything that happened along the way. To anyone who is struggling early in the morning or late at night in pursuit of your dream, struggles that many will never see, and to any leaders out there who believe in someone who doesn’t yet believe in themselves… Keep going. Keep going. Because WILL always finds a way. @underarmour #TBT #WillFindsAWay
Image via Tom Brady Instagram
If there’s one thing we can take away from Tom Brady’s success and performance, is that we should never let our setbacks and other peoples opinions define our success and what it looks like to us.