The first Chapter of Brady’s series on Facebook Watch is called “The Physical Game” and for the first time, fans get to see a relatively unfiltered look into the family man that he is. It’s evident that Brady’s personal life is entirely intertwined with his football career. We see Tom bringing his football training home, as he runs routes in his backyard and discusses feelings of defeat with his supportive spouse, Giselle.
The episode begins with Tom in his kitchen talking on the phone – as his daughter, Vivian, playfully yells out to him about her soccer practice and having a sleepover with her friend. He responds to her, saying he is going to watch her play and in this instance, we see a glimpse of a man whose juggling a family life and his football lifestyle. He eloquently pointed out that “the clock is ticking on all of us… (and) if you’re willing to compete against (him), you better be willing to give up your life because (he) is giving up (his).”
Coming off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is already looking ahead to next season. This premiere episode offers an intimate look inside Tom's unique, well honed training process – and his drive for perfection – heading into the 2017 NFL season.
Posted by Tom vs Time on Thursday, January 25, 2018
In many ways, it’s clear that Tom’s personal and familial life are not separate from his football career – his entire home life is engulfed by his training and his preemptive style of muscle maintenance. His backyard, doubles as a home field – and his lack of complacency with the joy of a win can be attributed to his focus on the next game. There is seldom a moment of solitude or relief in his many successful games, as his mind is always in a state of perpetual motion that is hyper-focused on the next hurdle. His ever-present competitive nature must rub off on those around him – Tom never rests, and his family is supportive of his quest for perfection.
Later in the episode, we find Brady in his home office, and he pulls out various binders with notes from each season. He keeps meticulous records of each year and reviews his notes to remind himself that growth is possible, despite the limits of age. He glosses over the 2007 binder, saying “not a great ending to that year,” and pulls out his 2016 season binder. The contents of this binder included; notes from team meetings, his suspension letter, and more undisclosed content. In this scene – we see, that Brady isn’t afraid to recall moments which aren’t so perfect. He adds, that he keeps his 2016 suspension letter as a reminder, that though the season did not start the way he intended it to – they still ended with a win, and that can be attributed to the greatness of the Patriots team and their mental toughness. He also reads a few bullet points that he took during Belichick’s team meetings. He calls Belichick’s teachings, “themes” – which he strives to instill in his players. The fact that Brady diligently records these themes and often refers to them, speaks to his deeply rooted belief in Belichick’s ideology. Belichick professed notions of preparedness and simply, “playing well.” Additionally, he preached that “the team that wins, is the team that works the hardest.”
It’s evident that that warrior spirit thrives within Brady and he does his best to “not let people down” – which he says is always on his mind during their now-famous fourth quarter turnarounds. When Brady was down by 25 points during the 2017 Super Bowl he said he truly “felt bad,” but he adds that he takes each game one play at a time. He mentioned that the celebrated James White touchdown that put them on the board in SB51, started off as a play that he felt (if they lost the game) would still be an impressive play that would be discussed post game. It was a successful play and enabled him to get the “mental toughness out of his teammates” that he desires before every single drive. Dola’s touchdown to bring SB51 to an 8 point game, is a direct response to that mental toughness and warrior spirit that drives his teammates to believe in success, despite time running down on the clock. The common man may believe that if something hasn’t been done before, it’s near impossible to achieve – for instance, tying up a 28-3 game – resulting in the first ever Overtime in Super Bowl history. However, Tom Brady is not a common man, and he’s proven that he defies the odds of Father Time by demonstrating that 40 is in fact “the new 30.”
Brady is no stranger to haters – the episode includes various clips from sports media members and radio personalities claiming that “Tom may play well enough to win another Super Bowl, but we may see him slip.” Another member of the media continued by questioning, whether TB can continue to play at the level we are used to “now that he is ‘over the hill’.” I’m personally sick of these kinds of remarks – he’s the best QB to ever live – sorry if you’re to delicate and insecure to handle his greatness. That’s your problem!
Brady believes he “does not need exterior motivation,” and feels he is a better player now at 40 years old than he ever was in his 20s. He attributes the ability to groom his mind and body for success, to being a “late bloomer.” Most people watch his combine and see him “lumbering” down the Indy field looking like a sub-par athlete, and compare that footage to the guy we see today – winning consecutive Super Bowls and calculating plays like the professional he is. Most people rest in their mediocrity and believe that is their peak, but Tom is able to grow each day because he has proof that hard work and mental toughness can take an athlete from mediocre to extraordinary.
In the next portion of the episode, we see TB and his body guru, Alex Guerrero, going through the motions of their usual therapy and training sessions. Guerrero noted that he is all about preparing Tom’s mind for the physical toughness of the season, and once the mind is prepared, the body will follow suit. This is an interesting notion and reminds me of what my Grandfather told me about driving a car. When only focusing on the brake lights of the car directly in front of you, you may miss an obstacle further up the road. It may result in a delayed reaction time – but looking forward a few car lengths will prepare you for any mishaps that may occur. By looking ahead – your brain will coordinate with the future roadblocks more aptly than it would when you are only focused mere feet in front of you.
Brady mentioned that when Alex and he first met, he doubted that Alex would be able to teach him anything about body wellness that he didn’t already know. However, the journey that he and Alex would embark on was far greater than any other trainer he had worked with or encountered before. Tom explained that Alex’s training is all about pliability of the muscles, and lengthening the muscles so that when the body takes a hit or extends itself to make a game-winning throw – the muscles are able to contract properly. Tom mentally prepares his body for impact so that when he endures a hit on the field, his mind and body believe it is “normal behavior” – so he is able to rebound more effectively.
The episode ends with a look into the 2017 season opener against Kansas City, which ended with a 27 to 42 game, in the Chief’s favor. Tom explains that he is motivated by himself and his mindset of “coulda, shoulda, done better.” He believes with all of his experience on the field and his elevated level of body care, that he “should be perfect.” He states that “(he) does it better than (he) has ever done it, so why should (he) stop.” We see Tom driving home from the game against KC, with Giselle is in the passenger seat. Tom remarks that he played “shit*y.” However, he doesn’t sound defeated – rather focused on proving his naysayers wrong – and Giselle responds by saying “you’re not shit*… you just weren’t in sync.” She equates this lack of synchronization displayed in that game to the building of a relationship. As it takes time to figure out the intricacies of each person in order to build a strong relationship with a solid foundation. Nevertheless, Giselle reassures him that he and the team are going to be “awesome,” and not to worry. Surely, she was right. On his ride home that night, I’m sure Tom tried to look many car lengths ahead – focusing on potential future obstacles and roadblocks. When he started to harp on the frustration of this loss, Giselle was there to remind him to look ahead a few yards, as that’s what is important – not the brake lights of the car in front of you.
In conclusion, what Alex Guerrero said about preparing the mind for a hit so that rebounding from the physical damage is easier – seems to be a common thread in Tom’s discussions of mental toughness. He lives his entire life, preparing for the next hit so each time he is brought down – whether it be by the media or by an actual loss – it seems like “normal behavior,” so he is able to re-lengthen the muscles of his mind and body to return to the field stronger than before. His mental and physical pliability is key to his warrior spirit – and that spirit spreads like wildfire among his teammates. He has proven time and time again, that taking a hit or a loss, does not set a team back – but rather enables the team to launch forward with more precision and focus. Some may say that Brady lives for winning. However, he does not live in the joy of each win for long. I’d say that Brady lives for competition, and the joys that come along with success are short-lived, as complacency is not a part of his vocabulary.
In regards to the battle of Time v Tom, I’m picking Tom every time.
They doubted him…Every team passed on him…But he proved everyone wrong..Tom Brady the GOAT!Share and Tag a Pats fan!
Posted by Patriots Nation on Sunday, January 29, 2017
Photo: Boston Herald