After starting the season on a controversial note due to the 'Deflategate' scandal, Tom Brady won his 5th Super Bowl in a thrilling overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons. At 40 years old and with 5 Super Bowl rings, Brady shows no sign of slowing down and continues to cement his legacy as very likely the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.
There are some lessons we can take in from his career and the path he took to achieve this milestone.
1) Perseverance Is Key
Before his 5th Super Bowl victory, Tom Brady's fourth Championship was his first in 10 years. He won in 2002, 2004 and 2005 and it looked like he would win a literal double handful of Superbowl rings before he retired. However, he experienced heartbreaking losses to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2012 and it looked like his time was past.
However, he shook off the disappointments and kept working toward winning another Superbowl. It was the same drive that earned him an Orange Bowl victory with the Michigan Wolverines after 3 years as a back-up. This same drive also earned him a starting job with the Patriots after being drafted 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft! He was often considered to be too skinny and too slow and lacking a good enough arm for the pros. He showed enough determination and hard work to the Patriots that it landed him the starting job when the opportunity arose. The rest is history.
2) Focus On Your Goal
Tom Brady knows that his job is to lead his team to victory as a quarterback. His goal has always been to win Superbowl championships. As he said, "To me, football is so much about mental toughness, it's digging deep, it's doing whatever you need to do to help a team win and that comes in a lot of shapes and forms."
That is his focus. He could have been easily been distracted by the millions that he has earned and his marriage to Gisele Bundchen. Unlike many pro athletes who become seduced by the high life and forget what brought them their fame, Brady doesn't forget. His work ethic is still extremely high even after 15 seasons and a serious knee injury which kept him out of the 2008 season.
Even two weeks hearing about 'Deflate-gate' didn't distract him enough from making sure he was 100% ready for the big game. Football brought him his success and he didn't forget that.
3) Trust The People Around You
A quarterback depends on his teammates and his coach. Whether in work or in sports or in most fields of life, you're often only as good as the people around you. Brady has worked with his coach Bill Belichick for his whole career. It hasn't been a harmonious relationship the entire time but they're on the same page more often than not.
Brady has also worked with a myriad of different teammates throughout his carer and manages to adapt every time there's a significant change of personnel. One example is Ron Gronkowski who plays tight end. When former Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested and when Brady didn't quite mesh with his wide receivers, he relied on Gronkowski for a lot of offence. As in work, you should always take advantage if you find yourself working extremely well with a particular colleague!
There is a lot more than can be said about Tom Brady. Many people look at him and think everything was handed to him on a silver platter. However, digging deeper into his career shows how much hard work and defying the odds can lead to success. The rest of us won't be multiple Superbowl champions that way but it can lead us to our own individual achievements.
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