Tom Brady has done it again.
On Sunday, The New England Patriots’ quarterback led his team to an incredible fifth Super Bowl championship. The odds of a win seemed slim for most of the night, until the Patriots made a surprise comeback at the end and took the Super Bowl into its first-ever overtime. After his team’s remarkable victory, Brady told reporters that the key to his team’s success was the players getting extremely focused in the fourth quarter.
What the millions of people watching may not have realized is that mental focus is something Brady works on year-round.
Together with his trainer Alex Guerrero, Brady has built the TB12 Sports Therapy Center (http://www.tb12sports.com/), which emphasizes mental training just as much as it does physical fitness. In an exclusive interview that first appeared in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, Tom revealed more about his mental training and shared what we can all learn from his regimen.
1) Getting to the Super Bowl is as much a mental feat as it is a physical one. What is your secret for staying mentally fit?
Tom Brady: I feel the mind and body must work together. I believe just as strongly in the importance of mental fitness as I do about physical fitness. For me, mental fitness comes from a combination of activities and choices. I perform cognitive exercises (which are available to anyone at TB12.BrainHQ.com) that help me stay sharp and make better split-second decisions on the field. And I prioritize getting enough rest to allow my body to recover. And I strive to keep a positive mental attitude at all times.
2) There is so much noise going into a football season. Double that for a Super Bowl. How do you maintain a focused mind when the world is trying to distract you?
Brady: It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a big game or event — after these many years I’ve learned to ignore the noise! For me, having a regular routine is very helpful. That means establishing a consistent bedtime and getting an adequate amount of good-quality sleep every night, and carving out time for the TB12 BrainHQ cognitive exercises that help me focus my mind on the most critical information and disregard the rest.
3) How important is the food you eat, the people around you and the environment that you exist in?
Brady: I believe that what we get out of our bodies is a direct result of what we put in. I (mostly) follow a plant-based diet of whole foods that helps my body stay in balance and limits additional inflammation. I try to surround myself with positive people, and I work to minimize distractions whenever possible. My lifestyle has helped me stay physically and mentally fit.
4) Most people never make it to a Super Bowl but many want a clearer, calmer mind. What is one thing that people can do to get there?
Brady: That’s a great question. I think it’s tempting to want to find a quick fix and “one thing” you can do — but I think sustained peak performance can really only be achieved through a combination of things… there’s no silver bullet. The “TB12 Method” I’ve developed in partnership with my body coach brings together the right exercise, nutrition, supplementation, and mental elements into a comprehensive lifestyle that I think can help people of all ages and all levels be their best.
This interview first appeared in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. Click here to sign up.