Physical Talent vs. Mental Strength is always a fascinating battle. An athlete with great physical talent can reach the pro level as a standout. An athlete with great physical talent and a high level of mental conditioning can achieve immortal heights in their respective sports. It is a rare occasion to be able to witness an athlete with both superior physical attributes and supreme mental conditioning. .....
Those special players cannot be considered just standouts. They are what is known as ELITE players. Elite status is not given out easily. Elite players can be considered the Hall of Fame of the Hall Of Fame. This athlete stands alone as the dominant over the dominant! It’s not a knock on anyone else’s dominance, but it stands as an ode to that elite player. When the elite player walks into a room or steps on their respective fields/stadiums/arenas it is understood by every other coach, player, commentator, and fan that their elite status cannot be challenged!! These elite players do not come along often and we are privileged to be watching one in the world of football. That elite player is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots!
Whether you are a fan of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots or not you cannot deny Brady’s elite status. Brady is currently in his 19th season as a professional quarterback in the NFL. If you look at his stat sheet for his career it’s off the charts. He’s a record holder in numerous categories. The stats alone send him into the Hall of Fame, but here at MentalConditoningSports.com we like to focus on things from a different perspective.
A staggering stat that hits like a cannon is his upcoming 9th appearance in the Super Bowl! His 9th appearance in 19 professional seasons!!! That’s one of those facts that obviously is incredible to hear, but even more of an unspeakable feat when you really understand it. One of the most challenging obstacles we face in life is getting wins. That’s wins on an athletic field and wins in our everyday lives. Brady hasn’t gotten every win, but he has reached the pinnacle of winning 9 out of 19 times at the highest level of opposition one can have. You must respect that accomplishment and ask “How??”. Brady falls into the category of being a guy who is consistently not the most physically gifted player on the field. However his mental strength is legendary. Brady’s ability to think the game and translate it into wins is a key ingredient to his enormous success. Are there players who physically can do the things Tom Brady can do? Absolutely. There are several players at his position who can, especially at the point in his career in which he has reached the 40 year old mark. However Brady still achieves the highest level of success in the NFL which is winning championships! The most remarkable part about all of is that football is a team sport. No one player can win anything alone. So Brady must elevate his teammate’s level of play as well in order to achieve going to 9 Super Bowls in 19 Years! That’s a whole other level of mental strength that once again solidifies a player who does this to Elite status. Elite players like Brady have actually made other players they have played with Hall of Famer's! The duration of time that he has consistently done this speaks volumes for a few reasons. Playing for 19 years in the NFL is quite a challenge by itself. Obviously the pounding the body takes is brutal. Some may argue Brady has had very good protection as quarterback and hasn’t absorbed a lot of punishment. However you must remember one hit in the NFL can end any man’s career. Avoiding that hit is a skill within itself, that displays those mental understanding abilities that some take for granted.
In closing I will mention one other impressive accomplishment that marks Tom Brady as that elite athlete. As mentioned earlier, football is clearly a very violent sport. Brady has managed 19 years and in that time due to the violent nature of the sport and the business of the sport he has changed teammates many times. So when he has instilled a winning mentality in a group of teammates and they win the Super Bowl, often times many of those teammates move on to different teams, or retire. However new guys come in and pick right up with the winning mentality.
I always marvel at the way teams who wins championships compete. It feels as though they know something everyone else doesn’t. It doesn’t matter what the other team has, Tom Brady and his New England Patriot teams always have that look of knowing the outcome before anyone else. That starts with the leader, who for The New England Patriots is an Elite player named Tom Brady.