While most quarterbacks would have crumbled under pressure, Brady's mental strength became most apparent in the second half of last night's game, when he seamlessly drove the ball 69 yards in five plays, setting up his running back teammate Sony Michel's two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
There's no doubt that superior athletes to Brady exist, and many of them are likely younger. Science has argued that most athletes hit their peak performance at the age of 30. According to a systematic review published in the journal Sports Medicine, hockey players perform best between the ages of 27 and 28. For sprints, jumps and throws, men and women hit their peak around 25. Male and female marathoners are at their best at ages 30 and 29, respectively.
Brady is 41. Could it be that the weirdest, seemingly most unrelated aspect of Brady's training is actually giving him a massive edge? Not long ago, most of us believed that the brain you're born with is the brain you live with. That's changed, and today there are entire communities and fields (think "microdosing" and "nootropics") devoted to capitalizing on more of the brain's potential.
Are games the way to do it? The jury is still out on that, although some science points to no. Still, lots of highly successful people — not just Brady — put stock into activities designed to sharpen their brains. Various world-class leaders agree, too: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates play bridge. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk play video games.
And if Tom Brady ends up winning another Super Bowl, I'll be signing up for TB12.
Tom Popomaronis is a commerce expert and proud Baltimore native. Currently, he is the Senior Director of Product Innovation at the Hawkins Group. His work has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company and The Washington Post. In 2014, he was named one of the "40 Under 40" by the Baltimore Business Journal. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter
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