Tom Brady Officially Retires
And what you can learn from his announcement
I am born and raised in New England. It was hard to watch Brady leave the Pats, but I was fortunate to watch him play for my team.
I am young enough to only remember Brady at QB. I am accustomed to the Patriots always being in the running for the Super Bowl. Mac Jones looks pretty good, but there’ll never be another Tom Brady.
The amount of work and dedication he put into the game is unmatched. To be elite at anything for 22 years in a row is unheard of. In professional sports, it’s like seeing a unicorn.
This is because professional sports cause a lot of wear and tear on the body. We don’t see 90% of what these athletes do behind closed doors.
All the training sessions, eating right, conditioning, and everything else is not easy. As people get older, it becomes even harder.
This is why pro athletes are “old” once they hit the age of 30. Sports is a young person’s game.
Brady played until the age of 44. In football where contact can’t be avoided, this makes his longevity that much more impressive.
In his retirement announcement, the first thing he mentions is the fact that he doesn't want to make the commitment to the work anymore.
“I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” he writes.
The GOAT (Greatest of All Time) is all too familiar with the daily grind and what it takes to be the greatest. He knows the amount of time that is required to perform at his level better than anyone else.
He admits that he no longer wants to commit to that kind of work. This elevates my respect for the man even more.
I am glad he is retiring at such an elite level. Many other athletes have played far too long and were a shell of their former selves. Think Michael Jordan with the Wizards.
I think we can all learn from this.
When we no longer want to make a commitment to something, it is time to walk away. When you no longer want to put in the daily work, it is time to find something else.
If you are constantly looking at the clock while doing something you choose to do, it’s time to quit. A job you hate is the only time you should be wishing the clock was moving faster.
If you are a writer and are always checking the clock while you are writing, you don’t want to make the commitment to be great. Be like Brady, and walk away before you waste all your time.
To be great at anything requires some kind of investment. Often, it requires time and money.
Time is the great equalizer. No matter how rich you are or what your status in life is, you can’t buy more time. At least not yet.
Extracurricular activities should be done under your free will. Life is too short to work on something you don’t really want to be working on.
It’s alright to not work hard at everything. In fact, you can’t give 100% at everything you do.
You can only give 100% at one, maybe two things max if you are a different breed.
Now that Brady is done with football, he can give all he has to something else. Maybe his family, business, nonprofit organizations, or something else.
He wanted more time to do other things with his life.
I remember when Kobe Bryant retired, he said something that made me think.
“Fast-forward 20 years from now: If basketball is the best thing I’ve done in my life, then I’ve failed," he said.
Just because they decided to retire doesn't mean they wanted to lie on the beach for the rest of their days. They are not wired like that.
They just wanted to change their focus to something else. I am sure Brady is thinking the same thing as the great Kobe Bryant.
The lesson is simple.
Give 100% at one thing you want to do. When you don’t want to do that anymore, give 100% to something else.