Tony DeMeo

The Tom Brady Rule

Coaches, the following is a short excerpt from my new book: Commonsense Rules for Everyday Leaders that is available. It will feature close to 100 of these types of rules that every leader can find helpful. Signed copies will be available on my website. After watching the Super Bowl at the beginning of the month, it was only appropriate to use “The Tom Brady Rule” for this month. Brady was magnificent and whether you love him or hate him, he is clearly one of the two best quarterbacks in the history of the Super Bowl. This all the more remarkable considering Brady was a 6th round draft pick.

How did such a low round draft pick become a Super Bowl superstar? How did such a unrecognized talent become a football immortal? Simple, if you understand “The Tom Brady Rule”

The Tom Brady Rule

Never underestimate the power of a strong work ethic”

Tom Brady is one of the greatest examples of the power of a great work ethic and what you can achieve if you have one. Brady came out of obscurity to lead the New England Patriots to four Super Bowls, winning three. Brady was a three time Super Bowl MVP and a two time NFL MVP. Joe Montana is the only other player in NFL history to accomplish this feat.

So how does someone with just an above average college career, viewed as someone with limited potential, become one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the NFL? Let’s take a look.

Brady attended The University of Michigan, one of the most storied college football programs in the nation. In his freshman year, Brady started off seventh on the depth chart. For you non-football fans that means women, children and bus boys would be more likely to see action. But Tom gradually worked his way into a back up roll to future NFL quarterback Brian Griese. By his junior year, Brady won the starting job over talented Drew Henson. He led the Wolves to two Bowl Game victories and was a Big Ten honorable mention selection. Tom’s record as a starting quarterback was 20-5.

Brady was a sixth round selection by The New England Patriots in the NFL draft – not a very glamorous pick. 198 players were selected ahead of this sure Hall of Famer. But Tom won the backup job to Drew Bledsoe, one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. Brady studied film and his playbook relentlessly, leaning every detail of the Patriots offense. He also dedicated himself to getting stronger and transformed his body to NFL standards.

In the 2001 season, Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in the third game of the season, and Tom Brady got his chance. Brady led the Pats to their first ever Super Bowl championship. Drew Bledsoe was eventually traded to Buffalo, and the rest is history. Brady was successful because he out-worked people. He was a great decision maker because of the incredible hours of film study. In short, Tom Brady, literally, worked himself into becoming an MVP NFL Quarterback. I doubt many NFL experts could have predicted the extraordinary success Tom Brady would achieve. Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick deserve credit as well for recognizing Brady’s amazing talent to work.

Everyone wants to be successful, but only a few are willing to pay the price. Tom Brady was always willing to outwork and out-prepare his competition. He could have looked at the situation in New England and thought “this is Bledsoe’s team; I’m never going to play so why work at it.” Instead Brady studied and worked out like he was the starting QB and guess what – he became the starting QB.

So how can you use the Tom Brady rule to make the most of your opportunity? These are some ideas to get you on an MVP path:

  1. Stay positive even when you are down on the depth chart. Remember Brady started out as the seventh best quarterback at The University of Michigan.
  2. Work hard mentally and physically. Brady spent hours sweating in the weight room but worked equally hard to become a student of the game. The more you know, the better decisions you’ll make. Tom Brady became a great decision-maker because of endless study. Anyone who becomes a student of his or her game, will make better decisions.
  3. Just because you have a star in front of you doesn’t mean you take time off. Prepare as though you were the star. Act as if … Lou Gehrig was a backup first baseman for the New York Yankees until Wally Pipp, the starting first baseman, took a day off. Gehrig played the next 2,130 straight games and became a Hall of Famer. Wally Pipp had plenty more days off.
  4. Seize the Opportunity. Carpe Diem. When you get your chance, make the most of it. Intense preparation will get you ready to make the most of your opportunity.
  5. Once you achieve success, don’t rest on your laurels. Tom Brady didn’t become complacent after one Super Bowl Championship or one MVP. Brady led the Pats to three more Super Bowl championships

Tom Brady is the epitome of the power of a strong work ethic. You can achieve almost anything if you are willing to put in the work. So wherever you are or whatever you are doing, it’s up to you how good you want to be.

There more “rules” like this in my book – Commonsense Rules for Everyday Leaders. Take a look, I guarantee you’ll love it.