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I'm Oprah Winfrey, welcome to Super Cell Conversations, the podcast, I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present in your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us. Starts right now.
So thanks for joining me in my backyard.
I love it. I love it. I want to move in. You can I think we can find some space for you under an oak someplace. So, you know, the world is so fascinated by you, Tom Brady. You kind of get that right. I think I'm growing into it. Yeah, more and more.
Yeah. I mean, I was so fortunate to do something I love to do. And, you know, it's televised every Sunday for half the year or so. Yeah. No, people love football. And I've been able to kind of be in people's homes in that way for a long time and and really enjoyed my career.
I think it's that people it's more of course, people love football. We you know, our country's fanatical about football and sports, but there's something about winning being a winner and what that says. And if you watch people when they're watching sports, yeah, there's something ultimately spiritual in it because people get to see their team rise to be the best of themselves. And there's something about watching people be the best of themselves. Yeah. That makes those of us who can't do that feel the best somewhere the best of ourselves.
Yeah. Yeah. Sports is such a great sense of community. And, you know, you get to root for these teams. And when I was a boy growing up in California, I rooted for these teams and it was everything. I wore the jerseys. If I was lucky enough to go to the game, I went to the games and I cheered so hard. And when the San Francisco 49ers won on a weekend, it made my weekend.
And I was just, you know, why did it make your weekend?
Because, well, it just evoked a lot of joy. You know, it took you from, you know, as a kid. I mean, everything's joyful, you know, for the most part as an adult, you know, I could see how people work so hard over the course of the week and they just can't wait to get to the weekend to relax and sit in front of a TV with friends and have this social event and by the way, have a game on.
You get to cheer and kind of live vicariously through that. Yeah. Yeah. And keep scoring and call your friend in some other city and say, we got you here.
You know, I think everyone gets to participate and it's a thank God for sports. Yeah.
I have to say that I recently watched your documentary, Tom versus Time on Facebook. I couldn't believe that you, Mr. Private and Gisele MS's private, that you opened up your life and your home that way. Yeah. And has it been interesting? Fascinating fun. What is it showing you about yourself, looking at your life that way? I love the experience and I think that it's you know, life is about stretching, you know, and being outside your comfort zone.
And why did you decide to do it? I think it was just good timing. I had developed trust with Gotham, who I had been friends with, and I felt like it would be nice to share with the fans more of what my life was all about, because that's what everybody wants to know.
Yeah. What's so focused? You know, for me, it's always been, you know, you see me through the lens of what, you know, you want to see a professional athlete as. Yeah, but professional athletes are a lot of other things to their people. Their dad. Yeah. Their dads and their husbands. And they're dealing with life as you go through your career like everyone else, because it's only broadcast on a particular day. And there's obviously a lot of coverage with the media over the course of the week.
But to say, OK, well, this is actually how it really is. Yeah, it was fun for me. And I also think documenting a part of your life, I can look back on that with my kids and and say, wow, this is really cool piece for our family and really happy about it.
I actually was moved by something I heard you say on one of the episodes. You said, spirituality is my deepest purpose. I want to know the whys of life and I want to know why we're here and where we're going. And I thought, gee, yeah, watching you play football, I wouldn't have thought of you as a spiritual person or that spirituality was a kind of thing you were seeking or conscious about. Yeah, but spirituality is your purpose.
What do you mean by that? Well, I think I have curiosities in many ways and I think a lot of it is learning and loving to learn. And I think since I was a kid, just loving the experience of learning new things, I'm learning how they impact my life, learning how they impact my relationships, how they impact me on a daily basis. So my wife would say we're spiritual beings having a human experience, you know, and that's one of my favorite phrases.
You know, it's great and it's so true. I want to live a great, impactful, purposeful life and I want to impact people from the lessons that I've learned and see if people can learn anything and try to relate it in their life some way.
You know, I not only is that one of my favorite sayings from here, I think it's pretty hard to shut down who said we are spiritual beings having a human experience. But I think we also all have a calling, you know. Yeah, and I think. Mine was obviously using television or being on television and then deciding I was going to use it for a purpose, and I think yours obviously was football.
Yeah, being on TV, same thing is just a different way of I think for me, you know, showcasing what my love is and being able to sports are very inspirational for people. Yeah. And they were inspiring for me growing up.
And there was so. But when did you know when did you first know that football that when did it have you. Yeah. That's I don't know, I don't remember quite, you know, the exact I just always loved sports. I was a terrible student. I didn't put much effort into my school.
They were terrible. I read the BS. Yeah, not a lot of effort. My kids were against the effort that I gave. I would not be very happy to. So but I just enjoyed you know, I always enjoyed being out in the yard. I enjoyed playing. I enjoyed the competition and still do so to, you know, have all these experience in high school and college. I talk about some of those in the book, you know, about why there's these curiosities of getting better and learning more about myself, because that's what it's about.
You know, there's a lot of adversities. I went through a lot of adversities through my career to get to this point, not only with sports but, you know, personal things as well, that you're learning, you're adjusting, adapting and trying to live this purposeful life.
Well, it's interesting. When I was reading the TV 12 Method, How to achieve a lifetime of sustained peak performance.
Yes. According to Tom Brady, what fascinated me about this book that I know bestseller is that it seemed like your approach feels like another way. I've actually thought it was refreshing. It feels like I said to the producers, it feels like a different time where people worked hard, they tried, there was discipline, there was effort put into making yourself better, improving your skills, improving your skills, improving your skills, which is what you talk about in this.
And I think a lot of people, even people that I know very well, thought, oh, gee, you've won all these Super Bowls, that this this came easy for you, but it did not. You know, I get that a lot, too, because, you know, I think they would see me now. Yes. As an older athlete and think, wow, this is just you got to be this certain athlete who had this success in the career.
And my version of myself is very different, you know, based on my life experiences and based on all the things that have allowed me to know, not just this athlete and Anthony, who's had five Super Bowl championships.
Yes. Defined as the greatest athlete in the world, you know. Yeah. So but I think it's those experiences that you have that become a part of who you are, you know, in the hardest experiences, because it was never, I would say, given to me, you know, there were opportunities presented to me, but it wasn't like I think in some ways we're doing a disservice to the kids today. There's so much attention on these kids, as you know, high school athletes, as college athletes.
Now, there was just these guys are getting picked for the NFL draft and they make it seem like they've done something in a way and they haven't. And they haven't. They've just started. Yeah. Yeah. And that's it. But I think when you spoil them in a way or they're entitled to this sense of, oh, well, now I'm here, now I'm of it.
I will tell you, Tom, I did you know, I kind of been looking at you as this grand great master football player, and I didn't know your back story. So in reading the book, I was struck by the fact that No. One, you were the one hundred and ninety nine draft pick. Yeah. Are there only two hundred. There's just a couple more than one ninety nine. It's pretty far down the line. OK, and I was struck by this that the scouting report at the time said I was tall, poised, smart and alert, able to read coverages.
I had good accuracy and touch and I was potentially a team leader. But the positives were buried under a landslide of other stuff. Poor build, very skinny and narrow, can get pushed down more easily than you'd like, lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, lacks a really strong arm, can't drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. And the report ended by calling you a system type player who's not what you're looking for in terms of physical stature.
Yeah. Oh my God. They're speaking of Tom Brady, not what you're looking for in terms of physical strength, arm strength and mobility and could make it in the right system, but will not be for everyone. Yeah. And five Super Bowl championships later when I hear that they were true.
Yeah. I mean, all those things. Absolutely. At that time. Yeah. Were true. When you saw that at that time, could you be as open and honest with yourself then as you are now to say Oh yeah, I don't lack arm strength and I do. Were you able to do that or was this hurtful at the time? Well, no, I think I was a bit naive to maybe some of those. Those things, because I just had in my mind, like, oh, cool, I went to school and I want to play pro football and I'm going to get picked and of course, I'm going to play you crazy.
You know, why would you not think that I'm going to be able to do that? And everyone else was like, you should really think about another job or you should put together a resume. And and I was like, why would I put together a resume?
I'm going to go play professional football. And even my first year, I was like, okay, I want to buy, you know, before I made baseball at first. Yeah. I loved baseball. Yeah. And I was much more natural playing that. But I fell in love with football and I thought, wow, this is what I want to do. And then you go to Michigan. Yeah, I was at Michigan and I started at a place that I was way down the depth chart and I had a long ways to go.
And I really learned in college how to work, how to learn, how to how to develop my other skills.
So when you see that you have a long way to go, even in college in Michigan, other guys are beating you, outperforming you and you are being challenged by that. Does that excite you and stimulate you or do you feel overwhelmed by that? A little of both overwhelmed at times, but also, I think, determined. I wasn't blessed with a lot of things that they wrote about, you know, what do they look for and want someone tall.
They want someone fast. They want someone strong. They want someone that can have all these physical traits. But I didn't have all those physical traits at the time, so I had to work to develop other traits, leadership, perseverance, determination, work ethic.
And I think some of those things were a part of me discipline, you know, and then you get to be a professional athlete and everyone's really talented. Well, what other skills have you developed?
You know, you can't just rely anymore on being the most gifted, being the most talented, because, by the way, everybody has talent. So what are the things have you been able to develop? And I was fortunate to be in very competitive environments in high school and college where I had to work on those things. And then I got to my pro team and I was like, look, I could bring I mean, I felt this internally, but I could bring other things.
I'm not going to bring the typical what you're looking for. But if you give me time to develop, I can develop into something that could be a great leader of a team and be very disciplined and set the tone and great work ethic. And those were things that I enjoyed then. And I still enjoy those things now.
And so do you still have the same kind of approach? For instance, in twenty seventeen you're playing Atlanta and down by twenty five points when you look up at the score and you're down by twenty five points. Yeah. Do you think oh I can't wait to pull out of that one. Or do you think or are you feeling like everybody else is like well this game is over.
Yeah. Yeah. I'm first thinking, like, what the hell, how do we get ourselves in this situation, you know, and but I think there's other things you too, you think about and you're like, man, if we could pull this off and it's a team effort. I mean, it's a team game. It's the ultimate team sport. And I love playing.
But most people look at you. Twenty five points down in the fourth quarter, beginning of the fourth quarter over. Yeah, most people are thinking game. I, like a lot of people are leaving the stadium because it's done and it's close to being over.
I mean close to being two players from being over one or two players from being over. And what then happens to you? You go into some kind of overdrive that says what? Well, I think you can't score twenty five points at a time. You can't overcome these huge deficits in the blink of an eye. It said, you know, we looked at each other. We had a lot of trust in each other, a lot of belief in each other.
And we'd got to that Super Bowl. I mean, it's hard to get to. Yeah, and we looked at each other and we said, look, we've got to get one drive, one scoring drive.
And then once we got the drive, we looked at defense. Is that just one stop, one stop. And they got to stop and we got to back out there. We said, OK, let's go. We got one. We got a shot, and then we scored again. And then you get the momentum and then it's it's the next right move.
You don't think about it is the hole you think about it is what is the next right thing in the next right thing.
Yeah. Forget about what happened, you know, move on from that and think about what can we do and how do we get the ball and gain some yards and score some points.
And that in that way, football is a metaphor for life, is it not?
Oh man. One hundred percent. One hundred percent. It's decisions every day. It's decisions every moment. You know, we're we're proud.
But where is the next right move? Where is the next one where they started with based on what you're dealing with, what's next. Right. Move it. Yeah, I think you've got to try to do the best you can to put yourself in situations where you're making the right moves and consistently making good decisions to build upon whatever your goals and dreams are.
Well, I know everyone always says there's nothing like the first time for anything. So there's the first win for the Super Bowl. Two thousand one thousand one, OK. But. Do they get better? Yeah, they get better, better. There had to be nothing like that one in Atlanta, the last one that was pretty crazy. Yeah, that was pretty crazy. That was great because I had this success early in my career. We won three Super Bowls in four years.
I didn't even know what happened in my life. You know, I came out of college and I was like, I'm this great team and we won these Super Bowls. And everyone's like, this is unbelievable. And I was like, what's going on?
Like, this is just everything was happening and there was all these things to do and places to go and opportunities. And I was so young to didn't have the perspective. Yeah. To really appreciate what I was going through. And then you spend so much more time for these years where we didn't win a championship. It's not that it's all about winning the championship, but you grow in your life. And then finally, 10 years after we won our third one, I was able to win the fourth one and our team in 2014.
And that was like, wow, I had perspective.
It's really hard to do. It's really hard to climb the mountain. And, you know, our team was able to do it. And I mean, that was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Does it feel out of body at the moment where, you know, we have one? Yeah. This there was a few moments in both the last ones. Yes. That we won where it's out of body.
And then when you lose, you wish you were out of body because you're like, this is a nightmare, but you'd rather get there and lose and then never get there and it's hard to get there.
OK, so let's talk about the winning first. What does that out of body thing feel like? You're trying to describe it. It's just complete joy in the present. You've got everyone there. You're all your loved ones, family, friends, and you're just on top of the world. Yeah, I mean, it's just so much excitement.
And does it feel like the conclusion to all the hard work and all the sacrifice and all the time and all the training and all that, does it feel like the ultimate in this is the reward? Yeah. And it takes it for me. It takes a little time to kind of let it all settle in because you're digesting a lot, digesting a lot of emotions because the seasons aren't just, you know. Yeah. Always, you know, up, up, up, up.
I mean, you have, you know, the highs and lows and it's a five month season. So it takes a couple of weeks. And after a couple of weeks, you settle back in your life. And then once you get the Super Bowl ring, then you have a chance to just I mean, those celebrations with your teammates, because it's about the relationships I have. That's what my sport has been. The greatest thing is to to meet so many guys.
There's so many connections with so many people that you care deeply about because you commit to one another and that's what you have for the rest of your life.
So how high does a high last? Uh, is it a couple of weeks?
No, if you win the Super Bowl months. Months. OK, I was on and on and on and you just feel good. So you really are into the next season in some ways because you're so so it carries you and carries you all the way through. Yeah. Long time.
OK, how low does low lasts. So after that with the Eagles I saw your face. Yeah. Yeah. It was a different year this year and when you lose in twenty seven this was what eleven years ago we had I think one of the greatest football teams in the history of football went undefeated. We got to the Super Bowl, we played the Giants and we lost. It was a month before I really felt back to myself. It was a nightmare.
You woke up the next morning. I said it didn't happen. There's no way that happened.
And then this year. After the game, I did the press stuff after the game and I walked back toward the locker room, I was still dressed in my clothes and I saw my wife and I saw my three kids and my little girl and my son Benny were crying.
And I went over and I said I said, Daddy, we we don't like the Eagles, you know? And I said, you know what? You don't always win. You don't always win. You try your best and you do the best you can do. And I think because you have the kids, it's not about, you know, you'd love to win. You always want to win. But the sun's going to come up the next day and you're going to be taking the kids to school the next day.
And in some ways, this year was easier for me than it has been in the past. And it's not that I don't want to win the same. It's just. There's other other important things, really important things in your life. So how long does low last? This year, it was probably two or three weeks, really two weeks, and does that mean nobody wants to be around you low? Not as bad. Not as bad. Not as bad.
Yeah. I mean, it's just, you know, you're just a little you're down. You're a little depressed. Yeah. You wish the outcome were different, but. But you still have to go on and do the things with your family, you're still doing things with your family. I see what you think about. Yeah, definitely. I think what you think it's like I said, it'd be like climbing a mountain, you know? And that's what I guess the correlation is.
You start at this place and you work so hard as the season goes, it just gets tougher because you get higher on the mountain, more people are falling off and it's such a physical sport.
And then imagine getting 15 feet from the top of the mountain and. Yeah, and you tumble all the way back down with nothing to show for it. And then you're just like every other team with only one team gets to win it. But it's good perspective, too. How do you appreciate all the wins if you don't lose?
So that is a good question. What has winning taught you about yourself? And what has losing taught you? It's a tough question. I mean, winning's taught me a lot of things when I feel like winning, I never feel like I win, I feel like we win. And that's why I chose team, you know, team sport and other players, other coaches and families. We couldn't do it if we didn't have each other. Right. Couldn't do it if we didn't have the support of everyone else.
So the winning for me comes in the joy of experience it with other people. I think it's not like I go home and I mean, I'm proud of us. I'm proud of what we did. I think team sports are great in that sense. And what is the losing taught you? Um, about yourself. I would say. That I hate to lose. I really just hate.
Yeah, but, you know, oftentimes I've found in my own life and I've seen this with thousands of people I've talked to over the years, that you learn the most about yourself when you appear to fail, when things don't go the way you want them to go. So you learn a lot about yourself. Yeah, it's hard to be so critical of yourself when you're winning. You're figuring out every single decision you made. When you lose every thought, every action, every step, every and you try not to repeat those.
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Unlock the full 21 day meditation library now before it goes away forever. Visit Choper dot com, slash Oprah and start your journey today. When you're called the greatest quarterback of all time by just about every sportswriter. First of all, can you allow yourself to.
Internally interpret what that means to be the best quarterback of all time. I don't like it. I don't like when people say it. And you don't like that? No, I don't like it at all. Why? I don't feel that way. I'm not attached to that feeling. I don't care whether people think that or not. You know, I want to be the best I can be. I know what I go out there. It's not to compare myself to this guy or that guy.
It's everyone's good. Everyone plays good.
It's but you say even at the very beginning of the book, I think when you first went to Michigan, you want to compete, you want a competitor. You know, I'm your guy and I'm paraphrasing here. So as a person who loves to compete as much as you do and loves you get a thrill out of actually the competition. It must feel particularly good to to then be considered the very best.
Yeah, I still feel like I'm in it. I still feel like I'm doing it. I still feel like there's still more to be accomplished. I was practicing the last two days working on my technique, on my fundamentals, all the things with my training that I still feel like I can be better, be percentage better. You know, I played a long time. It's not like you go, Hey, man, I'm going to become, you know, something different.
No, I am what I am. I know my strengths have improved on some of the weaknesses. And I still think I want to go out there and compete and play with what your twenty two year old son, you know, has a lot of fun. So. So you write about how to achieve a lifetime of sustained peak performance. Do you believe that most people can do that in their lives, in whatever area of their lives they can maintain peak performance?
I do. I really do. And I think it's up to people to determine what they want to achieve. I think meeting all these people that I've been fortunate because I do have a purpose of wanting to use all the things that I've learned over a long period of time at the highest athletic level to teach other people what may work for them in their life so they could do the things they want to do. I've been fortunate to learn the right things and I what I believe to be the right things, what worked for me.
So I wrote them down because people ask me all the time, hey, I want to do it, how do I do it? What should I do? And I said, OK, well, let me think about it. And, you know, let me articulate it in a way that people can understand.
Are you crazy, disciplined as everybody thinks you are, because you're coming to my house for dinner and like everybody is like I've never seen people crazier about the chef is studying the book.
Security people are reading up on what is the what what kind of water. He doesn't drink this. You'll need to take them on Amazon. No, no, that that's very sweet.
But I think that, you know. No, because should I be scared if you're coming to dinner or you shouldn't be. Oh, no, no, no. This isn't Tom's coming to dinner, so I go have have hummus, have peas, have vegetarian vegan, have gluten free, have chicken, have grass fed beef, have chickens. We gathered ourselves and have fish that we went, we went and fished ourselves. We have, I'm tell you farm raised salmon, the whole thing.
But I said should we be that crazy that. Well no I mean it happened again.
I'm an athlete. I depend wholly on my body. My body is my asset. I can't go out there on the field and eat fast food and expect it to perform well. Especially my body is my asset.
It is OK if I don't have this. If it breaks down, I can't play. I wrote it in the book when I was twenty five years old. I couldn't throw the ball. My arm was hurting all the time and I thought, how can I play sports if.
Yes, if you thought all you do ice and come back ice and come back you were always in pain.
I want to do the same thing and I never work and never work. And I thought, well, I got a better thing differently. If I want to keep playing, I better think about the things that really do work. And I don't think even when you talk about like diet, I had a terrible diet when I was a kid, the worst diet and probably all the way through I was twenty five. And then I was like, OK, well this isn't working out well.
I'm not quite getting the results I want to get, so why don't I change? Why don't I try some different things. And over the course of fifteen years it came to this and it's hard to say for someone hey do all these right things that make a difference. I think they're nice. Right. It's just start slow, start with what works for you and yeah. Maybe start cutting out a few things but only if you want. I mean, it's everyone's life.
They get to choose what they want and you know, but your body is your asset, your body, your, your temperature. For me, again, I don't want to be this professional athlete that finishes playing and I can't walk. I want to be able to play. I want to be able to ski. I want to be able to surf. I like to be active. I like to you know, that's what I enjoy. So to be able to go out there and so what's a given day?
What are you eating at the Brady household? I used to have a smoothie in the morning. What's in TV? Twelve protein powder. Yeah, I know that. Yes. Smoothie in the morning.
Most if I'm at home and then a good you put fruit in it. I don't love fruit maybe. Yeah I guess I do. Yeah. I know you had a thing with strawberries.
Yeah. I don't like that. OK, I like that reason.
I know I don't like that but I'm just a healthy lunch. I have good supplements today. I make sure I always have the right stuff. It's like protein and protein snacks and good, healthy snacks around the house, and then you do eat three meals a day. Yeah, yeah, three meals. And then we're very fortunate someone cook for us. So I don't have to think too much about exactly what to do.
But so it's a healthy household. Yeah, it is. Would you ever eat? Because I saw somewhere where Jesus said she likes Dunkin Donuts. Believe. Yeah. Yeah. She likes the doughnuts. She does. Yeah. Yeah. But you're not eating the donut. No, I do. Yeah. On occasion. Yeah. Yeah. I mean if I bring like I love going there and with my kids. I was in New York last weekend as what you guys want to do with donuts.
Let's go. And I think that's what I want people to understand too. It's not like you have to be disciplined, but not like.
And are you less disciplined off off season than on season? So unsimilar, really? I think similar.
I'd say one thing I'm really good at is hydrating. I'm always drinking all day long water, water, because I just don't want any muscle issues, you know, my muscles. What's going to allow me to move and run and throw and not be in pain? And that's one thing I'd say. I'm very disturbed. I do consistently throughout the day. How many glasses of water? Quite a bit. Quite a bit. I don't know. I just keep when I'm thirsty, I just.
You just keep in overdo it. Yeah. OK, I don't drink enough water. I know that for sure. Yeah. And so I don't, I don't think most people do.
It's just part of, you know, we kind of wait till we're thirsty. But I know for me in my life the ramifications if I don't do that and I don't get to play good. Right. Well, I'm not going to work so hard if I go out there and I am hurting myself, you know, muscle injuries or arm hurts or that's that's not going to be fun. Like, why make these other sacrifices if.
Well, you know, from the outside, it looks like you have an insatiable drive. Do you?
Yeah, I do. Mm hmm. To be the best I can be, you know, not to be the best what anyone else thinks, just to be the best I can be. Why am I still playing now? Because I feel like I can still do it. And I think I'd look back at something that I love to do and why should I stop? I talked about with my wife all the time. You could ask her tonight, night, like I told him, you know, like, you know why, what more do you want?
And I said, Because I love it. It's just I love it.
With all the new science on concussions and what's happening to particularly pro football athletes after they retire and into their fifties and sixties, you're not concerned about that, about concussions? I'm aware of it. I'm definitely aware of it. And I think that the league's done a good job of in all sports, college pros are doing a good job of identifying what it is and putting more protocols in place. But you don't get kicked in the head as much as the quarterback.
But are you concerned for your fellow players? Yeah, definitely.
Yeah, definitely. I'm glad that they're taking those steps. They've changed their helmets. They've tried to make the game safer. They've implemented some rules. But it's also football, too, you know. I mean, people are going to watch if it was two hand touch, let's be real. Yeah. So we like football. We like the physical nature of the sport. And what can you do? In my belief, based on when I'm an athlete and I see all these guys who have come before me and I say, OK, well, how can I live a more healthy lifestyle so that I can still play contact sports and I can still deal with the impacts of the sport?
And how can I deal with those in the most proactive way possible? Mm hmm. I remember that I read in the book or see it and that in the dock where you were saying that many times, often when you lose a game, it feels like you're losing the pursuit of what your life is. Explain that to me. I thought that was interesting. Yeah, because it's not just a game to you. It's the pursuit of what your life is.
Well, you put a lot into it and put a lot into it when I've got decisions in the course of a day, a lot of mine always say, how is it going to help my career? Yeah. So when you fail in your career, you know, you look at all those decisions, you're in your life and go, is it worth it? Is it worth it to miss things your family? Is it is it worth it to be as disciplined as I am with my diet?
Yeah. You know, why don't I just, you know, give a shit less? Yeah, but I don't think that's my personality because I do really care, you know, and I when I look at my teammates, I want them to know that I care.
So you just you just said that you're going to keep playing. So I'm not even going to ask you the question because you just said I'm going to keep playing. Yeah. You are aware of the science and reports about bad concussions, but you're going to keep playing because you love it so much. Yeah. Have you thought about what happens after football for you? I think about it more now than I used to. Yeah, I think now I think I'm seeing.
That there's definitely and coming sooner rather than later. Mm hmm. What does that even look like to use at forty three years and forty five? Is it? As long as I'm still loving it, as long as you're loving it, you're going to do it. Yes. I'm loving the training and the preparation one to make the commitment. But I think what I alluded to a lot in the docu series was there's other things happening in my life too.
I do have kids that I love and I don't want to be a dad that's not there to drive my kids to their games. And my kids have brought a great perspective in my life because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them. Yeah. Or else they're going to look back on their life and go, hey, dad didn't really care that I love it.
I think I was on the series. I said, your son Jack. They ask, what? Who's your favorite quarterback? And he says, Cam Newton. Yeah. Yeah.
It was so cute. Yeah. That's him too. Yeah. I love him. He calls me. He says Dannica fantasy football.
Who should I pick, you know, and I mean those connections I had a great dad sent me. Yeah I had a great dad and a great mom.
I think that was the same episode where you kissed your son or your son kiss you. You said, come on, give me a peck. And then the Internet blew up. I know. What did you think of that? I don't know.
I grew up in an affectionate home, and I think the Internet blew up because you kissed your son on the lips. Yeah. Your son kissed you on the lips and you had said to him. Come back here, that was just a little peckers, and then he came back and he just sort of landed when I was like to say, is this good enough for you? Yeah, yeah.
He's always, like I said, you know, give me a kiss goodbye. And that's what he is. He might he likes to come over and he puts his head in there. I said, no, no, that's not how we're doing it, you know, and like I said, when I grew up, that's what it was just part of our that's how your father, my mom kiss me all the time. My dad gives me. I got hugged, I got tickled.
I got kissed. So naturally, as a father, that's what I do with my kids. I hug my kid, I kiss my kids, I tickle them. And it's just I don't have a problem showing the affection. So so did it.
Do you care what people are saying? And I, I, I don't care about that at all. I mean I obviously. Yeah. You know, my love for my kids or how they may feel about that, you know, they get to decide when they're older, you know, how they want to raise their kids. But, you know, for me, I'm I'm a very affectionate person. And so were you even aware of it?
I'm just wondering, for somebody who is as private as you are when the Internet is blowing up in the daytime because this kid like that shouldn't be you that.
Are you even aware that that's happening?
That was on that. And I think what I thought was more for him, he lives in New York with his mom, so I thought more for him. I know. I was wondering, maybe the kids at the school say something because they watched. And yeah, I think that's probably more what I thought about is he thought about having to deal with. Yeah. Kids coming up to him and teasing him. And it's hard for kids. There was a boy that came up to my son Benny the other day and says, I'm just friends with you because your dad's Tom Brady.
And that's hard. I mean, he said that he said, but, you know, he's eight years old. I mean, what can he you know, I thought I don't care if my son. What am I thinking now? I mean, that's hard.
It's hard to rationalize. Your eight year old son is thinking. I wonder if other kids are just friends with me because I absolutely. Did you all have a talk about it? I did. And we shouldn't be friends with that boy because all your friends are going to love you for who you are.
You're a great kid. You know, you're very sweet, caring, empathetic boy. And you're going to have a lot of friends and don't worry about that one. But it is I mean, how do they rationalize that? And I don't know. So not a parent those things either. I I grew up like a lot of kids in this country. I just was a very normal childhood. I played on the street with my friends and I didn't have the things that my children have to deal with.
And I wasn't parented the way that I'm parenting my kids. In what way? I know my kids have so much, they have so much.
They get to do this and every opportunity to bring them opportunity and access and bring gifts all the time.
People hear this for your son and this is they know who my kids are. They know, you know, everywhere we go now, it's you know, and even because I'm married to, you know, Jazelle and it's just one of the greatest supermodels of all time.
It's not just the United States. Yes. Brazil. It's you know, we've got a lot of places and now it's still getting used to for us.
And so how do you raise kind, compassionate, open minded, ambitious on their own kids when you grow up with everything?
And your father's Tom Brady and your mom, she's so we're trying I don't have we're working at it and we're going to like a lot of other parents are working at it, too. I don't have the answers for that. And I think you try not to give them everything they want. But you also want your kids to like my parents wanted to give me.
So. So who's a disciplinarian? You were just what she would say or what I would say.
What you would say. Absolutely. The disciplinarian in the house. You are. Yeah. But she would say that the kids get whatever they want with me, but they get their way with you.
They get there with me. So, so do you do the kind of parenting that if they go to her and they don't get something and then they can come to you and get it?
No, I. OK, ok. She would kill me for that. OK, yeah. You'll have to be a team.
Yeah I know, but my daughter, she gets whatever she wants and she's like, you know, she's a little version of my wife.
It's like how can I not. I mean that girl just has me just wrapped so tight. It's Oh boy I know. Yeah that's that's daughter should be with daughter should be. You know, this past season one of the biggest stories in the NFL and the nation was players choosing to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Taking a knee divided the country. Yeah. What was happening in your own locker room?
I think there were a lot of really good, healthy conversations coming out of it in our locker room.
I think, like I said, the great part about sports are the relationships. And I've been in it for a long time. I've been with guys from all different parts of the country, every color, race, belief, background.
Yeah. And you know what you respect what other people you know, I do. I respect why people are doing what they're doing and they're doing it for different reasons. And that's OK. I just you can do things for your reason. They can do things for their reason. You have respect for that.
But I thought it was were there were there healthy conversations? Did you all have conversations about it?
Yeah, we had meetings after practice talking about how we wanted to deal with that particular, you know, situation. The time was taken and we chose to lock arms and we put our arms around each other. We support our brothers. We support what people are going through. I've been playing sports long enough. Everyone comes from something different and. I think showing respect for everybody is in a locker room, a team for guys trying to go the same direction, you better have that empathy for everybody.
That's what sports are about.
Is it true that you have a separate training place where you don't train with the rest of the team? No, not necessarily. I train a different. No, I wouldn't say that I haven't I produced some of my own techniques differently than the rest of the team. I mean, the team is, I would say, like most teams are very systematic in their approach.
And what I learned, I guess, is different than some of the things that are systematic, but that work for me. It's nothing they don't talk about with my coach and owner. And this is what I want to do, is what I need to be the best player I can be. And, you know, hopefully you can support that. Is there something going on with you and Belichick? No, I mean, I love him and I love him, you know, I love that he's an incredible coach, mentor for me, and he's pushed me in a lot of ways.
Like everything, we don't agree on absolutely everything. Yeah, that's relationships. That's relationships. Yeah, OK. But you would tell me if there was something going.
I would, but I there's nothing we've had we've had so much. I like you over there is there. I just, I just walked in. Hello. Watching. I believe that in my own life every time a crisis or disruption comes, it's here to teach me or to wake me up or to make me sharper. What did deflate gate, as the press call it, teach you about yourself? Well, I think it taught me it taught me a lot of things, you know, taught me about the people that I could really count on, you know, the people that really supported me.
And it taught me a lot about life. Sometimes you do the best you can do and it doesn't work out. And there were a lot of frustrations, you know, and I tried to fight as hard as I could for what I believed in.
What made you finally say, I'm going to let it go?
Just too much anxiety, too much. I realized I couldn't win and it was divided attention. And I was tired of that. Tired of waking up and having a call with someone from the players association. And I just said, you know what? I'm going to use this as an opportunity to you know, I had the month of September off for the first time and like, I would have been sixteen, twenty one years. And I was like, I'm going to take advantage of this.
And the first thing I did with my wife and I and the kids, we flew out to see my parents and my mom was just starting treatment for cancer. And I said, we're going golfing, we're going to go to Pebble Beach. And we went there and then we never went on our honeymoon, my wife and I. So we said, look, we're going to Italy, you know, in September.
And so I said, man, that was the best month off I think I've ever had.
And I really in some ways, it was it was a great experience for my wife. I think you look back on those experiences when they and it was a really tough experience in my life. Would you do things differently? Would you handle it differently? No, no.
I just just want to it makes you think how has being with her. Enhanced your life? Oh, man, every possible way. It really has. She's I couldn't imagine a better partner for me in my life, what I've gone through and how she supports me, the mom she is to our kids. And you both grew up with siblings.
And she had five sisters. And I had three sisters.
Yeah. So it's a lot of women. And she comes from a different country. And to move to New York when she was 17 and we met each other and are pretty trying circumstances. Yes. And I think in a lot of ways that really challenging experience brought us together really, really in a very tight way. And like every couple, we love each other, we support each other, and we're also living our life. And we're trying to find ways to do when she's working.
And I'm working and there's a lot of things happening. But how do we always reconnect with one another?
But I believe I couldn't find a better woman to love me and support me the way she does, because you seems like you all have the you know, obviously you guys look really good together and you walk into a room and you stop a room where she does.
I know that. Yeah. Hot couple. But also is we know that it is the shared value system. So what are the shared values that you both hold that make this work as a relationship? We don't see ourselves as the way maybe the world sees us. Oh, I see myself as the same kid I was growing up in Portola Drive in San Mateo, California, who just happened to do something I love to do. And by the way, I got pretty good at it and I had a great deal of success.
And she's a small town girl from a small town and who was supported by her sisters and her family that loved her. And they're her best friends still. And by the way, we met and we fell in love and we started a family. And, you know, we're working our way through life and. I don't think we ever let our mind wander to like how, you know, we're supposed to act or we're supposed to be, it's it's just us.
What's your favorite part of being a husband? And do you like saying the word to my wife? Oh, yeah, I do. Yeah, I love having to come home to someone that engages me every night, she makes me laugh. Oh my God. I mean, just. In some ways, we're we're different when we're so some ways we're so similar. She's she flies in the sky, you know, and she's so creative and vision and I'm very rooted.
So she stretches me in ways that without her, I couldn't I couldn't be stretched.
And I think I keep her in some ways in my belief and she's here, but I keep her just close enough, you know, where she doesn't go so far, you know, and she she knows.
She knows I'm going to she knows I'm kind of you know, she can always count on me and and I know I can always count on her, but we do have the values from our family that I think our mom and dad both did a great job of and our sisters did a great job of. They never let me get too far from where I grew up. And I mean, they come and tell them that I was talking to my sister yesterday.
It was like, no way. What was not invited, you know? And I mean, so it was really you got to love the sisters. I know. What's your favorite part about being a dad? I think for every man, once he recognizes that he is a true father and not just someone who fathered a child, but as a father, it does something to your life. So what's your favorite part? For me, it's the tickling and the hugging and the joy and the laughter, those moments that I have with them and those are are the most special and had a wonderful childhood, right?
Yeah, a great mom and dad. I think I read about your childhood. It's like, perfect. Your dad went off to work. Your mom took care of the home and the family, and your dad came back and took you to the games and. Yeah.
Yeah. Was there a perfect amount? I wouldn't say perfect. So where nobody has. Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. But I think it was, you know, Dad that wanted to support the family. Yes. And a mom that wanted to support the home. And my dad worked hard. He was up one morning, he was out early and came home late. And when he got home, he was there for me and therefore my sisters. And we supported each other.
And we lived on a street with a community of other kids and parents that we would go to their house and they would make us dinner and we'd go buy their milk. And wow, you know, that was a nice I know.
That's why this book is like it's from another time. It's like people borrowed milk and they worked hard and they tried to achieve their dreams. Yes. And you know why it's so striking the principles that you talk about here? Because, you know, we live in this age of social media. We were talking about people trolling and stuff. Yeah. And there seems to be this overall feeling.
I don't know if you feel it, but I do that everybody wants to get rich really quick. Yeah.
They want to get rich through a YouTube post or they want to get paid. They want to I mean, I talk to 15 year old kids are talking about their brand. I just was telling a young girl the other day, you got to do something before you have a brand. You know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, yeah. The brand comes out of the work that you do not. Oh, I'm worried about my brand. I got to fix my brand.
I got it. So, yeah. To hear someone talk about the the actual hard work and skills that it takes to move yourself ahead in life, it's kind of unusual in today's norm, don't you think? I do. I do. But you got to do some really, really well, you know, and. The only way to do that, in my belief, is to find something you love to do because you're going to work and keep working at it.
Yeah, work at it every day and, you know, work when no one else is watching you work. And if you love it, you'll do it. If you don't love it, you know, it sucks. And everyone if you show up to work and you hate it and that's no fun. Yeah. You know, and I think you got those choices every day. So where did you get that that kind of ethic from your parents?
Yeah, I think every one of my family, my sisters were all the same way. My parents. Yeah, we're the same way. And everyone wanted to succeed. There was a competitiveness in our family. My three sisters were all very competitive and sports was a big part of our family.
And your parents have been together nearly 50 years now? Yeah, yeah.
Pretty great. Especially in today's day and age. Yeah. But they have a great relationship. They have a great marriage and they work at it. How is their marriage, what is their marriage taught you about your own. I think our marriage and just like their marriage, a lot of marriage. You work at your marriage. Yeah. It's not something you mail it in, you know. And I think if you're if you're going to be good at it.
You've got to work at it every day, and there's times where you don't see eye to eye. My wife thinks one thing and I think another, and you get angry and you get frustrated and then you've got to find a way to come back before the next argument and before the next crisis in the family or before the next event. That's frustrating. Anger makes you angry. You're trying to work at the best you can and you're still dealing with life.
And she's got a great career. And I start my career and we're raising our kids.
And it's interesting, I did a show years ago. I never forget with all these fathers in the audience and a lot of them had been separated from their kids and hadn't been a part of their kids lives. And this guy got up and said, I don't remember his name and the audience. He was just saying, regardless of whether I was there or not, I had a dream for my kids. And every father has a dream for his family.
And the great sorrow in your life is not to be able to fulfill that dream that you have for your family. So that's I was reminded that when you said your father left for work every day and that he really believed in taking care of the family. What is your dream? For your children, your family, what's your father's dream? Yeah, family. My dad wanted us to do everything he could to provide for us. So that was the model that I had.
Like he was going to do everything he could to make sure he could put his kids in school and that they would have the education they wanted. And our kids, you know, it's different because my kids don't have to worry about that. Right. But I think for me, it's trying to find something that's going to that you can cultivate in them so that they're good kids. They work hard in the community, they work hard and the things that they love to do and not spoil them to the point where they don't have motivation to help.
And there's nothing worse than a bratty, entitled kid and our kids. That's the trajectory that based on my wife's life and my life that the kids could be on. Yeah. And I think, you know, for us to work with them, to keep them grounded in a way. And you know what? I wouldn't say we've got that figured out yet. I think my wife does a better job of that to me, actually. But I think for me, it's in me a little bit.
Like I said, if my dad if I said, hey, dad, I got basketball season, you know, I need some basketball shoes.
He got me basketball shoes. What was his greatest gift to you? Do you think? What was the thing that he passed on to you that you now want to pass on to your children? He was there at every moment. Every moment he was there, he'd show up at the games. I always remember him rolling up his sleeves and he'd have a baseball mitt in one hand and catch the ball and you have a baseball bat. And he'd flip the ball up and he'd hit it and we'd be up there for hours after work.
And I just I was with my dad at his time, and he was he was there for me. Isn't that amazing? That is what I've learned over the years, too, with all these shows I was doing on people who were not there and kids who couldn't find their parents. And years later, they're upset. All they wanted was just the time. Yeah, they just wanted the time. Yeah. All right.
What's the lesson that's taking you the longest to learn in your life? I'm still learning, but I. It's a lot to learn in life, we're here for short, you know, oh, it's gone fast, too. You have been the team captain of the Patriots now for so many years. Yeah. How would you describe your style of leadership? I try to be very positive. And I think once I developed the trust, I feel like I can be tough on them.
We I can't be tough on them before I develop the relationship and the trust of your shouter or screamer. I can be. Yeah, you can be.
But it's only with people that I care about, obviously. You know, I think a lot of people is like me. If I didn't yell at you, it's because I didn't care about you. But I think that's I think you have to have different forms of motivation. I've been around a lot of guys, a lot of guys. Some guys don't like to be that. Some guys like to be tormented in a way, you know, and I think you just got to find the right mix.
But I I love that aspect of of my position. They have to listen to me. I'm the quarterback, the you know, I'm the one calling the plays. So naturally they're all looking at you. And I think the greatest thing for you is to believe in yourself, because if you don't believe in yourself, who's going to believe in you? They're going to look in your eyes, too.
Yeah, I think that's an interesting thing. Naturally, they're looking at you. You are who you are. You walk into the room, everybody notices, you walk in the room. Would you tell everybody? No, this is she walks in the room and you are beloved only in a few states.
OK, ok, ok. OK. In the northeast. Yes. In other places I think they're a little more. Yeah well I'm sure they love me so much.
Well you know I understand the position you hold in the zeitgeist is one of beloved master player. Right. How does one keep one's ego in check with all of that. I got a wife, I got three sisters, I got parents. I got I still have friends from. I just you don't forget where you come from. You don't. And I think I was I never have.
Interesting. So you were saying in the beginning that 2001, when you weren't won the first championship, you didn't even know what it was or how to I mean, you knew what it was, but how to handle all of the bombardment that overcomes you. You get overwhelmed by all the attention and the sudden fame. Yeah. So what impact do you think fame actually has had on you? It's made me less trusting. Unfortunately, I would say I was very trusting, naive in a way at this point, there's a lot of people that, you know, want this or want that or come here to do this or you may say something to someone when you want to just have a normal relationship.
But in their minds, it's not because they want something from you or using your something you say or I think that's probably a little challenging for me, maybe difficult that I just don't trust people.
Because of the fame, because they you just don't know if you're going to be used at some point for something.
So in my personal eight year old son saying this kid saying, I just want to be your friend because you're Tom Brady's son.
Yeah. So I tend to just have the relationships that I've had. And then it takes me a while to feel other people out. You know, they really have to.
Isn't it rare at this stage of your life with this much fame and attention and you know, all that comes with being you to find somebody who doesn't want something? Yeah.
And to find people who will be critical of you. Yeah. For good reason. Yeah. You know, they shouldn't tell you who will tell you the truth to tell you the truth and tell you not just what you want to hear. And so you know, still do.
So you just have the friends that you had before you became the Tom Brady what for me, I have a lot of guys like the great part about, again, being in a locker room is I do trust them. Yeah. So you have built in friends? Yeah. It's like every year it's like, hey, 50 more friends, you know, plus all the ones that I have from the past. Yeah. So but I, I love connecting with those guys.
Everyone's got something to share and you can learn from everyone and without having the relationships, I mean life's about relationships and the better relationships the better, more fulfilling your life's going to be. If you've got a bunch of shallow relationships people don't care about, you only care about you because of certain things like that's not going to feel good to me.
So in your book, you write about the mind, body and spirit. What do you think is the key to a fully integrated life where those three elements are aligned? For me, it would be to work at those things. Work at your mind, what? Is there one element that's more challenging for you than the others? I know you said your body is your greatest asset, but your mind, body, spirit. Yeah, I'd say my body is easy for me to work at my mind is hard.
I'm very difficult on myself. I'm very I'm tough on myself, you know, which is hard for other people to be tough on me, but. Because I'm pretty tough on myself in mind and mind, OK, Spirit, where are we? Where are you with the spirit? You know, working at that to working at that, too. Sometimes when you don't like what you see, you just brush aside and deal with it for another time.
But I've overcome a lot of things in my life personally and things that I've had to deal with that have made me who I am. We started this conversation with your quote from the documentary where you said, I want to know the whys of life and I want to know why we're here and where we're going. Yeah. So why do you think we're here and where are we going? I think we're you know, we're trying to leave our families, our communities, our world.
Better than when we came into it and what contributions are you going to make and everyone can do it? You know, it's not just in my role or my life, things I can do. What can everyone do? Everyone can contribute to their home. Everyone can contribute to their community. And because I've been able to do it and I have people that pay attention, I want to do it in ways like this. You know, take the lessons I've learned to say, hey, maybe these work for you, maybe these work for aspiring athletes.
Maybe I can inspire them because I wasn't the kid that was just it was born to do this, born to be in this position, born to be sitting here. I feel like I've had to be smart about those things and work hard at them and have the discipline, the work ethic and the commitment to stick with it. And I think other people who are more talented than me, if they had the information, it would be incredible for them to even achieve more.
So I write a lot of living left, you know, and I think football has provided me so many great things in my life. Relationships and this. Ability to influence people in a positive way, and I take that responsibility seriously, not in a serious way, but I don't want to screw it up. I want to hold myself to a very high standard. And, you know, hopefully that can. And you do.
You recently posted this letter on your Facebook page that I want to just end with. We read it.
Yeah, I'd love to. OK, if you happen to be very lucky when you're 10 years old, you'll have people in your life who tell you the world is anything you want it to be and you'll believe them. And those people will never put limits on your abilities. In return, no matter the circumstances, you always try your best and you never give up because that's what you do when you're chasing your dream. If you're lucky, you'll have family, teammates, coaches, mentors and trainers along the way to help you when you lose faith in yourself and they'll give you the strength to carry on, if you're lucky, you may get picked last.
You may ride the bench in many times. The team may move on without you. And you come to recognize that in return, you're given the chance to earn the greatest edge of all and one that can never be taken away. Will. So to anyone who feels left out or is afraid of trying their best for fear of failure, you're not alone. The magic you're looking for is in the will of trying and not giving up. The love of your dream is in your heart.
One day you'll look back on your life and appreciate the struggle and have nothing but gratitude for everything that happened along the way. To anyone who's struggling early in the morning or late at night in pursuit of your dream struggles that many will never see, and to any leaders out there who believe in someone who doesn't yet believe in themselves. Keep going. Keep going, because Will always finds a way.
You just preach this morning. That's me. That's me. That's you. That's you. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Thanks. That's the essence of who you are right there. Yeah. Thank you for sharing it. Yeah. Thanks for the time. Thank you. Tom Brady, just preacher Tom Brady just took us to church all along way. Thank you, guys. It's great. Really good.
I'm Oprah Winfrey and you've been listening to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast. You can follow Super Soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you haven't yet, go to Apple podcast and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another super soul conversation. Thank you for listening.