Tom Brady, superstar quarterback of my hometown New England Patriots, grew up idolizing the great Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers.
But now, with a record-tying five Super Bowl starts on his resume, Tom Brady has out-Joe-Montana'd Joe Montana.
Here are 5 tips to win like Tom Brady and become a living legend:
1. Never forget the power of "I'll show you."
Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round of 2000 NFL draft -- the 199th player selected. To put that in perspective, it means that the highly-paid coaches and scouts of the National Football League, in their infinite wisdom, determined that there were 198 players BETTER than Tom Brady that year.
When he talks about that day, Tom still gets teary-eyed. And he still plays with a chip on his shoulder, as if to say, "I'll show YOU how great I am!"
When people dismiss you or discourage you, you have two choices: believe them and give up, or play YOUR game and prove that they're wrong.
2. Stand tall in the pocket.
The position of NFL quarterback is one of the most physically and mentally challenging jobs in all of sports. As Tom Brady said in an interview, "The quarterback is the only position on the field where the player is worried about the angle of his right elbow."
As a Thought Leader, you must also "stand tall in the pocket" - when all hell is breaking loose around you, you must keep your cool.
3. Focus on the next action, not the result.
One of my favorite jokes to say to my wife when we're watching a close football game is, "I'd call a touchdown." Naturally, we all focus on what we WANT -- e.g., to score more touchdowns (in life).
The problem is, we can't control when or whether we're going to score a touchdown, kick a field goal, or get mauled by the opposition.
Rather than focusing on things you can't control, focus on what you can control: what you think, what you say, and what you do. When you do that, to quote the late great Bill Walsh, the score takes care of itself.
4. When you suck, admit that you suck.
In this year's AFC Championship Game, Tom Brady had one of the worst postseason games of his career. Stat line: 22 of 36, 0 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD, 2 Interceptions. Sounds like the stat line of the losing quarterback.
Yet somehow, his team prevailed and won. (It helps when your opposing kicker, Billy Cundiff of the Baltimore Ravens, misses a 32-yard gimme field goal with seconds to go.)
On the winner's podium, Tom Brady was asked by Jim Nantz of CBS Sports to rate his performance. Tom's reply: "I sucked pretty bad today."
But his next words showed why Tom Brady is Tom Brady: "But our defense saved us."
Spoken like a true leader. Who wouldn't want to follow someone like that into battle?
5. Remember that life is like football. Except when it isn't.
Football, among all professional sports, is the most satisfying to the modern human psyche. That's one reason it's the most popular sport in America.
Why? Because there are winners and losers; there's a beginning, middle and end; good guys and bad guys; heroes and villains; balletic athleticism coupled with head-banging violence; and most importantly, the clock is always ticking.
But life is NOT like football in one important way. In football, once the game is over, it's over. But in life, we can have second, third, even fourth chances to get it right.
Enjoy the game!
Thank you for being one of my faithful readers.
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Noah St. John
Work with me -- My Elite Coaching Club