Tom Brady is a marvel to the world of Sports Physical Therapy and performance training.
As you may know, Tom Brady is about to make his 10th trip to the Superbowl at the age of 43. The opposing Quarterback in this game will be Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes was in kindergarten when Brady played in his first Superbowl back in 2002!
Athletes like Brady approach their off-season training with very specific goals in mind. These include sport and position specific goals (ex. Improving footwork, accuracy, throwing mechanics), as well as goals related to health and fitness.
The greats across sports such as Brady, Lebron James in basketball, and Wayne Gretzky in hockey focus their off-season training on staying healthy throughout the upcoming season. They understand the classic saying that “the best ability is availability.”
They realize that attributes that make them more resilient to injury will also improve their performance on the field, court, or ice.
Brady requires a great deal of mobility to best absorb the hits that accumulate throughout a football season. An increase in mobility will also allow him to throw accurately from the variety of awkward positions that the body is contorted into throughout a game, thus improving his performance as well.
Lebron James possesses an incredible amount of single leg control and strength. This is necessary to propel his nearly 270-pound body into the air as he jumps off 1 leg. This control and strength are equally important to avoid injury as he lands and must quickly adapt to awkward situations (players falling under him or contact him in the air).
Much like Brady, Gretzky must also be capable of contorting his body into a variety of different positions to pass or shoot from varying angles, absorb contact, or maneuver around opponents. These abilities require lots of mobility and strength throughout a variety of different positions.
The actual off-season training for Brady, James, and Gretzky will look different for each. However, the bulk of their training likely will not include commonly performed gym-based exercises, such as deadlifts or bench press. These are fantastic exercises when performed in the right context, however do little to help with the performance of these athletes.
It is essential for more athletes, specifically youth athletes to think more like Brady, James, and Gretzky when approaching their own off-season training. What are their goals for the off-season? What attributes best contribute to success on the field of play and help the athlete to stay there? Are the exercises being performed the best choices for this?
The optimal off-season program is unique to each individual and will even be different among athletes that play the same sport. However, it is essential that the previous questions are asked at the start of the off-season to ensure that weight room improvements will be transferred to the field of play.
Would you like help determining the attributes that you must work on this off-season to take your performance to the next level for the upcoming season? A custom designed off-season training program may be what you need to blow your coaches away.