Tom Brady, who has ruined more than one Sunday afternoon for me, was not always Tom Brady. Born on August 3, 1977, in San Mateo, California, Tom Brady excelled at both football and baseball at Junipero Serra High School. After graduating in 1995, Brady passed up a chance to play professional baseball to go to University of Michigan. Although a member of the school’s football team, Brady did not spend much time on the field in his first two college seasons. In his junior year, however, he served as the starting quarterback. That season, Brady threw 350 passes for 2,636 yards. In his final season, he helped lead his team to an Orange Bowl victory in 2000.
At first he was a slow and skinny kid with an average throwing motion and limited potential in the NFL. Brady was the 199th player chosen in the 2000 draft. He barely made the team his first year, and barely kept his job, spending the season at number four on the Patriot’s depth chart.You know what happened. This skinny kid became Tom Brady: the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, the youngest quarterback to win three Super Bowls, the record setter, the clutch player, the future Hall of Famer.
Here’s a great Tom Brady story.
In his first preseason practice, he approached the Patriots owner, saying, “Hi, Mr. Kraft, I’m Tom Brady.” Kraft said, “I know who you are. You’re our sixth round pick this year.” Brady looked him in the eye and said, “And I’m the best decision your organization has ever made.”It’s easy to say something bold and outrageous like that. It’s quite another thing to back it up. Tom Brady became Tom Brady because he worked harder than any other quarterback in the Patriots system, and probably harder than any other quarterback in the league. He has a way of making success look easy. The truth is, behind the scenes, between Sundays, even today, he puts in the hours to make it happen.
Brady didn’t really need to say what he said to Bob Kraft. Maybe it helped a little. Maybe it didn’t. What really made the difference in Brady’s career were the results he produced, season after season.
If it ever comes down to a choice between the two, the unglamorous act of preparation beats the bold prediction every time. If you will ever be great — in the ministry, in the work place, in the Christian life — it comes down to mastering the unglamorous, often tedious task of preparation.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”