Every player in the NFL spends time in the offseason making sure that his body is fit enough to perform at a high level when it is time to prepare for the coming season.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn’t stop there, though. He and his trainer Alex Guerrero worked to develop a series of cognitive exercises to keep Brady’s brain in peak condition. The work started as Brady looked for a way to sharpen his decision-making skills and Guerrero gave him a baseline scan of neurological function to see areas where they could work to make Brady’s performance even better.
“Like everything with your body, you don’t want something to work too hard, and you don’t want something to work not enough,” Brady said on WEEI, via CSNNE.com. “I think finding that balance in your brain or in your body is how you optimize your performance. You figure out where deficiencies are. Where you’re out of range, and you exercise to bring yourself back to range so you can continue to do the things you want to do as long as you want. Just because you get older, I’ve said this before, you can sustain peak performance as long as you can … Your memory or whatever the things that you need to do to work on, you can sustain those things a lot longer than you realize. I think that’s something that I’ve learned and that I’m going to continue to do as long as I’m here.”
Guerrero also told the Boston Herald that the work can help with brain resiliency and mentioned Brady’s former teammate Wes Welker, who suffered another concussion over the weekend, as someone he has worked with on that front. As technology makes more and more information about the way the brain works, there will be more ways for athletes to use those advances to benefit their own preparation and performance. If it can also mitigate the damage done by head injuries, it should become widespread very quickly.