The man who convinced Tom Brady to stay at Michigan
Everybody knows who Tom Brady is, and everybody knows that Brady played at the University of Michigan prior to winning an astounding seven Super Bowls in the NFL. But what most don't know is that there was a point in time when he was strongly considering leaving the Wolverines to return to his home state of California. But one man convinced him to stay in Ann Arbor. That man is former executive associate athletic director at Michigan, Greg Harden.
Brady was considering leaving Michigan, Harden steps in
In a recent article published by the Detroit Free Press, columnist Carol Cain wrote an article titled, “Greg Harden, who helped U-M athletes like Tom Brady, has bestselling book.” In that article, Cain included a quote from Harden about what he said to Brady to convince him to stick around and let things play out at Michigan. Harden's book is titled, “Stay Sane in an Insane World: How to Control the Controllables and Thrive”.
After two seasons at Michigan, Brady, who believed in his own abilities and was frustrated that he was not getting a chance to prove himself on the field, was considering leaving the Wolverines. When Brady went to Harden, who was then a clinical therapist in the Wolverines athletic department, things changed.
“I told him to stop thinking about what everyone else believes about him,” Harden told Detroit Free Press columnist Carol Cain. “All that matters is what he thinks about himself. If he was only going to get two ‘reps’ (plays in practice), make them the most amazing reps. His job was to understand at some point he would get a shot, and to get his mind right to make the most of them.”
“The Rest Is History”
Brady decided to stay at Michigan, where he went on to start 23 games over his final two seasons. He was then selected by the New England Patriots with the No. 199 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
“Greg Harden will always be one of the most influential people in my life,” Brady writes in the foreword of Harden’s new book. “If you’re in a place in life you don’t want to be, it’s up to you to make it better. In the end, your positivity and enthusiasm will contribute to creating the outcome you’re after.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Crucial Guidance at Michigan: During his time at the University of Michigan, Tom Brady contemplated leaving the Wolverines due to limited playing opportunities and frustration. It was Greg Harden, then a clinical therapist in the Wolverines' athletic department, who intervened and provided the pivotal guidance that convinced Brady to stay at Michigan.
- Shifting Perspective: Harden advised Tom Brady to focus on his self-belief rather than external opinions, emphasizing the importance of making the most of every practice play, even if limited in number. This shift in perspective resonated with Brady, motivating him to persevere and prepare for the opportunities that lay ahead.
- Tom Brady's NFL Journey: Brady's decision to stay at Michigan ultimately led to his emergence as a starting quarterback, playing in 23 games over his final two seasons. This journey of self-belief and determination resulted in his selection by the New England Patriots as the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, marking the beginning of his legendary NFL career.
Bottom Line: Those Who Stay Will Be Champions
Greg Harden's impactful guidance, emphasizing self-belief and maximizing every opportunity, played a significant role in shaping Tom Brady's mindset and determination, paving the way for his remarkable journey in college and professional football.