The PCA Blog - New England

With Purposeful Practice and Avocado Ice Cream, the Patriots’ Tom Brady Sets the Gold Standard for Peak Performance

by Eric Eisendrath


Not too many people would have predicted Tom Brady’s success today based on his rookie combine picture from 2000. Yet, 17 years later Tom Brady is a contender for the title of greatest quarterback of all time. How? Brady has made a complete commitment to the process of improvement through purposeful and deliberate practice.

Peak Performance

In the book Peak: Secrets From The New Science of Expertise, long-time researcher on expert performance Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., and his co-author, Robert Pool, Ph.D., define the two characteristics essential to performing at the highest possible level possible: purposeful or deliberate practice, and complete commitment to the process of improvement. There is perhaps no better example of the benefits of this approach than Tom Brady.

The Patriots’ quarterback’s work ethic is legendary. From winning the Patriots’ coveted prime parking space for being recognized as the hardest worker during off-season training, to the employment of a personal throwing coach to ensure proper technique, Brady has worked tirelessly on the field to be better.

Yet it is off the field that Brady has really changed the dialogue concerning peak performance. He has dedicated the way he lives his life to ensuring he can perform at the highest level possible. From his now-legendary diet with his favorite avocado ice cream, to the remaking of his body focusing on muscle pliability versus bulk, to the use of “sleep recovery pajamas,” Tom Brady’s life decisions are dedicated to Peak Performance. As the oldest position player in the NFL, coming off a spectacular season, and headed to a record seventh Super Bowl, it is clear that Tom Brady is setting the “gold standard” for continued excellence.

Eric brings his experience as a former Division One hockey goalie at Brown University, and coach of soccer, lacrosse and hockey to PCA workshops in the Northeast U.S. and beyond. In addition to his role at PCA as Lead Trainer - Content Development, he has worked in sports television for more than 20 years. This experience has allowed him to cover five Olympic Games, as well as every major league in professional sports.

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