Real coaching, mentorship, and player development

The September 2013 Men’s Health featured an article titled “Tom Brady: The Mind Behind the Arm” by Oliver Broudy. It mentions a young Brady seeking out University of Michigan assistant athletic director Greg Harden. Harden recounts a story about Desmond Howard, and it clicked with Brady and inspired his effort and performance. 

About this conversation, Harden said:

“I only did for Tom what Tom allowed me to do.”

That’s coaching. Coaches don’t make or produce players. They offer guidance. For some players, it works; for others, the exact same thing may not work. As Harden said:

“He [Brady] was fascinated with the stuff that I was talking about. Intrigued by it. And then bought into it and took it to the next level.”

From a player’s perspective, that’s the difference. What do you do with the coaching that you receive? How do you use the instruction or the motivational talks? Are you fascinated by the process of improving? Do you take simple instructions or basic ideas to the next level?

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