In this extended excerpt from his conversation with “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talked about the hazards of concussions and the “preventive” approaches he takes to protecting himself from brain injuries.
In his new book, “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance” (published by Simon & Schuster, a CBS company), Brady writes that playing professional football is like “getting in a car crash every Sunday.”
O’Donnell asked, “Do you worry about concussions?”
“I don’t worry about ’em, no,” he replied. “I mean, I’m not oblivious to ’em. I mean, I understand the risks that, you know, come with the contact sports and the physical nature of our game. But again, I try to take these preventative approaches to limit, you know, whatever ramifications those may cause.
“Now, do I have all the answers for those? Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone does. But if I take this proactive approach to it, I do feel like, you know, all these other treatments that I’ve done on my body have really worked. And I do want to continue to think about my head the same way.
“So, I do focus on a lot of treatment for my head and neck, certainly for my shoulders, along with the rest of my body, in order to try to absorb those forces I’m gonna face, you know, in a much better way.
“And I’ll tell you why: because when you’re an athlete — and again, I’ve looked around in the locker room for a long period of time and, you know, I read everything like everybody else, I see what athletes of the past, what their future looks like, you know, and you try to learn from those things … some of my idols had to retire because of head injuries — so, I thought, wow, what can you do for those? How can you start thinking about head injuries in a preventative way if I still am gonna play this sport that I love? That’s what I’ve tried to think about.”
“Do you think all the studies that have come out about concussions affects the future of the NFL?” O’Donnell asked.
“I don’t know,” Brady replied. “I mean, who knows? I don’t know what the future is gonna look like, you know, and I’m not gonna pretend to predict it.
“But I mean, football is an incredible game. It requires so much discipline. And are there things that come with football that, yeah, you’d rather not experience? Of course. But that’s life. I mean, there’s negatives to skiing. There’s negatives to doing a lot of really great activities. But are you not…