PLAYING WELL in frigid temperatures can be particularly challenging. Studies show that cold weather can hinder “thermoregulation” — your body’s ability to regulate its core body temperature. This drains strength, power output, speed, and endurance.
Two elements of the TB12 Method offer insight into Tom Brady’s acclaimed ability to perform when the thermometer hits 30 degrees or below.
Tom’s approach to water consumption reflects his commitment to one of the most critical pillars of the TB12 Method: hydration. Studies show that when you’re exercising in cold weather, a drop in hydration equalling 1% of your weight can weaken thermoregulation, dragging down your overall physical performance.
Dehydration makes it harder for your body to conserve warmth in the extremities, like your hands and feet — contributing to the challenge.
To prepare for cold-weather training or competition, follow Tom’s lead and drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Then drink more if you’re training or competing on a cold day, just like you would when it’s hot.
"I find that challenges bring out the best in me. I think of them as gifts." — Tom Brady
Think of Challenges as Gifts
“Achieving peak performance starts with one thing,” Tom says. “Mental toughness. It’s a learned behavior that gets easier with practice.”
Tough weather conditions can be an opportunity to develop more mental toughness, he says.
“I find that challenges bring out the best in me. I think of them as gifts.”
To take advantage of a challenge like the cold, start by approaching it with a positive mindset. Rather than worry about bad weather, focus on how the situation can present opportunities for growth and development, and a great story afterward. Remember, you have no control over the weather, but you do control whether you respond positively or negatively to it, as you do with every challenge.
“Our brains are our control centers,” Tom says. “Choose to remain positive. It’s within your control.”
How to Get On the Path of Mental Toughness
Do your best to prepare for the challenge of a difficult set of conditions — like staying on top of your hydration on a wintry day — then maintain a positive state of mind.
“You can make life a lot harder for yourself by focusing on negative things in your path or making excuses for why things didn’t go your way,” Tom says. “Mental toughness is an attitude centered on doing the best you can in the present, while believing you can do even better in the future.”
Read more about Tom's winning mentality in The TB12 Method