Tom Brady has been to the playoffs in 12 of the 14 seasons he has been the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback. The Patriots missed the postseason in 2008 because Brady suffered the only major injury of his career, an ACL tear that required surgery.
So how, at 37 years old, does Brady still play as though he were in his prime?
Alex Guerrero is Brady’s “body coach,” and he works with the quarterback every day of the NFL season. He’s Brady’s best friend and the godfather of the quarterback’s son, Ben. Mark Leibovich’s profile of Brady in New York Times Magazine on Monday revealed just how much Guerrero has helped the quarterback throughout most of his career.
“(Former Patriots linebacker) Willie (McGinest) used to be the big Alex evangelist,” Brady said. “Now I’m the evangelist.”
Guerrero is more than just a personal trainer. According to Leibovich, Guerrero works with Brady’s personal chef to create a meal plan for the quarterback, acts as a counselor and creates Brady’s training schedule months in advance. Whatever problem Brady might have, Guerrero is the solution.
But the most unique thing Guerrero does for Brady is “prehab” his injuries. Brady works on the pliability of his muscles to avoid injury altogether. But when Brady does feel a tweak — like the calf strain he suffered before Week 1 — Guerrero has a unique way of dealing with it.
“After the strain in practice, Brady hobbled up to Guerrero, who felt around the injured area and isolated the site of the trauma,” Leibovich wrote of Guerrero’s methods. “He went to work stimulating the area with his hands to flush out the excess blood and lymph that build up around an injury. When damaged, muscles naturally constrict, bundle up and eventually harden.
“This is part of the healing process, but a slow one. Guerrero worked to ‘re-educate’ the muscles in the affected area so they would not, in a sense, behave as if they had been injured. … Brady missed only one day of practice after the calf injury.”
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images