photo of tom brady in his football uniform

Tom Brady without football: A look at the psychology of a retiring athlete

Twenty-two seasons and seven Super Bowl rings later, quarterback Tom Brady is hanging up his jersey and donning civilian clothes. His retirement announcement on Tuesday put to rest days of speculation that the 44-year-old football star would call it a career after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers narrowly lost a playoff game to the Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 23.

Even a sporting megastar like Brady, widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time, faces uncertainty when making the  leap from public celebrity to private citizen. But Brady, who for years has said he wanted to play football past the age of forty, has built a legacy on sporting longevity, planning for retired life while he was still chasing championships with the New England Patriots and Buccaneers, says Grayson Kimball, a psychology professor at Northeastern who also works as a mental performance coach.

“He has, over the last five or so years, laid out his post-retirement plan” while still playing, Kimball says. “He’s got the TB12 brand; he now has a clothing line. He knows what he’s doing. He’s been planning for this.”

Read more on News@Northeastern.

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images.

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