Saints QB Drew Brees explains how dealing with losses means taking “things opposite of human nature”
Saints QB Drew Brees made the media rounds yesterday, beginning with our crew on NFL AM. There, they discussed with him some bounty issues, Terry Bradshaw’s view on his record, and his endorsement deal with Xbox.
Well, I was slated to talk with him later in the day about some other stuff… along with that Xbox-related program called the 60 Million Minutes Challenge, which encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes each day. So what did we discuss?
Losing. In his 12th season, Brees only has two losing seasons. Yet this year, following a holdout and a tumultuous offseason for obvious reasons, the coach-less Saints are 1-4. How does Brees deal with it? Has it gotten easier? What has it been like?
“Listen, certainly it’s been disappointing,” Brees told me by phone. “Our expectation level was, is, always so much higher than that and to start the season off like that, especially with the offseason and everything, it just felt like, ‘Man, nothing was going our way, nothing good was happening to us.’ I’ve got a very strong faith. And I’m not just talking about Christian faith. I’m just thinking, ‘Man, if you do things the right way, good things can happen.’ Everything happens for a reason and sometimes you gotta go through things like that. And it strengthens you, it molds you, it helps you accomplish things later on that you would not be able to accomplish had you not gone through that.”
That’s what Brees hopes is the result of these first four games, not including the win over the Chargers that included Brees’ record. He thinks they have the beginning of something.
“I feel like these first four games of the season, man, they happen for a reason,” Brees continued. “And, unfortunately, we had to go through that, but it’s brought our team together. I feel like it’s really exposed certain things about really what we’re doing. Man, we can get better, we can improve, and we need to improve if we want to win, if we want to accomplish our goals. I’ve seen us get better and better each week. And even though it didn’t result in wins the first four weeks, it did this last week. And I feel like it was our most complete team effort of the season, and I think it’s a great launch point for what we hope to accomplish for the rest of the season.“
How do you deal with all of these losses? Brees has an interesting viewpoint, one I’ve never heard before.
“You know what I find?” he said. “I find that you have to handle things opposite of human nature. I’ll explain that. When you win, what’s the tendency of human nature when you win? It’s to kinda get fat and happy. And to kinda lay back a bit, take it a little easier. Like, ‘Hey, we’re winning! It’s all good.’ But that’s when you really should be hunkering down and knowing that, ‘Hey the target’s on you and people are going to be coming after you and you need to be as sharp as ever.’ Then on the flip side, the tendency is when you lose, you want to figure out, ‘Who lost?’ and point the finger and let’s overreact and let’s overhaul this whole thing, this gameplan. Whereas, I find that that’s human nature and you need to do the opposite. So, you just take a deep breath and you say, ‘All right, what’s one thing I could be doing better? I’m going to focus on that today, I’m going to make sure I accomplish that today and the next day.’ And you try to draw on the positive. Like, ‘Hey, what did we do well? What can we kinda hang our hat on in that game on that performance, even though we didn’t get the win?’ I find that when you do those things, you stay very calm and you stay more even-keeled as opposed of the fluctuation of what normally be the high highs and the low lows of a loss.”
So, that explains the mentality. Interesting. It’s why they keep going on. You always like to get in the mind of these guys, and I think that provides insight. As for his venture yesterday, Brees detailed it.
“So, Kinect with X-Box 360 teamed up with NFL Play 60,” Brees began. “They’ve teamed up for the 6 million minute challenge. And our goal through that is to recruit 1 million kids to pledge to be active for 60 minutes a day, thus contributing 60 million minutes of activity per day and the way the kids can get involved. They can log on to the 60-million minutes app, or they go to the X-Box Facebook page or X-Box live or the consul as well, they can pledge 60 minutes a day. And if they sign up on the Facebook page, they get a chance to win a social autograph from me or other NFL players that’ll post directly on their facebook wall, so it’s basically a virtual autograph they can share with friends and family.”
Of all ventures, why this one?
“This is something I’m passionate about, I’ve been involved with for five years,” Brees said. “The last two years, I’ve been co-chairman of the President Obama’s Counsel on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition as well. So, you’re trying to empower young people, you’re trying to teach them as much as you can about leading a healthy and active life style. So, it’s good nutrition, it’s exercise. Now, with this interactive gaming phenomen, with Kinect for X-Box 360, it’s another cool element to it. You don’t have to play sports, you don’t have to go outside and ride a bike or climb a mountain. You can actually sit in your living room and you can play Dance Central 3 on X-Box Kinect and you’re dancing, burning calories like you would be doing anything outside for an hour, or you can Nike Plus Kinect Training, or you’ve got River Rafting, you’ve got Ping-Pong, you’ve got all these interactive games for X-Box Kinect that really fall very much in line with being active. It might just be in the comfort of your own living room. But a great way to spend time with friends, family, and also live a healthy and active lifestyle.“