Coming Back

For many athletes, finding a rhythm is a key to success. That's why they practice so much - to get a feel for playing the game, to get their body used to performing at a high level. Most pro athletes need to work on their game every single day. When that rhythm is interrupted, it can be very difficult to get it back. Over the last few days, two great athletes have been able to come back from long, difficult absences. One found her flow and won a major tennis championship; the other is anxious to show that he is still an elite quarterback after a year off.

Kim Clijsters: In 2007, Clijsters retired from women's professional tennis. She had battled several injuries and wanted to start a new family. Earlier this year though, she decided to make a comeback. And what a comeback it was! Despite having missed two years of competition, Clijsters won the U.S. Open. This victory was particularly amazing because she had to work even harder than normal to get her game back to a championship level. While every player in the U.S. Open competed at a high level, Clijsters rose to the top because of her determination to make her comeback special.

Tom Brady: A year ago, football fans all over the country cringed when Tom Brady suffered an injury during the first game of the season and missed the entire year. Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in football, leading the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles. But without their star player, New England missed the playoffs entirely last year. This year, though, Brady is back. He worked as hard as possible to get healthy again and make his way back onto the field. Brady is a dedicated athlete who cares deeply about his sport and his team. That dedication helped him overcome a major obstacle and get back into the game.

How they did it: For both of these athletes, it would have been easy to shut down. Many athletes miss a season or two and never play again. It takes a special athlete to come back and continue to perform at a high level. Both Clijsters and Brady have a passion for their sports and would do anything to continue playing.

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