A school district in Florida is implementing a pilot fitness program created by NFL quarterback Tom Brady to promote healthy practices among students.
The program is being implemented in six middle schools and four high schools in Pinellas County Schools, which is located on the western side of the state and includes the city of St. Petersburg. It was started as a result of a partnership among the Pinellas Education Foundation, a coalition of community members that work to improve public education, Brady’s nonprofit TB12 Foundation and the school system.
The program is comprised of five pillars: pliability, nutrition, hydration, movement and mental fitness. Pliability is the most crucial part of the TB12 method as it allows muscles to be “resilient” and better at absorbing force, according to the website for the method.
The Washington Post reported that the idea for implementing the program came from Ben Wieder, a Pinellas Education Foundation board member. Wieder heard Brady speaking on a podcast about the method that the NFL star and his body coach created and was so eager about it that he pitched the TB12 Foundation to adapt it for schools.
The Post reported that supporters of the program believe it will get students enthusiastic about fitness, and dozens of other school districts have called Pinellas to ask questions about it.
But Brady’s method has received criticism in the years since he created it in 2017.
A New York Times review of the book in which Brady outlined the method said the concept does not have strong scientific backing and that pliability is not a concept in exercise science. Experts have cast doubts on the effectiveness of his method, but Brady has defended his approach.
Pinellas County Schools, the Pinellas Education Foundation and the TB12 Foundation did not immediately return requests from The Hill for comment.