Driven to Succeed: Brett

Conquering His Dreams

"I was born with short arms with three fingers on each hand, so I just adjusted to what I knew how to do," says 21-year-old Brett. "Kids would stare and make fun when I was younger. I started playing little league baseball when I was in second grade. I got to play second base, I got to bat, ended up winning the championship."

"I was worried about him not being able to catch himself if he fell, but his balance and coordination was all there," says Laura, Brett's mom. "Brett even took karate lessons. He played soccer. He was an exceptional soccer player. Brett has always had the dream of playing college football."


"I love football. I think it's the best game in the world. When I got into high school, I was the starting kicker. I met a professional arena kicker. He taught me everything. The head coach offered me one of the field goal posts so we put it up in my backyard," Brett shares. "A month ago, I was able to start spring practice at Indiana State, and it was awesome. It's a great team. They have a lot of great guys."


[AD]Brett shares his philosophy. "I'm driven to succeed, because I don't like people looking down on me. I know what it feels like to be looked down on," he says. "Sports helped me out a lot because I've made so many good friends. They know what I'm capable of."


"I think it's amazing that Brett has overcome his physical disability. He's not making any excuses out here," says Brett's teammate.


"If you have an excuse, it shows you don't really want something," Brett says. "I'm taking physical education as my major so I can eventually be a football coach. I would like to inspire other kids. I believe if you really want something, you'll go and get it, no matter what."

Dr. Phil introduces Brett to Coach Payton and says, "A lot of people are very impressed by the fact that you have not used your disability as an excuse. We saw you playing baseball, we saw you playing soccer, we saw you playing football. What's been your mindset in saying, 'You know, it is what it is. Let's go'?"


"I was born this way, so I never knew any different. I've always just jumped in. I just found ways to not make excuses," he says.  


"Why have you not given into that and said, 'Well, I've got a perfect excuse. I'll just sit on the sidelines and watch'?" Dr. Phil asks.


"A lot of it might be people who surround me. They haven't ever treated me any differently, so that could be a big reason," he says. 


Dr. Phil says to Laura, "You were concerned about this. You were protective and pretty close minded to him trying some of the things, because you were protective of him. You didn't want him to be hurt." 


[AD]"Like that first time he came home and said, 'Mom, I want to play baseball,' I thought, OK, how do I handle this?" she says. "I was thinking that he really wants to be part of the team. Can he at least maybe bring water? Whatever he could do to be part of the team, and Brett and the coach had the complete open mind. He said, 'No, he's going to play.' After that, we saw how he played. He modified, he adjusted. I thought, OK, who am I to tell him he can't do anything?" 

"He clearly believed in himself, and that was a big thing for you," Dr. Phil says.


"Yes. He taught me, too, that there's nothing he can't do," Laura says. "I'm very proud."

Dr. Phil asks Coach Payton, "What's it mean to a coach to come up to somebody with this kind of spirit, this kind of commitment?"


[AD]"It's awesome. I mean, when you can really wipe out the parameters, or boundaries or goals which you think you initially set, and you don't have a benchmark, and it can be limitless, it's amazing what can be accomplished," he says. "Brett's story is amazing. Just watching him kick here, shoot, we might have a contract for him here in about four or five years."


Coach Payton offers Brett a special invitation, and Dr. Phil has a surprise for the young man.