Peak Performance Tips #1

Peak Performance Tips #1


This is the first of a series of posts discussing how to apply peak performance concepts with your team.  I am a huge fan of Jeff Janssen’s work.  Jeff is a Peak Performance Consultant who has worked with numerous colleges including Colgate, Georgetown, Illinois, Michigan, & North Carolina.

Jeff once wrote that “Proper Preparation + Confident and Focused Mindset = CONSISTENCY.”  How many times have you wondered “which team was going to show up” on game day?  Some games your team or individual players were so in synch it was like a work of art!  But other games they may seem completely lost- like they’ve never even played the game before!  That scenario is one of the most frustrating aspects of coaching.  A few years ago my team was in a league that had two division.  We beat the teams that would finish in first place on both sides of our region, but also lost to both last place teams.  I still cannot explain that!

“Proper Preparation + Confident and Focused Mindset = CONSISTENCY.” -Jeff Janssen

Janssen lists four effective strategies for coaches and players to use to combat stress and create confidence.

  1. Keep it Simple
  2. “Gotta” vs. “Gonna”
  3. Remind Players of Past Successes
  4. Develop Pre-performance Mental Routines

Strategy #1: Keep it Simple

  • When I was just starting out I thought that an intricate offense was a sign of good coaching.  However, the longer I coached the more I realized that good coaching is using your teams strengths as simply as possible.  As I often say, “It’s not what you or you’re players know– it’s what they do under pressure that counts!”  Janssen says that “keeping it simple transforms pressure situations into easy and manageable tasks which players can do and have done before.”

“It’s not what you or you’re players know– it’s what they do under pressure that counts!” -Hal Wilson

Strategy #2: “Gotta” vs. “Gonna”

  • Players should be encouraged not to add pressure to themselves by focusing on the result and what they “gotta” do.  Janssen says “gonna sounds much more confident and self-assured.”
Strategy #3: Remind Players of Past Successes
  • If you have done something successfully before it can give you great confidence that you can do it again.  If I know I have made a play in the past- even if it was in practice- then I know I can do it again.  For example, if you were working on something in practice- Boxing out, for example- then remind the team how well they did in the drill and tell them you know they can carry that over into the game.
Strategy #4: Develop Pre-performance Mental Routines
  • Anyone who has been around young kids or even animals know that routines can make them feel comfortable.  Why are horror movies so scary?  Because we don’t know what is coming next, right?  Mental routines are a great way to get in the habit of blocking out distractions and pressures.  Janssen suggest a three-step pre-performance routine: “1. The control phase is designed to ensure that players are in control of themselves. 2. The plan phase encourages them to have a plan ahead of time- before the play. 3. The trust phase emphasizes the importance of… trusting their instincts.”

Here are two of Jeff’s product that I recommend-

The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual &

Championship Team Building: What Every Coach Needs to Know to Build a Motivated, Committed & Cohesive Team

I’d love to hear any of your tips or stories- no matter where or what level you coach at!  Please leave a comment and let’s all share our knowledge and experience with each other.

Until next time, Coach ’em up!

Hal Wilson

After coaching and working with basketball teams at the college and high school level in a variety of roles for 18 years, I have returned to finish my Ph.D. in Kinesiology.  This website is a way to share the coaching tips, strategies, and techniques gathered in a career in coaching.  See more info here.


If you like what we do please leave us a rating on iTunes &

sign up for our free newsletter at the top right.


Click a Button to Subscribe to the CBW Podcast:
iTunes        RSS Feed        iTunes

Our Coaching Basketball Wisely podcasts are way to help basketball coaches of all experience levels learn how to coach basketball, and how to coach basketball better, faster!  Whether you are a youth basketball coach, a middle school basketball coach, a high school basketball coach, a college basketball coach, or a professional basketball coach we all need to keep learning!  If there are particular basketball coaching tips or topics that you would like to see covered in future episodes please let us know!

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software