Coaches search for it. Parents dream of it. Fans love it. Athletes want it.
The playmaker on any sports team possesses it: an elusive, intangible quality combining anticipation, perception, and decision-making skills. This quality raises their game above the competition and allows them to pass when no one else can, anticipate the movement of opponents, avoid costly mental mistakes, and ultimately, hold the team together.
Now, for the first time, cognitive science research is revealing the secrets of the playmaker’s keen sense of awareness. Just as tests of speed, strength, and agility have provided a baseline of physiological biomarkers, coaches can now capture cognitive metrics including attention, pattern recognition, anticipation, and the ability to take quick, decisive action during the chaos of competition.
The Playmaker’s Advantage is a groundbreaking book that will educate athletes of all ages about this essential creative capability in an accessible, easy to understand method.
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About the Author
Daniel Peterson is a writer and consultant specializing at the intersection of neuroscience and sports performance. He combined twenty-five years of technology management experience with his second life as a sports dad and coach to explore how athletes make decisions. Now, ten years later, as cofounder and director of 80 Percent Mental Consulting, he works with coaches, trainers, and teams to understand and improve their cognitive game. Dan and his wife live outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, patiently waiting for the next generation of Peterson playmakers.
Table of Contents
What Is a Playmaker? David Epstein 13
Part 1 The Playmaker's Foundation
Chapter 1 Setting the Playmaker's Foundation 17
What Is a Playmaker? Brad Stevens 38
Chapter 2 The Road to Elite 39
What Is a Playmaker? Sidney Crosby 55
Chapter 3 What Gets Measured Gets Noticed 57
What Is a Playmaker? Peter Vint 68
Chapter 4 The Endurance Thermostat 69
Doc Z's Brain Waves Part 1: The Opening Whistle 88
Part 2 The Playmaker's Cognition
Chapter 5 Search: The Hunt for Opportunities 107
What Is a Playmaker? Valter Di Salvo 128
Chapter 6 Decide: Choose Wisely 129
What Is a Piaymaker? Mark Newman 150
Chapter 7 Execute: Make It Happen 153
Doc Z's Brain Waves Part 2: Building the Athlete Cognition Cycle 170
Part 3 The Playmaker's Commitment
Chapter 8 How to Prepare: Mindset, Grit, and Greatness 181
What Is a Playmaker? Steven Kotler 201
Chapter 9 How to Practice: Keeping It Real 203
What Is a Playmaker? K. Anders Ericsson 227
Chapter 10 How to Compete: The Clutch and Choke of the Performance Engine 229
Doc Z's Brain Waves Part 3: Kids Have Emotions, Too 250
Epilogue: Preparing Future Playmakers 263