Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The NBA's Top Dunks of 2010

The NBA 2010-2011 Season is not that far away.  I thought I would jump start your day with the Top 10 Dunks of the past season.

Check out the Handbook of Peak Performance for mental conditioning and performance enhancement tools.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kevin Durant and Team USA: Peak Performance Case Study

"I'm not nearly the player that I want to be.  I've got so much more work to do."  

-Kevin Durant, MVP of the FIBA World Championships, after the final game in which he scored 28 points and led Team USA to victory over Turkey, 81-64. 

His final three performances were excellent, including 33, 38 and 28 against Russia, Lithuania and Turkey, respectively.

Failure Is Not An Option

"Our only option was to come out here and get a gold, and it feels really good to bring this back home to the States," Durant said.

Insurmountable Challenge

"Most people didn't think we could win,"  Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

"I think that was extra motivation," Durant said.  "It was exciting to come out here and win and also to prove people wrong."  

Invaluable Experience

"We're proud of both.  Both guys will benefit from the experience and mental endurance required to help win an event of this level.  This kind of international experience holds value in terms of the opportunity to compete under difference and unique circumstances while still remaining committed to the core principle of team."  

--Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti, discussing Team USA teammates Durant and Russell Westbrook, who are also teammates with the Thunder. 

The System

"We're going to have a blended roster of players (in 2012). ... There could even be some others. Who knows.  That's all part of having a fluid system.  We've used 30 different players on the men's national roster since the world championship in 2006.  That's a sign of a strong program. That's the kind of program we should have.  Our program is in very good shape, and the pipeline is full.  Players want to represent their country."

--Team USA Chairman, Jerry Colangelo, who is given much credit for the recent success of Team USA.  

"It's the leadership," said Colangelo. "It's the infrastructure that he and I spoke about way back when, when he [Coach Krzyzewski] and I talked about him being the guy I wanted to coach the team. We had to put infrastructure in place and it's there and it's played out every day. With the staff, with the preparation, with the film sessions, with the scouting, with the motivation that is part of this whole thing, the communication. It's the way it should be. It's a real program."

For more on performance psychology, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Visions of Greatness: Larry Fitzgerald

"You can never let anything distract you from your main objective.  My only goal is to be great. That's all I want. That's all I ever aspire to be. Greatness is something nobody can ever take away from you, no matter what happens. So I put all my energy and focus into my craft."
--Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals NFL wide-receiver.

So, what do you need to do to stay focused?  Here are some questions to ask:

  • Where am I headed this week? What would I consider to be a successful week?  

  • What is likely to get in the way of my success this week?  

  • What do I need to anticipate in order to be successful this week? 

  • What do I need to do to eliminate the barriers or challenges to my success this week?

  • What does my mindset have to be in order to be successful? 

  • What is my game plan for success this week? 

  • What do I need to practice or rehearse in order to be successful this week? 

  • What will I need to execute flawlessly in order to be successful this week? 

  • How will I evaluate or review what I have accomplished for the week? 

For more on mental conditioning, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.

For mental conditioning tools and resources, click on Peak Performance eCoach and request access.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Caroline Wozniacki: New Star in Women's Tennis

"Pressure is when you're put on the spot and you don't feel like you belong there, don't think you deserve to be there. I think I deserve to be where I am, and I think that I'm feeling comfortable there."

--Caroline Wozniacki, finalist in last year's U.S. Open and #1 ranked woman in this year's Open.

Wozniacki breezed through the first set in her quarterfinal match with Dominika Cibulkova, as she has in every one of her matches so far in New York, winning 6-2, 7-5. Cilbulkova and Wozniacki had to suffer through a windy evening that affected both of their games. It was the first time in five matches that a player has taken more than four games in a set from Wozniacki in this Open. This was her 13th straight match win and she is 18-1 since Wimbledon.

"It felt like we were playing in a hurricane or something," Wozniacki said. "But it was the same for both players. I'm happy to get through."

The Dane is aggressive and one of the best defensive players. She is known for her "counter-punches." She wins points by forcing opponent errors and energetically running down balls. Her speed and athleticism allow her to retrieve most balls hit by her opponent. On Wednesday, the top-seeded played an aggressive game and controlled many of the points.

Wozniacki was a surprise runner-up to Kim Clijsters at last year's Open. This year she defeated former champion Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-4 Monday to reach the quarter-finals.

"I definitely think I've improved a lot, not only physically, but also I believe in myself more. I believe I can do it," she said. "Also I think I can mix up my game a little bit more than I could last year."

Boxing is one of Wozniacki's off-court interests and the 20-year-old's training includes boxing for conditioning.

"Boxing, it's just a different way for me to work out," she told reporters after her 6-2 7-5 quarter-final victory. "I'm really competitive. I really don't like losing."

Excerpts taken from (8/29/2010) and

For more on performance psychology, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.