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Episode 167: Leonard Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson, The Playmaker’s Advantage
Episode 1679th June 2021 • The Basketball Podcast • Chris Oliver
00:00:00 01:15:58

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Guest: Leonard Zaichkowsky, Professor and Consultant at Boston University and Daniel Peterson, Writer and Consultant

In this week's coaching conversation, authors and sport researchers Leonard Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson join us to discuss their recent books The Playmaker's Advantage and The Playmaker's Decisions.


The Playmaker's Advantage


The Playmaker's Advantage is a groundbreaking book that will educate developing, young athletes, along with their parents and coaches, about this essential creative capability in an accessible, easy-to-understand method.


The Playmaker's Decisions


The Playmaker's Decisions book focuses on the split-second decision-making process that produces both clutch plays and mental mistakes.


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Leonard Zaichkowsky

Leonard Zaichkowsky, a professor, researcher, and consultant for almost four decades at Boston University, pioneered sports psychology by bringing cognitive neuroscience and sports performance together as an interdisciplinary science. His academic textbooks and research publications demonstrated the importance of an athlete’s remarkable brain in anticipating and acting on opportunities during competition. He has consulted with teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, Australian Rules Football, the Spanish men’s national soccer team, and Olympic sports organizations around the world. Len is a former president and a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, and currently section editor on psychology for the International Journal of Health, Sport and Science. Recently, the American Psychological Association honored Len with the “Distinguished Service to the Profession” award. Today, Len is a cofounder and senior consultant at 80 Percent Mental Consulting, advising coaches, teams, and sports organizations on developing athlete cognition. After too many Boston winters, he and his wife now live in Fort Myers, Florida.


Daniel Peterson

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.



1:00 - Introduction

2:30 - Decision Making

5:00 - Importance of Cognitive Components

9:00 - Focus on Practicing Skills

15:00 - Concept of Perceptual Cognitive Advantage

17:00 - Playmaker

22:00 - Model

27:00 - Connecting Skills and Decisions

31:00 - Correcting the Mistake

34:00 - Train Through Watching Videos

39:00 - Outcome

42:00 - Concept of Active Patients

44:30 - Search, Decide and Execute

47:00 - Occlusion

51:00 - Basketball Practice

53:30 - Physical Training

57:00 - Making Mistakes

1:03:00 - Improving Decision Making

1:08:00 - Concept of Mind Body

1:10:00 - Conclusion

Leonard Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson’s Bio:

Leonard Zaichkowsky


Daniel Peterson


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