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  • Writer's pictureKen Jee

The Brain’s Powerful (But Often Ignored) Role in Sports Performance | Interview | #020

In sports performance, we spend so much time talking about the tangible aspects size, speed, and strength, that we often overlook the colossal impact that the brain and the motor control system have on skill. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Zach Schonbrun. Zach wrote the book, the performance cortex, which is a deep study into the often misunderstood ways that the brain impacts sports performance. In this episode we talk about how athlete brains differ from non-athletes, what is the real meaning of genius in athletes, and why promising new technology often doesn’t get adopted by elite athletes.

The Performance Cortex:

Zach on Twitter:

00:00:00 Intro

00:01:28 What is the role of the brain in sports?

00:07:13 - What types of genius are there in athletes?

00:13:05 - Federer

00:18:12 - Deception with body language in sport

00:22:15 - Downside of Habits

00:24:52 - How do you measure the Brain for Sports?

00:30:41 - What is sports IQ?

00:37:11 - How to improve the brain for sport

00:39:58 - deliberate practice

00:44:17 - The problem of over coaching

00:47:20 - Training Feel

00:52:42 - The purpose of a warmup

00:59:54 - Origin Story

01:07:31 - Why are sports teams hesitant to adopt useful tech?

01:14:59 - Individual athlete vs team adoption

01:17:07 - who is open to experimentation

01:17:49 - What is the next innovation in sports performance?

01:21:53 - Sense of Touch


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