Training Building a Performance Team

Building a Performance Team


Ed McNeely – Peak Centre for Human Performance

Around the time that this article is posted people from all walks of life will be getting ready to immerse  themselves in the grandeur that is the Olympic games. For many this two week festival of sport and human performance is a source of inspiration to take up an activity or resume one that had been left behind for other pursuits.

While the dreams and memories of near flawless performances and the desire emulate heroes and idols drive many people forward very few actually achieve Olympic glory. What does it take to win a medal at the Olympic games?

A gold medal performance requires many factors to come together at the same time, technique, tactics, training, psychology, recovery and nutrition to name a few. Gone are the days when a coach would try to be everything to an athlete, writing programs, planning diets, teaching technique and being a psychologist. Every good coach knows that to bring all these elements together requires a team of professionals who are all dedicated to the same goal.

If you are going to reach your full potential as an athlete, you too need a team to help you. Most performance teams have the following members: Coach, sport physiologist, sport psychologist, strength and conditioning coach, massage therapist, physio or athletic therapist, nutrition specialist and a medical doctor. Many will also have a biomechanist and a sport technologist. If you are not training for the Olympics you may not need all these people but you will need some and the more services you use the better you will perform in the long run. As you put together your performance team here a few things to consider:


  • Appoint a Leader – you will be dealing with a lot of different professionals each trying to pull you in a different direction so you need one person to keep the team focused on you and what is in your best interests.
  •  Avoid Egos – those professionals with the big egos who are more interested in self- promotion and marketing often do not play well with others and cannot work as part of a team. You can find good quality people who are also good team players and not looking for personal glory.
  •  Define Roles – too often health care and training professionals overstep the bounds of their scope of practice or feel that they have expertise in areas where they really have no qualifications. Make sure that the leader of your team clearly defines to each member their roles and responsibilities.
  •  Meet in Person – if you are training for a once in a lifetime event or are closing in on a dream goal the best way to get your team moving towards your goal is to have a face to face meeting of everyone involved.

Performance teams are the norm in high performance sport and should be the norm for anyone who is truly interested in reaching their full potential.


PEAK Centre staff have the highest certifications available in Canada for Sport Science. With their combined experience and education, PEAK Centre is at the forefront of practical Sport Science application.