High Performance Behaviour = High Performance!

Training environment is key when it comes to getting results. How often do you hear about West Side Barbell and gyms such as this getting results because the guys in there are pushing each other all the time, day after day.In fact the training environment is often cited as the reason these gyms are so successful in what they do!

If you want a high performance environment you need to act like a high performance coach and this comes from your behaviour. It is your behaviour that produces the culture that you want in your gym.

Do you lead by example?

Do you train and push yourself  in your work and in your training?

Do you push your athletes when they need it and demand high performance?

Do you let things slip such as ill discipline and poor technique?

The behaviour that you exhibit directly transfers to the athletes you coach and the behaviour that they in turn exhibit.

Two good examples of behaviour influencing performance are my time at British Tennis and Huddersfield Giants Rugby League. Some of the tennis players were allowed to get away with murder. They turned up to sessions when they wanted, the coaches often let them go lighter when they were a little tired and they received all the benefits of a world beater such as massage, nutritional interventions, fancy clothes etc when they hadn’t achieved anything! Where is the incentive to improve and be excellent when you get everything given to you before you’ve earedb it? Not surprisingly the results were not great either! For me this is a poor training culture and one which didn’t really fit with me at all!

Conversely, at the Giants the players had to train hard to earn a rest. They had a strong culture from the outset, led by the Head coach which was unquestionable. Ill-discipline was punished and there was a strong desire to succeed. This produced high performance and the club finished 3rd in league after leading most of the season and reached the final of the challenge cup. A pretty good year in all!

Here’s a picture of the behaviour that was expected from the players to achieve the on field goals that were identified as a team. This is a high performance team that dramatically improved under this set of behaviours.

S&C coaches are just a piece in the puzzle but we can improve the training environment to get more out of our athletes no question. It does help if it comes from the top, from the head coach/performance director etc, but sometimes it never does and in these scenarios its important to still push for the behaviour you expect.

What is the culture like in the gym your work in or with the team you support? Is there anything you can do to improve it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, do leave me a comment below!

Keep training hard,



  1. Tom Clough October 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Great post, while coaches love to argue out the best methods to improve strength and performance and maybe make a small %age difference this is the real area coaches should be working which can drastically enhance results no matter what methods you are using.

    How they go about it is a different question? I like your example at the Giants and its all about communication with the players and getting that ‘buy in’ from them to create a set of standards which they can be challenged against.

    Id be interested to hear other peoples methods of creating a winning culture. I personally feel NLP could give us some clues as to ways we could get that communication and ‘buy in’ at a deeper level, Shouting and screaming only lasts so long!

    Great post Brendan

    1. Brendan Chaplin October 28, 2011 at 6:34 am

      Thanks Tom yep its definitely a key area to work on, you can forget the sports science, programming or any fancy stuff, gotta get that winning mentality first! NLP is an interesting one, be interesting to hear some examples of where this has been employed.


  2. Gav October 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Good post. One person can change the culture of a team and start to cause the ripples of either top performance or piss poor performance.

    I look back at teams I have been apart of and there were often guys who were not pulling their weight. I rue the opportunity lost of telling them to STFU and just train. As an older athlete now I wouldn’t stand for that shit anymore.


    1. Brendan Chaplin October 28, 2011 at 6:32 am

      Yes often the case, shouldn’t happen though and I think its down to the coaches and senior members of the team to shape that culture so one individual cannot make these changes.

  3. Brian Wardle November 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Its funny how often you hear people/teams say they want to win the league or the championship but then aren’t willing to put in the hard yards (gym work, training etc)

    Rugby, mma and other contact sports seem to understand the value of creating good training environments but for some reason sports like cricket, tennis etc can’t seem to grasp it.

    If we can change this mentality we might have a lot more world champions and excellent performers.

    Just a thought 🙂

    Cracking post btw, cheers