Maintaining a High Level of Performance Over Time with Author Phil White- EP051

 In Podcast

Sustained excellence over time.

Isn’t that what we’re all working toward? In every aspect of our lives—from sport to our personal and professional lives—maintaining a high level of performance for the long-term is the ultimate goal. So, what can we learn from the simple approach of teams like the Golden State Warriors?




Phil White is an Emmy-nominated writer and frequent contributor to The Inertia, SUP the Mag and Canoe & Kayak. He collaborated with Dr. Fergus Connolly on Game Changer: The Art of Sports Science, a new release that walks us through an athlete-centered model that promotes long-term health and longevity. He is also the co-author of Unplugged, The 17 Hour Fast and the forthcoming Flight Plan with Dr. Kelly Starrett.

Today Phil outlines the holistic approach to team sports laid out in Game Changer. He covers the importance of looking at stats in context and considering the technical, tactical, psychological and physical aspects of competition. Phil discusses the concept of the ‘simple principle,’ explaining how a consistent philosophy leads to sustained excellence over time. Listen in for Phil’s insight on how the ideas in Game Changer can be applied beyond sport to help you achieve at the highest level in all aspects of your life.

Topics Covered

[1:09] The impetus for Game Changer

  • Fergus’ background in sports science
  • Create athlete-centered model for winning
  • Focus on longevity, long-term health
  • Stuck in more-more-more approach
[6:08] The holistic approach laid out in Game Changer

  • Technical, tactical, psychological and physical
  • Break game into moments, explore in context
  • Work backwards to identify problem
  • Set up realistic situations in practice
  • Execute skill at appropriate volume
[10:49] How to achieve several goals over time

  • Pair quantitative with qualitative analysis
  • Start with simple philosophy, draw line to single stat
[13:57] Phil’s take on the Golden State Warriors

  • Team should be able to coach game
  • Not gimmick but reflection of system
[17:07] The value of using a qualitative lens

  • Stats in isolation not useful
  • Tackles per game vs. positional awareness
[20:42] The concept of the ‘simple principle’

  • Narrow philosophy down to one word (i.e.: joy)
  • Avoid complicated training plans
  • Keep principles consistent, adapt tactics
[25:28] Why three goals per match is enough

  • Energy spent on chaotic game scenario
  • Slows down instinctual decision-making
[27:06] The target audience for Game Changer

  • Anyone involved in team sports
  • Translates to work, boundaries in personal life
  • High level of performance sustained over time
[29:53] The story behind The 17 Hour Fast

  • Co-author’s best friend diagnosed with brain cancer
  • Outlived prognosis with fasting to slow spread of cancer cells
  • Other metabolic diseases traced back to diet
  • Fasting helps reset, reexamine relationship with food
[34:06] The significance of 17 hours

  • Obtainable number
  • Ease leads to adoption
[35:38] Phil’s next book, Flight Plan

  • Co-author realized travel threw off patterns
  • 14-step protocol (nutrition, mobility, sleep)
  • Survive, thrive despite frequent flying

Learn More About Phil

Phil’s Website

Phil on Twitter

Phil on Facebook


Game Changer by Fergus Connolly and Phil White

The 17 Hour Fast by Frank Merritt and Phil White

Unplugged by Brian MacKenzie, Andy Galpin and Phil White





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