The Playmaker's Advantage - How To Raise Your Mental Game To The Next Level

by Leonard Zaichkowsky and Daniel Peterson

Available everywhere now from Jeter Publishing/Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster!

Coaches search for it. Parents dream of it. Fans love it. Athletes want it.

The Playmaker on any sports team possesses it: an elusive, intangible quality combining anticipation, perception, and decision-making skills. This quality raises their game above the competition and allows them to pass when no one else can, anticipate the movement of opponents, and avoid costly mental mistakes, thus holding the team together.

Using today’s technology and tools, it is now possible to understand, assess, and train this sixth sense rather than just hope it magically appears. Now, for the first time, cognitive science research is revealing the secrets of the Playmaker’s keen sense of awareness. Just as tests of speed, strength, and agility have provided a baseline of physiological biomarkers, coaches can now capture cognitive metrics including attention, pattern recognition, anticipation, and the ability to take quick, decisive action during the chaos of competition.

The Playmaker’s Advantage is a groundbreaking book that will educate athletes of all ages about this essential creative capability in an accessible, easy to understand method.


Leonard Zaichkowsky, PhD is a widely known performance scientist whose specialty is the psychophysiology of human development and performance. For over thirty years, he was a professor at Boston University with a joint appointment in the School of Education and School of Medicineuntil his retirement. During this time, he developed and headed what was arguably the leading sport psychology graduate training program in North America. Dr. Zaichkowsky has published over a hundred papers on sport and performance psychology, child development, sports medicine, research design, and related topics in scholarly journals or books as well as numerous magazine and newspaper columns. 

Daniel Peterson, MS is a writer and consultant specializing at the intersection of neuroscience and sports performance. After a 25-year career in technology management, it was his second life as a sports dad that ignited a curiosity of the thinking side of sports. In 2009, he began sharing his insights with others through his popular blog, Sports Are 80 Percent Mental.

Today, he combines brain research, learning theory and technology to help teams understand how to boost their in-game cognitive performance, (aka cut down on mental mistakes).

Enjoying The Playmaker’s Advantage, a new book by Daniel Peterson and Len Zaichkowsky. Great explorations in there, not just simple answers. No surprise, as I got a lot from speaking with them, and I was the interviewee!
— David Epstein, New York Times bestselling author of The Sports Gene and Range
An easy to read book that blends science and coaching practice in a manner in which many books are unable to achieve. I would recommend this to any coaches or scientists interested in improving their team’s performance.
— Damian Farrow, PhD, Professor of Skill Acquisition, Victoria University & Australian Football League
One of the most valuable books I have read in a long time. How often as coaches have we said it is all in your head. The Playmaker’s Advantage shows how to use what’s in our head to our competitive advantage.
— Vern Gambetta, Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems