The Basketball Podcast: EP71 Mark Bennett on Performance System Development

RELEASE DATE : 04/12/2019

In this week’s coaching conversation, consultant, coach trainer and mentor Mark Bennett joins The Basketball Podcast to discuss how his Performance System Development (PDS) can support change for managers, teachers, coaches, and athletes.

Mark Bennett MBE has spent nearly 3 decades identifying the ‘untangibles’ that impact on athlete performance & engagement in both practice and competition. He works with organisations, teams and coaches to support them in understanding where the barriers are that could be negatively influencing an athletes or teams potential. Mark is most passionate about making an effective impact on those intangibles.

Mark Bennett is a former Instructor in the British Commandos and senior Warrant Officer within the Army Physical Training Corps who has transformed his nearly 30 years of practice and research into developing the Performance Development Systems (PDS); a robust set of principles that can facilitate world class learning, performance cultures and environments.

He currently works as a consultant, coach, trainer and mentor with various professional and national sport organizations, teams and Universities around the world, as well as Schools and community sports to help transform the leadership capabilities of every coach and teacher that he comes in contact with. Put simply, Mark makes people better “influencers”.

Over the last 3 decades Mark has worked with over 30 sports at all levels and age groups. This includes grass roots, professional and International teams, national sports organisations & Olympic coaches.

He has been a guest on numerous podcasts sharing his concepts and practical tools to help coaches and teaches deal with many common challenges, all of which can be listened to through his website, where he also has numerous filmed examples of him delivering, plus feedback from teams and coaches that have experienced ‘the PDS way’.

Marks most shared quote “Performance is a behaviour not an outcome” pretty much sums up his approach to people development.

Learn more from Mark Bennett:

Masterclass with Mark Bennett on PDS Coaching

Mark Bennett Quotes:

“I’ve developed robust systems to help support the behavior changes . . in coaches so that, under pressure, . . they don’t . . have a negative impact on the environment they’re attempting to develop.”

“If you’re looking at performance, the source of effective performance is effective behaviors.”

“Effective, world-class athlete centered [training] is a full spectrum from ‘tell’ to ‘allow’ and everything in between.”

“What you’ll notice is the intensity of the sessions will be very, very high . . there will be a lot more interaction.”

“We need to be able to regulate our state because our state impacts what we see and hear.”

“We’re scanning for the elements that we . . set for the session. We’re not looking at everything. We’re not looking at the non-critical. We’re just scanning for the critical . . but, importantly, the players are aware of that.”

“The coach will look for these non-negotiables first . . but, importantly, the players [will] as well because they need to hold each other accountable.”

“I always use the principle of ‘player first, player last.’ . . The coach shouldn’t be reminding the player if they’ve already spoke about and agreed [on a behavior] . . because what you’re saying there is, ‘Guys, you don’t have to think, I’ll remind you.’”

“Film yourself and watch it back . . just so you can see how accurate [your self-view is] versus what I think I am.”

“I would say, traditional coaching is the softest coaching. Effective, athlete-centered is the toughest coaching.”

“The most successful environments I’ve been in . . there is love there, but it’s tough love because they’re going, ‘I’m not going to be reminding you all the time . . you can’t switch off in these practice sessions because there’s an expectation that you need to learn and understand this stuff.”

“One of the processes they [parents, evaluators] go through . . first of all, before they can get in any dialogue about how I’m coaching, they agree about what effective coaching looks like.”

“Look at the players and how they are self-managing and how they are accepting feedback, which is a critical element . . developing players to effectively accept feedback without thinking somebody is picking on them.”

“What’s the purpose of coaching? We need to develop players so they are self-thinking, self-managing, and relentless . . under any type of situation without relying on [checking with] the coach.”

“If you haven’t developed them to know how to self-evaluate, your dialogue’s going to be difficult when you start doing the one-to-one [conversations].”

“I will only ask you to pursue excellence in every moment . . so we need to agree on what that looks like.”

“Understand, you’re not going to be great straight away, there’s going to be points where you go, ‘What do I do now? When do I step in?’ . . because it’s a new skill.”

“If you as a coach are asking every single one of your players to do something they’re uncomfortable with and go through it, you have to be the role model for that.”

Mark Bennett Selected Links from the Podcast:

PDS (Performance Development Systems)

Cleveland Indians

Oklahoma City Thunder

Alan Keane

New Zealand All-Blacks

Click below to listen on:

On iTunes

On Google Music

On Stitcher

On Libsyn

Mark Bennett Breakdown:

1:00 – 3 Key elements of what he does
3:00 – “Performance is a Behavior‚ Not an Outcome”
5:00 – Ultimate Goal of the performance
8:00 – Extremities Position
9:00 – Coping Coaching Interventions
13:00 – PDS look like in real situations
16:00 – Effective Scanning
17:30 – Non-negotiables
19:00 – Agreement and Reminding
20:30 – Principle of “Player First‚ Player Last”
23:00 – Hypening Mental Effort During Practice
25:30 – Questions coaches should be used for desired outcomes
29:30 – Things that Coaches Can Do to Better Regulate Themselves
32:30 – Self-awareness is Talent
34:00 – Handling Tough Coaching
36:30 – Holding Players Accountable to Doing like Non-negotiable
39:00 – Be Better in the Game as Coaches
41:30 – Doing Group v’s Individual Interventions as Coaches
44:00 – Technical and Tactical Approaches
47:00 – Taking these approaches while Maintaining Uniqueness
49:00 – Practical Things used by Coaches that fit into his system
52:00 – How coaches commit their way of coaching when results matter
55:30 – Developing these Principles of Coaching without his Support
58:00 – Challenges that Coaches Face when taking on the approach
1:00:00 – 3 Things that you need to focus on as Coaches
1:01:00 – Conclusion

Mark Bennett:



Please Support the Podcast

As we build our podcast following please take the time to support the Basketball Podcast. Our goal is to openly share as much useful basketball coaching info to stimulate your coaching. 

  1. Tell your friends about us.
  2. Give us a shout out on social media.
  3. Give us a five star review wherever you listen to podcasts.

How to leave a podcast review at iTunes

Go to the iTunes page of the Basketball Podcast.

Click the View in iTunes button.
View in iTunes
At iTunes, click the Ratings and Reviews tab.
Select Ratings and Reviews
Rate the podcast using 1 to 5 stars.
Submit a brief honest review.

Subscribe iTunes

Google Play