It’s All in the Debrief 

Posted on May 19, 2022 by

Coaches and staff from NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) went on a journey beyond high performance when they participated in a seminar to learn about deep performance from retired Australian fighter pilot, Christian ‘Boo’ Boucousis.  

Boo shared his story of how and why he became a fighter pilot, flying a $200 million plane where the margin for error is only 5 seconds, all while travelling in excess of 1,500 km/h. 

As only one of 400 fighter pilots in the country, Boo discussed situational awareness, deep performance, developing a plan to create a winning mindset and the importance of the debrief.  

“The culture of honesty, being rankless and nameless; separating professional discussions and review from personal feelings with the mindset that it’s just about getting better,” was one of the key learnings for the Director of High Performance at NSWIS, Barrie-Jon Mather.  

The importance of planning was another key learning as 80 per cent of errors can be traced back to the plan, caused by either poor planning or poor communication and understanding of the plan. 

As a deep performance coach and mentor for leaders, their teams, and aspirational individuals, Boo helps people connect their purpose to a strategy to make an impact. 

The retired fighter pilot explained that deep performance equates to purpose, trust and time.

He identified the likes of Roger Federer and Tom Brady as athletes who are deep performers, who have an innate sense of purpose, completely trust the team around them and are always aware of time.  

He continued the presentation identifying high performers systemise their habits and routines.

Once a habit or behaviour is automatic, creativity flourishes and facilitates high order thinking. Humans need high order thinking to be high performers.  

“These are all concepts that we can implement on a day-to-day basis, either informally in our discussions or more formally in the performance team meetings,” Barrie-Jon said. 

The role of coaches is to make the complex simple and the simple compelling. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing the changes in our programs when we become comfortable with giving and receiving feedback.” 

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