Episode 6: The Brain vs. The Mind & Cognitive Training

Cognitive training is the *C* in The Brain Always Wins P.R.O.C.E.S.S. wheel. In this episode Dr. John Sullivan and Julian Saad define "cognitive training" and identify some of these practices. The episode kicks off with an important discussion about the difference between 'the brain' and 'the mind' and why we cannot confuse the two. Dr. Sullivan and Julian then discuss meditation, attention, and the interaction of brain health and cognitive training. Dr. John Sullivan has spent over 20 years practicing as an elite level Clinical Sport Psychologist and Sport Scientist. In this episode he brings his research and clinical observations to this discussion, emphasizing the importance of measurement, safe/valid science, and clearly defined terms.

Episode 9: The ILLUSION of "Mental Toughness"

Some of the greatest moments in sport history have produced dialogue and quotes that perpetuate the topic of mental toughness. BAW Host Julian Saad interviews Elite Sport Psychologist, Dr. John Sullivan, to get a focused lens on the "Illusion" many refer to as mental toughness. In this episode, the two dive into the science behind performance in states many would refer to as "being mentally tough". The episode covers practical science and narrative to assess the state of this construct. Ultimately, if the science behind mental toughness is lacking, then what have we been talking about when referring to some of sport and life's greatest moments? Tune in to find out!


Episode 1: The Brain Always Wins - "What does this mean?"

We use the phrase the brain always wins as a reminder that it’s our brain that ultimately determines how we feel, think and behave. It drives our ability to avoid or manage threats to our wellbeing, solve problems, and adapt. Our brain is what separates us from every other living thing on Earth. It is the most amazing organ we are aware of. If you want to perform optimally and repeatedly, you need to know how to make the most of this most amazing thing. Whether you are an athlete, tactical operator, parent, CEO, student, intern, or spouse, YOU are a performer. Join our conversation about the most amazing system on the planet, YOUR BRAIN! And remember, The Brain Always Wins!

Episode 7: Emotions Run The Show in Sport & Life

"Emotions run the show in sport and life." When Dr. John Sullivan says this, he means that as humans we actually "feel" first and then "think", not the other way around. In this episode Julian Saad and Dr. John Sullivan engaged the conversation that we all are emotional beings. Emotions are drivers of every decision we make. In this episode Dr. John Sullivan brings his expertise in elite level performance and clinical practice to highlight how and why, each of us are the "emotional-type". In this episode the discussion covers the science, measurement, and training process of our emotions, relating them to real life moments such as listening to music before competition. When we have a feeling in our gut or even our heart, it's an accurate description of emotional signal location. Enjoy!

​​​Episode 3: Chris Parker & The Importance of Narrative in Science

In Episode 3 at The Brain Always Wins Co-Author Chris Parker joins the show. Today we talk about why a good narrative is an important driver for good science, and why good science must reach the masses. Chris describes why brain management is our birthright and what sets the Brain Always Wins paradigm apart from the rest. Join us as we call over to the UK and chat with Chris Parker!

Episode 8: Doping, The Olympics & You: What can we learn?

How does doping in the Olympics apply to you? Sounds like a controversial topic! In this episode, Clinical Sport Psychologist/Scientist Dr. John Sullivan and host Julian Saad discuss the important topic of doping inside and outside of elite sport. In this conversation they discuss the potential limits of human performance in the context of the modern training, performance, and brain health. Ultimately, whether you are doping or not, all training is loading the brain. Dr. John Sullivan brings his expertise in elite sport to address the concerns of “brain-less” or “science-less” training for clean athletes as well as the paradoxical reality that tons of science and resources are poured into doping regimes to win at all costs. The episode highlights the importance of top-down, brain first training theory, and how adaptation of the brain is what facilitates human evolution past previous barriers, towards higher levels of performance.

Episode 2: Physical Activity is in Service to Your Brain

Did you know that we need brain health before shape-change, fat-loss & lean muscle-mass result from exercise? While many of us believe exercise is in service to a fit body, it is actually in service to the brain. Join us as we explore why exercise is essential for our evolutionary process and why the brain matters most for exercise results. Remember, The Brain Always Wins!

Episode 5: Optimal Nutrition - The *O* in P.R.O.C.E.S.S.

Why does hunger produce negative emotions, lower performance, and increase physical discomfort? In this episode we jump into a discussion on optimal nutrition and its effect on brain health - both short term and long term. Dr. John Sullivan and Julian Saad introduce the gut-brain axis, noting that while their are many dietary trends, fads and books out there, nutrition varies from one individual to the next. Understanding how to assess brain health and nutrition is a key to consistent a high performance.

Episode 11: Are YOU a performer? Yes, WE all are!

In this episode Dr. John Sullivan and Julian Saad talk about what it means when they say, "We are all performers." On the brain level we are using brain performance on a daily basis. In this episode the duo discusses performance transferability from relationships to business to sport. Innovation is a result of sequenced brain health process. Even reading this description requires a sequence of processes that have brought you to read, listen, learn, feel, and react. The brain matters most for performance. Enjoy the show!


Episode 4: Rest & Recovery - The R in P.R.O.C.E.S.S. 

In this episode we delve into the *R* in the P.R.O.C.E.S.S. wheel in The Brain Always Wins book. In a world where performance is constantly measured (in work, in school, in sport, in family, and in life), we often forget to measure and give attention to this vital performance enhancer! Join our discussion on this important process variable and learn how rest is a stimulation that must match your performance stimulation.

Episode 10: MythBusters: Brain Edition

In today's episode Julian and Dr. Sullivan bust some of the popularized myths about the brain:
What percentage of our brain do we use? Do we have only five senses? When does the brain stop growing? Is it "all down hill" after 40? Are we "hard-wired" to be a certain way? Is our brain "wired" for happiness? Tune in to find out!