#31 Mark Bennett, Founder of Performance Development Systems, How Coaches Shape Behavior, Influence Training Habits, and Build Accountable Teams

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What can sport coaches learn from a former British Commando? A better way to deliver content, ensure learning has occurred, and empower players to own their learning process. In this episode, Mark explains how coaches can more effectively shape behaviors, which will lead to better learning outcomes.


Mark has been training, coaching & mentoring individuals and teams since the early 90s. He joined the British Army in 1983. Mark passed the world famous Commando course in 1990 and while posted with the British Commandos experienced the stresses of operations during the first Iraq Conflict.

While serving with 29 Commando Regiment as the senior instructor, running the Commando Training Wing, Mark was the first person to initiate structural change to the way soldiers were trained for the commando course.

His work in this field culminated in the design of the Performance Development Systems; a holistic and robust approach to maximize real world performance for organizations, coaches and athletes.

Following several years of running, designing and quality controlling “train the trainer” courses for the Military, Mark turned down promotion in order to leave the forces to commit to working on PDS full time.

He has spent over 25 years researching and developing effective learning and adherence systems to help coaches and trainers maximize the performance of the individuals and teams they are working with. In 2006 Mark was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) by her Majesty the Queen for his work in developing the system.

Mark believes in a “practitioner” based approach. He soon identified that many theories that may look good on paper or in controlled environments are not so effective in the “real world”. PDS is all about providing a positive sustainable performance impact on the “shop floor”.

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Show Notes

6:15 His back story

10:45 Performance is a behavior not an outcome

20:30 Coaching isn’t as easy as downloading information like the matrix

22:00 Acceptable, Unacceptable, Exceptional

31:15 A great coach develops self-reliance within the team

34:15 Athlete first, athlete last in communication during training.

44:15 How coaches can “check for learning”

49:00 What is effective communication

55:45 Mark’s definition of excellence

Get in Touch

Website: www.pdscoach.com

Twitter: @PDScoach

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