7. Behavior

WHY: If you want to create relationships, bond with, and motivate your clients/athletes you should understand human behavior. Again, your success as a coach is more related to how you interact with others than your program design.

Books

WHY: This body directly links the mind and body. This book will help you understand how trauma is a fact of life and when you interact with others this is a valuable thing to know.

WHY: This book explores bonding and oxytocin as the hormone for connection.

WHY: WARNING this book is very advanced. This is basically a textbook of human and primate behavior.

Podcasts

  • Waking Up Episode #91 Biology of Good and Evil with Dr. Robert Sapolsky
  • Joe Rogan Experience Episode # 968 Dr. Kelly Brogan
  • Joe Rogan Experience Episode #1070 Jordan Peterson
  • Joe Rogan Experience Episode #975 Sebastian Junger

Audiobooks/Lecture Series (All recommended by Justin Moore)

WHY: “We spend approximately one-third of our lives unconscious, offline, unaware of our surroundings, and incapable of responding to threat or moving the needle towards reproduction.  If sleep wasn’t an absolute necessity, then its evolution’s biggest mistake. We know now that sleep is homeostatically regulated, meaning that we MUST fulfill the need for sleep, or we will accumulate a sleep debt that our bodies will force us to pay back in order to maintain homeostasis.  We also know that there is nothing more important for recovery and adaptation to stress than sleep. The problem is, we still don’t truly understand why we and so many other organisms on this planet must sleep. 

“Secrets of Sleep Science” is a deep dive into the fascinating science behind sleep, covering topics such as, but not limited to:

1)     The Stages of Sleep

2)     Dreams

3)     Sleep Disorders (Apnea, Insomnia, Sleep Walking, etc)

4)     The Physiology of Sleep

5)     Memory-Enhancing Benefits of Sleep

6)     Skill-Acquisition & Motor Learning Benefits of Sleep

7)     The Genetic Mechanisms of Sleep

8)     The Shockingly-Drastic Cost of Sleep Loss

9)     Strategies For Improving Your Sleep & The Sleep of Your Clients

This lecture series is a must-have for any coach who wants to optimize the health and performance of the individuals they work with.  Nothing will derail a program faster than poor sleep or lack of any sleep at all.  Unfortunately, in our sympathetic-dominated, “GO GO GO” society, sleep has become an afterthought and a nuisance.  If you want to truly help your clients, you need to be educated enough in sleep to help them develop a lifestyle that improves the QUANTITY and QUALITY of their sleep, their health and the success of your programs depends on it.” – Justin Moore

WHY: “Robert Sapolsky is one of my favorite authors and lecturers in any field.  He is, witty, brilliant, and incredibly effective at taking complex and challenging information and making it digestible for a wide variety of consumers. In this particular lecture series Sapolsky, a neuroscientist, behavioral biologist, and professor at Stanford University, guides us through an exploration of how we differentiate ourselves from other primates, as well as how in some situations, we are just like any other animal.  He explores human behavior from numerous angles, and helps us to better understand why we do what we do.

This fascinating 12-part series includes topics such as the impact of stress on the organism and stress physiology, the way parasites work in the brain, what happens when nonhuman primates get a hold of a westernized diet, the pleasures of maybe, why dreams are dreamlike, bad moods, nostalgia, the relationship between health and socioeconomic status, metaphors, and much more.

You will come away from this lecture series with a far-greater appreciation of the complexity of the human organism, human behavior, neuroscience, stress physiology, how sometimes, we aren’t as unique and “above” other animals as we often like to think, as well as what separates us from other animals and has allowed us to ascend the top of the food chain.

These subjects have many important implications for anyone whose success depends on interaction with other humans.  As a coach, understanding human behavior, adaptation and response to stress, internal and external environment, the way the brain works, as well as how things like “bad moods” come to be (hint: it’s complex) is incredibly important in order to be an adaptable and effective coach when working with other complex humans day in and day out.”  – Justin Moore

WHY: “Another fantastic lecture series from Sapolsky, this resource works off the question—when are we responsible for our own actions, and when are we in the grip of biology that is beyond our cortical, conscious control?

This in-depth series, consisting of 24 individual lectures is similar in many ways to the content found in Sapolsky’s latest book, Behave, which can also be found on this list.  It is an attempt to look at human behavior from every conceivable discipline and angle, analyzing how the brain, body, task, internal, and external environment interact to lead to an emergent behavioral outcome.

Along the way you will learn about the central nervous system, how the brain works down to a cellular level, the different parts of the brain, their roles and interactions, the bidirectional influence of hormones on the brain and the brain on hormones, evolution, genetics, social influences, and the specific neurobiology of aggression.

I have listened to this entire lecture series at least three times.  As with all of Sapolsky’s work, it is well organized, incredibly in-depth, fascinating, humorous, digestible, and truly eye opening.

Understanding just how many variables both within our control and out of our control affect our behavioral outputs gave me an entirely new lens through which to view my clients and athletes, my fellow coaches and PTs, my family, and my own tendencies and behaviors.  This awareness made me a better coach, better communicator, better stress-manager, and better person.  Highly recommended to any human.”  – Justin Moore