Human and Sports Performance 101

Tom Postema


Are you ready to maximize your performance?

If you are, welcome! You are in the right place. My name is Tom Postema, and I am the creator of Postema Performance. Whether you are an athlete taking sports performance seriously for the first time or a business person trying to boost your mental power, this site is for you. 

My purpose for this page is to highlight the most important factors in human and sports performance. I find it interesting that there is such a crossover in both aspects. You aren't going to become an expert or change your life overnight, but it is important to know what is important to improve in  your life to perform at  your best. 

What is Performance?

We all know what it is, but it can be hard to define. We often have a limited definition of the word. There are both physical and mental aspects to performance. For athletes, it often comes down to how productive they are. While statistics might be helpful, some sports or positions don't really have stats. Even advanced statistics can't factor in all variables on a given play. Not to mention that none of this takes into account leadership or situational awareness. In your career it might be production or it might be how good of a presentation you do for your boss. Are these things measurable? It's not always easy to quantify. Ultimately it comes down to how effective you are at accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. 

Performance Efficiency - My Definition

​I had no idea performance efficiency was an actual term. It makes sense, but I hadn't run into it before. According to, it is "given out as a percentage, and is expressed as the actual output produced by a person, and then compared to the expected output". This isn't a bad definition. Athletes and coaches can certainly understand the value of comparing actual and expected output. It can be very difficult to quantify expected output and in many sports it can be just as tough to quantify actual output. 

I look at performance efficiency from a different perspective. I'm sure you have heard of the 80/20 rule. Basically, 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your effort. Many people now argue that it is more of a 90/10 rule. The exact percentage isn't really important, but the idea is. This can be applied to all aspects of your life. Obviously, elite athletes wouldn't and shouldn't be satisfied with getting 80 or 90 percent of their best. It is important, if you are a beginner or elite athlete, to take advantage of the most productive uses of time and energy.  I call this performance efficiency. For our purposes, this is my definition:

Performance Efficiency - Using the most proven and economical techniques to maximize production.

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What You DON'T Have to Do

  1. Overly complicate Things - Fancy programs can look cool and all, but only when you really need them. The vast majority of people never need to get fancy with their training. So many athletes try to skip steps when it comes their sessions. They look at what at what elite athletes are doing now and pretend that doing the same will get them there. It's more important to know what those elite people were doing when they were in YOUR position. Some fancy stuff can work, but only when you are at that level. 
  2. ​Be perfect -  I understand the allure of perfectionism. It can be a noble goal. It can also be incredibly foolish. If you are sitting down, you need to hear this: you are not and will not be perfect. That's almost calming to hear isn't it? Voltaire said that "perfect is the enemy of good". Too many people argue over what the best way to do something and don't realize they just need to do something to progress. It's also important to know that you will slip up. It could be with your diet or your training program. What's important is that you recognize that you slipped up and start working to correct it. 
  3. Be an overnight success - I think most people realize this isn't truly realistic, even if they secretly hope for it. There are outliers in everything - sports, business, and everything else. You shouldn't expect to be able to repeat an outlier's success if you aren't one. You are unique. Nobody has your exact talents, abilities, and skills. Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to what you are capable of. Remember, you are aiming for progress, and usually that takes time. 

What You Must Do

  1. Hold yourself accountable - This is so crucial in anything you do in life. Again, it's not about being perfect. It's about being honest with yourself. While we can get distracted with many things, ultimately our success or failure is totally up to us. Once you realize this, you can start to make progress instead of excuses. 
  2. Set goals - Without goals, what is the point of doing what you do? Goals give us something to aim for and a sense of direction. These can be short-term or long-term and it's important to have a combination of both. 
  3. Get good at the fundamentals - This goes along with not overly complicating things. Generally, the person or team that wins is the one that is best at the simple things. 

What Factors Impact Performance?

We could talk endlessly about all the variables that impact performance. I have tried to simplify it into four main categories. These are very broad and dependent on what you are trying to do. There can also be some significant overlap. It's not really important to know which activities fall into which category. I feel they work together to make you the best version of yourself. 

  1. Physical training - This is obviously highly individualized, but its not just sets and reps. Volume and intensity of sport-specific training, resistance training, and conditioning all make up your program. 
  2. Mental training - You might think of sports psychology when you see this. That's part of it, but certainly not all of it. We have to train our minds for a host of things. Just think about the way you react and manage stress. That has a major impact of your performance. Negative stress can be distracting at best and very detrimental at worst. Too much stress can hurt your training programs and your ability to recover. 
  3. Nutrition - ​We all want to pretend that nutrition isn't all that important, but most of us eventually realize how key it is. It is key for both performance and health. 
  4. Recovery - You can't improve if you don't recover. Too much of anything can lead to fatigue, burnout, and overtraining. Recovery includes proper rest, deloading, time off, and nutrition. 

Are you ready to take the next step?

You are now on your way to maximizing your performance! The only thing standing in your way now is information overload. There is so much information out there. Much of it is very useful, but some of it can be a waste of time. I find the best and most efficient info and let you know what you need.