The intricate dance between success and failure on the field can sometimes be boiled down to a few pivotal moments, or even mere inches. However, have you ever pondered the less visible factors that tip the scales? Renowned neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman and esteemed psychologist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett have, and they've shed light on the profound roles that sleep, trust, and willpower play in achieving peak performance. As coaches, these insights become powerful tools in our arsenal, especially when combined with the capabilities of the XA Score.

The Role of Margins in Success: 

In the ever-competitive realm of sports, marginal gains can be the distinction between victory and defeat. The idea is simple: focus on small, achievable improvements every single day. Over time, these compounded gains can make a crucial difference.

How XA Score Bridges the Gap: 

XA Score is an innovative tool that aids in monitoring an athlete's readiness, a pivotal indicator of their overall performance. Our research has revealed a staggering 40% to 60% correlation between an athlete's readiness metrics and their actual performance. Amidst the whirlwind of challenges each student-athlete faces, from academics to personal relationships, having a tangible grip on such influential controllable factors can be immensely reassuring for coaches and players alike.

For a deeper dive into how XA Score has been instrumental in shaping athletic readiness and performance, take a look at our Youngstown Football Case Study.

The Four Pillars of Athletic Readiness: 

At the foundation of athletic readiness lie four controllables: Nutrition, Hydration, Sleep, and Recovery. By concentrating on these aspects, athletes not only prime themselves for the demands of the game but also cultivate a heightened sense of confidence, which often translates into enhanced performance.

The Dual Edges of the XA Score's Daily Check-in:  

Our Daily Check-in feature serves a twofold purpose:

  1. It bolsters buy-in, discipline, and the overall team ethos. Becomes a measure of your culture.
  2. It collates vital data, painting a clearer picture of each athlete's readiness, thereby enabling more accurate performance predictions.

The Trust Connection:

Beyond mere numbers, XA Score shines a light on the human element, underscoring the paramount importance of trust. As Dr. Barrett aptly points out, the level of trust an individual has in their team and supervisors is a significant performance indicator. Through the discreet Daily Check-ins, athletes can communicate their state of mind and well-being, fostering genuine connections and trust with their coaches. Listen to KU Football Director of Sports Performance, Matt Gildersleeve discuss this in their program: Building Culture Through Genuine Relationships

Understanding the athlete's mental state and ensuring their psychological readiness is equally crucial. Dive into our comprehensive guide on The Power of Psychological Readiness in Athletes to appreciate the depths of this crucial factor.

The Science of Sleep and Willpower: 

A well-rested athlete is better poised to exercise willpower and tenacity, key traits essential for fending off detrimental habits and making judicious decisions. And as Dr. Huberman elucidates in his insightful podcast, the quality of sleep directly impacts our reservoirs of willpower.


The road to athletic excellence is paved with more than just rigorous training and strategy. It demands a holistic approach, one that takes into account the mental and emotional well-being of athletes. The confluence of sleep, trust, and willpower can't be overstated, and with tools like XA Score, coaches are better equipped than ever to harness these facets, unlocking the full potential of their athletes.

Competitive growth requires winning in the margins and incremental improvements while building trust and genuine connections. XA Score helps you do all of this. We help teams advance.

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