Bar Malik is the Director of Performance and Science for the New York Knicks.
Now in his sixth season with the Knicks, Bar is heavily involved in player development, working with some of the biggest stars in the NBA.
He travels with the Knicks throughout the season and helps to ensure players are optimizing their time, both on and off the court. From exercise to recovery, he takes a 360-degree approach to performance, and some of his insights are just plain fascinating.
One of my favorite things about this conversation—and, really, this is the goal of every Gamma Project episode—is that regardless of whether you’re a diehard NBA fan or don’t know a basketball from a bar of soap, there is a lot for you here that can be applied to several different aspects of your own life, no matter what you do professionally or where you’re currently at in the grand scheme of things.
That said, if you are interested in sports, particularly how pro athletes train and continue to improve their performance over time, you’re in for some really cool insights from behind the scenes.
Here, Bar talks about the most productive habits he sees in his players, all of which you can adopt for yourself.
He describes, in detail, the tactics he uses—and that you can use—to optimize both physical and mental performance.
And then we also get away from the court to talk about things like how to deal with the loss of a loved one—which, if you remember, also came up in Episode 1 (Phillip Picardi: Building a Brand, Becoming Fearless, and Finding Calm in Chaos), but it’s something we all end up dealing with eventually, so it’s worth the revisit.
We also talk about journaling; accountability; the importance of connecting with friends, family, and nature; and much, much more.
During the first few minutes of the episode, we spend quite a bit of time talking about the path that led Bar to where he is today—both professionally and personally—and that is because I’m a huge fan of context.
One of the things I am always interested in is how successful and influential people arrived at the jobs they have, because what you often find—almost always, in fact—is that it’s not simply a case of showing up for the interview and getting the job.
Relationships, persistence, grit, and failure are almost always part of the story—and Bar’s case is no exception.
So, we start by getting into all of that, to paint a fuller picture, and ultimately set the scene for what comes next, which is a full-court press (to employ the only basketball term I will use in this entire episode) of practical strategies, tips, and tactics that you can absorb into your own routine and reach whatever goals you have for yourself.
This episode is brought to you by Altra.
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