Steps to Becoming an Elite Performer

Skip Snead
World-Renowned Musician

Becoming an Elite Performer

This week, I wanted to look at a different perspective when it comes to elite-level performance. In this particular endeavor, you are still training for performance improvement and to be elite, playing in front of fans, dealing with the same high intensity and pressure, and demonstrating a commitment to discipline, excellence, and accountability. The same physical and mental responses to performance anxiety are there as well. This week, we are taking a deep dive into the world of music.


The top performers in the world - in any arena whether sports, music or whatever - have good days and bad days. Once you come to that realization, only then will you be able to achieve the consistent performance you desire


Our guest on this week’s episode of The Secrets to Winning is world-renowned international musician Skip Snead. Skip is known as one of the best horn players alive, performing for audiences all over the world including in Egypt, Romania, United Kingdom, Cuba, and more as a member of the TransAtlantic Horn Quartet. His accolades as a player are no joke, but he is also an accomplished instructor, as well, serving as the School of Music Director at The University of Alabama.


If you are someone who aspires to perform at the highest level, whether you are an athlete, coach, business leader, etc, there is tremendous insight within this interview that you can definitely incorporate into your life RIGHT NOW! As I was doing the interview, I took three pages of notes myself – that is how impactful it was.



03:30 – Skip’s philosophy on how he develops musicians


08:40 – Having to re-train students once they get to him and breaking them of the “high school mindset”


11:00 – Who his students are ultimately competing with


13:35 – Fostering an environment of healthy competition in preparation


16:40 – How the emerging generation of musicians handles constructive criticism and coaching


19:00 – How different competitive environments create different levels of performance anxiety


23:55 – How does Skip prepare for the certain anxiety that comes before a performance?


26:10 – The difference between the physiological response to anxiety for an athlete vs. a musician


29:00 – The difference between learning and practice and the process behind it


33:30 – How to quickly turn your mind from an “alpha state” to a “beta state” and what that means in relation to performance


35:45 – How Skip uses the exit sign in every performance arena to his advantage


40:00 – What happens when the mental performance cue does not work?

Before you begin to discuss the concepts of preparation, confidence and achievement - those kinds of things - the hard work, dedication, and time invested have got to be in place

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