Crunch Time: How to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

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Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Rick Peterson is one of the most successful coaches in professional sports and has a unique ability to empower others to perform at their best.

Judd Hoekstra is a bestselling author, a vice president at The Ken Blanchard Companies, and an expert in making concepts universal and accessible.

Billy Beane is Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Oakland Athletics. He has been with the organization since 1993.


2017 Silver Nautilus Award Winner in the Psychology category.

Learn from Rick and Judd how to reframe your mind so that you can't imagine yourself failing, regardless of the pressure."
--Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager(R) and Collaboration Begins with You

"Rick helped me unlock potential I didn't know I had. He has a knack for using humor and anecdotes to enhance his message. I have no doubt that Crunch Time will help you unlock your potential and help you perform at your best under pressure!"
--Tom Glavine, Hall of Fame major league pitcher, World Series Champion, and 300 game winner

Rick and I had many conversations about process optimization and problem-solving. Thankfully he and Judd Hoekstra have now memorialized a practical method for getting out of our own way and easing into the flow that can be applied to any endeavor. Absolutely invaluable stuff."
--Steven Soderbergh, Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Academy Award winner for Best Director

"Crunch Time provides practical action steps to reframe and change our thoughts to see the opportunity through chaos. During intense, pressure-packed moments, this is a key leadership difference between success and failure. A must-read!"
--Betsy Myers, former senior adviser to two US Presidents

"Every day is Crunch Time in New York. When I was the New York Mets' manager, Rick was the perfect fit to be my pitching coach. He has a unique ability to reframe pressure situations to maximize performance. Crunch Time is a must-read to optimize your performance in your own 'Big Apple.'"
--Willie Randolph, former Manager, New York Mets, six-time All-Star, and six-time World Series Champion

"I love Rick's progressive and out-of-the-box thinking. He helped me improve as a major league pitcher at the back end of my career in the pressure cooker of New York with the Mets. In Crunch Time, Rick and Judd provide a GPS for you to perform your best under pressure.
--Al Leiter, nineteen-year major league pitcher, two-time World Series Champion, two-time All-Star, and Emmy award-winning Major League Baseball analyst

"In business as in baseball, your ability to perform under pressure can make or break your career. Crunch Time will teach you how to thrive in high-stakes situations."
--Travis Bradberry, bestselling coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

"At one time or another, at work or at home, all of us have felt like the whole game was riding on our shoulders. Rick and Judd apply what Rick has learned working with elite athletes to not only lift that burden but enable you to perform at your best."
--Susan Torroella, Executive Vice President, Wellness Corporate Solutions, and Fortune Small Business Best Boss Award recipient

"Contrary to what many of us assume, it is not our body or possessions that determine happiness and success; it is the state of our mind. This book will help you go from stress and fear to optimal performance when it matters most, by teaching you how to train your mind."
--Dr. Rogier Hoenders, psychiatrist and Director, Center for Integrative Psychiatry, Lentis, the Netherlands

"Rick Peterson has always applied a distinctive blend of insight and creativity in his out-of-the-box approach to solving problems. With Crunch Time, he and Judd Hoekstra lay out, in a compelling and entertaining way, an approach to dealing with pressure that can help all of us in our tough personal and professional moments."
--Bill Squadron, Professor, Columbia University, and former President, Bloomberg Sports

"Crunch Time has already helped me reframe one issue, allowing us to save six figures. This is an amazingly inspirational book with examples everyone can relate to. I've shared this new knowledge with our team, resulting in a renewed alignment, confidence, and success!"
--Yogesh Madhvani, CEO, SimplexDiam, Inc.

"I've had the privilege of interviewing hundreds of professional athletes and coaches, and few are as insightful as Rick Peterson. He has a gift for distilling complex concepts into understandable terms. He is famous for developing the best pitchers in the world, of course, but he can teach us all about performing under pressure. The only thing better than a Rick Peterson interview is a Rick Peterson book."
--Lee Jenkins, Lead Writer, Sports Illustrated

"I wish I'd read this book sooner! I had an experience where I choked hard core. The more I tried to figure out why I was striking out, the greater the pressure became. I could no longer think clearly. Reading Crunch Time, with its practical techniques and relatable examples, I can now see what I will do differently next time."
--Laurie Cooke, CEO, Healthcare Businesswomen's Association

"Nobody knows more than Rick Peterson about dealing with pressure, whether it be the seventh game of the World Series or a real-world situation."
--Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman and owner, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls

"Fascinating behind-the-scenes stories about how elite leaders, coaches, and performers have learned to thrive under pressure. The best part is that the lessons apply to all of us in our everyday pressure situations."
--Jon Gordon, bestselling author of Training Camp and The Energy Bus

"Rick has years of experience teaching professional and amateur pitchers how to maximize their true potential, how to embrace pressure and avoid crumbling under the weight of others' expectations. He and Judd now team up to share those experiences in Crunch Time, a must-read for anyone looking to conquer pressure in the business world or in daily life!"
--Jim Duquette, former General Manager, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, and Major League Baseball analyst

"Rick Peterson is a national treasure. His storytelling is matched only by his hard-earned wisdom, and I'm thrilled he's teamed with Judd Hoekstra to bring you the best of both. Their book is packed with insights on being at your best when the pressure is highest."
--Cade Massey, PhD, Professor, The Wharton School

"Rick has the deepest knowledge of pitching that I have come across in my career. He helped me immensely. This includes sharing wisdom in areas beyond baseball, such as dealing with pressure. I encourage you to dig deep into Crunch Time. The lessons last a lifetime."
--Barry Zito, major league pitcher, Cy Young Award winner, and World Series Champion

"Crunch Time succinctly defined and taught me concepts and techniques that are relevant across business, personal, and athletic challenges. So easy to grasp and apply, and with enough variety for just about any situation. Thanks for helping me find ways to 'change the station, ' remember that it's okay to relax under pressure, and simply perform better."
--Tracey Roberts, Chief Human Resource Officer, Weber-Stephen Products LLC, busy mom, and "weekend warrior" triathlete

"On the surface, Crunch Time seems to skillfully address a specific life situation--the physiological and psychological response to pressure. Upon reflection, its application is much more than that. From public speaking to parenting to corporate leadership, the richness of the life lessons that are incorporated in this engaging and relatable text is, in fact, enormously broad. So, sit back, relax, and reframe your perspective."
--James G. Conroy, President and CEO, Boot Barn

"Your heart is racing, your stomach is churning, and all eyes are upon you; your next move will decide whether you win or lose. Sales professionals, like professional athletes, know this scenario all too well. Crunch Time is a fun read that helps you take advantage of your adrenaline and make the most of high-pressure situations."
--Bill Mathews, Associate Vice President, Facilities Growth, Aramark

"Crunch Time brings the magic of The Professor (as Rick was known throughout the big leagues)reader in an engaging, inspiring way. Judd translates Rick's success as a pitching coach into the everyday pressures we face at work, at school, at home, and in the community. The proven power of reframing--under the most trying of circumstances--can help shift our heads, hearts, and hands from victim to victor. You need Crunch Time to be your best!"
--S. Chris Edmonds, author of the Amazon bestseller The Culture Engine

"It is our mindset that distinguishes those who truly perform under pressure and not just our skill level. Crunch Time taught me how to coach my team to come up with new ways to rethink a situation and see it as a new opportunity and that they have what it takes to succeed! There is a lot to learn from Rick's coaching with elite athletes, and it definitely translates to the business world."
--Charlene Prounis, CEO, Flashpoint Medica

"Time and again we hear anecdotes about how sports results can relate to business decisions. Rick Peterson, who has always thought beyond the diamond, has coauthored an essential read to help you succeed in business, sports, and life."
--Joe Favorito, veteran sports entertainment marketing executive and Professor, Columbia University

"As someone who challenges convention and explores new ideas, Rick Peterson is an important voice not only in baseball but also in finding your personal best."
--Tom Verducci, bestselling coauthor of The Yankee Years and Emmy Award-winning Major League Baseball analyst

Biz Books
(Column for 02/05/17)
Jim Pawlak

"Crunch Time: How to Be Your Best When It Matters Most" by Rick Peterson and Judd Hoekstra (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, $19.95). Peterson, who coached some of baseball's best pitchers, and Hoekstra, a VP at the Ken Blanchard Companies, combine their knowledge to show how managers and employees can reframe high-pressure situations into less stressful ones that create opportunities to shine. To set the stage, let's take a drive. You hop into the car and tune the radio to a preset station. It's playing one of your favorite songs; you sing along and may even turn up the volume; negative thoughts disappear. The next song isn't one you like. What do you do? Change stations because the song evoked a negative thought and also a positive reaction. You reframed the situation.
At work, you can feel pressure because you believe that you have little control over the situation, you don't think you can handle it, or you're thinking about the consequences of failure. In these cases, your woe-is-me approach means you're playing not to lose. That's a game you can't win because the negatives create a reflexive bias on your approach to the task. By dumbing-down your ability, you become "your own worst coach".
The "Conscious Thinker" focuses on what can be controlled. Doing so creates confidence in the ability to explore and 'grade' options, and complete the task. This playing-to-win mindset sees problems as opportunities to showcase skills and shows that skills can be relied upon to produce results. To think consciously, slow things down. Before jumping into a high-pressure tasks, ask yourself about the assumptions you're making about the situation and its possible outcomes. Filter out the negative ones by remembering that you've face similar situations and won.
Key takeaway: Thoughts drive actions.