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Former NBA Hooper Walter Bond Offers Four Peak Performance Points

While growing up in Chicago’s storied South Side community Walter Bond envisioned himself sharing powerful insights from a podium.

“As a little boy, I would go to the church, and I would hear the pastor speak. In the back of my mind I would say to myself that I could do that,” Bond recalls. “I always knew that I would be a professional speaker. I just didn’t know whether I would be a preacher, comedian, or politician. But, I knew that one day I would be speaking in front of people.”

It wasn’t until a few years later when Clem Haskins, his basketball coach at the University of Minnesota, encouraged him to become a motivational speaker that his vision began to manifest. After three seasons with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and Detroit Pistons, Bond and his wife Antoinette launched Walter Bond Seminars, Inc.

“I give Coach Haskins credit for planting the seed for me being a motivational speaker. Before that point, I was totally unfamiliar with motivational speaking as a possible profession,” he adds.

Fast forward sixteen years, Bond now performs at over 100 events annually at fees in the five figure range for a one-hour speech. His clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ameriprise Financial, Hilton, Full Throttle Experience 2016, among others. The former point guard’s peak performance talks are among his best sellers.

“Peak performance is being the best you, you can be,” he says. “Most people stop themselves from achieving success because they lack confidence, vision, and mental toughness.”

Bond continues, “My slogan is think, execute, and dominate. We first have to think the right way. Second, we have to execute good daily habits and rituals. Then, we can dominate.”

The 2015 Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame inductee highlights these necessary qualities for igniting your peak performance.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: “I made it to the NBA. Of course, I was not Michael Jordan, and I did not have a Hall of Fame career like Scottie Pippen. But, I did not have the abilities of Jordan or Pippen. So, for Walter Bond just to make it into the NBA, was peak performance for me. But, when it comes to the speaking business, I am talented. I’m more gifted as a speaker than I was as a basketball player. For me, peak performance means something different than for someone who might not be as talented as a communicator on the platform.”

Create a Vision: “I am honestly living the life I dreamed about when I was a teenager. Having a clear vision is probably the biggest weakness most people have. Most people wake up and just wait to see what happens. A lot of times, people don’t understand that you can live your life by design based on your vision.”

Build Confidence: “Confidence is tied to hard work. If you work hard, your confidence will improve. As you work, you will see progress, the quality of your work will improve, and that will help you build confidence. Over time you will get better at whatever you do. Habits and rituals are the keys to confidence. And, they are the key to becoming a true professional at anything.”

Hold Yourself Accountable: “Accountability is kryptonite to the human race. Accountability unlocks the door to performance improvement. If someone is always making excuses, they will not get better. If you own your mistakes, it sparks creativity to help you overcome your mistakes. If you take responsibility for everything, over time you will become better because you will build safeguards to protect yourself from making that mistake again. For those of us who are strong enough to say ‘my fault’ and ‘my bad,’ we will open the door to performance improvement.”

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