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Princeton Basketball — Case Study

The Client

Princeton Basketball

The Situation

Princeton Basketball is a highly competitive and dedicated Ivy League program for top college athletes. With the goal of improving performance both on and off the court, Princeton Basketball wanted to elevate the topic of sleep within its program for both its men’s and women’s teams. Princeton had recently invested in the WHOOP trackers to help players and staff manage their sleep and recovery, and was seeking expertise and structure in making the most of the WHOOP data.

Our Approach

Northstar Sleep School conducted a sleep workshop for Princeton Men’s Basketball players and staff in August of 2022. The workshop timing corresponded with the team’s return to campus before the start of the fall semester to practice before the men competed in games in Spain — a rigorous international trip that would require proactive sleep management. Northstar Sleep School returned to campus in October 2022 during the players’ fall break to run workshops for the women’s team and the men’s freshmen.

Workshop Goals

Why is sleep worth prioritizing for improving performance on and off the court? What tactics can team members start embracing today to improve their sleep?

To answer those questions, the workshop focused on the following key areas, delivering the greatest possible long-term impact within the weeklong timeline.

  • The physical impact of sleep deprivation on performance
  • How sleep impacts mental health & resilience
  • Better utilization of WHOOP data
  • Greater awareness of how our phones contribute to procrastination, which in turn contributes to less sleep and lower quality sleep
  • The men’s program also learned how to rest and recover across time zones for their two international trips

Workshop Logistics

  • Held 1.5 hours to 3 hours per day, over four days
  • Coordinated around the team’s practice and lifting schedules

The Results

Both Princeton teams won the Ivy League Championship, advancing to the NCAA tournament. The women’s team upset #7 seed NC State 64-63 in the first round of the tournament and then fell to Utah in the second round. The men’s team beat #2 seed Arizona, then #7 Missouri, advancing to the Sweet 16 where it lost to Creighton.

The sessions were incredibly helpful. I found and continue to find that there are little things that more than half the team is utilizing from the workshop that are life-changing. It’s a practice — and just like anything else it must be adhered to daily… it’s worth all of it in my opinion. I’d recommend Northstar very highly.
Mitch Henderson
Head Coach, Princeton Men’s Basketball