After messing up a few changes on a funk tune (Pick up the Pieces) at a gig on Saturday, I thought of looking at an alternative way of counting whatever was easiest - bars, bass or horn figures, drum solos, etc. Turns out that simply reversing the normal direction of count from up to down has a dramatic effect!
Instead of 1-2-3-4-5 count 5-4-3-2-1
I think it works better because up-front you have stated the total count explicitly, then head down to the target for every count, 1. There's less chance of forgetting on the way how many counts to make. Counting up requires to always know when to stop during the count itself. Whereas counting down you only need to retain that info in short-term memory once, since you always know to stop at 1. Works for me!