Performance psychology...? where does it fit?

Updated: May 18, 2020

Where and why do we use performance psychology tools and strategies as a professional? Sometimes performance psychology tools and strategies are thought of as pixie dust… they are considered these magical tools and strategies that could be introduced to your training using one session, where you then leave and expect the tools and strategies to work in the heat of the moment, under pressure without practice.

I wish this was always the case… Hopefully by the end of this 3 min read you will have a better idea of how to apply yourself with performance psychology tools and strategies, ultimately allowing you to be a better professional.

Implement a plan:

Just as we train out muscular endurance, aerobic or anaerobic systems using a strength and conditioning coach and a long-term plan, we need to do the same with our brain to help produce the maximum benefits of using performance psychology tools. A lot of the performance psychology tools and strategies out there take time to master, thus the importance of incorporating the strategies using a long-term plan with a performance psychology coach is key.

By incorporating the tools into long-term plans as we would with our nutrition, strength and conditioning and programme learning, we as #professionals will help maximise the use of our brains and mental capacity under pressure.

Start using performance psychology tools before things go wrong:

A common misconception is that performance psychology tools and strategies should only be implemented when things go wrong. Think… why would you wait until things go wrong to introduce performance psychology tools and strategies into your race, game, performance or presentation plan? By then your confidence may have already taken a hit… Wouldn’t it make more sense to introduce performance psychology tools and strategies when things are going well? That way, if things eventually go wrong (which can happen a lot) there are already processes in place to deal with the setbacks. By being proactive instead of reactive, we are only helping ourselves by giving us the tools to keep in our performance brains and deal with setbacks when they arise, ultimately helping us keep more confidence in the same situations.

By using performance psychology tools and strategies this way, we are building a fence (hopefully a 4ft thick concrete wall with turrets) at the top of the cliff and not waiting for us to fall down before we act.

Compliment other training components using them:

Write down how much time you spend on your physical training each week; how about your, nutrition, tactical job oriented training or time spent planning a presentation so you perform well? Now how about your mental training?

Mental training with the above work together to create a better overall professional. In reality, all the training components complement each other to create better professionals.

So, instead of just hoping for the best under pressure, if we could instead plan and prepare using performance psychology tools and strategies and include them in our long-term plan, we will give ourselves the best chance possible to succeed in our profession.

#sportspsychology #performancepsychology #preparation

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