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Human Performance Blog

Questions about Human Performance

What is Performance Psychology or Mental Conditioning? Performance Psychology is the psychology of Human performance. That is, it works primarily with the intention of helping any individual that needs to perform; athletes, dancers, surgeons, lawyers etc., to achieve their peak potential. This is why clients are referred to as PERFORMERS.

Performance Psychology is geared towards regularly healthy individuals who are interested in achieving an increased level of performance. This is done by teaching them how to use psychological, mental and character skills aimed at developing and enhancing a performers’ goal potential. I'll work on my mental skills when I need it (when something isn’t working) There are many performers, that seek out a performance consultant only when things go wrong, or if their performance is not up to standard. This is of course better than not addressing mental performance issues at all, but a case could be made for an alternate approach. Like nutrition, we encourage athletes to eat and drink water regularly, even before they feel like they need to. This is so that, their body can build up a store of nutrients and fluids to use when it is under stress. Similarly, when considering mental skills and psychological skills, it is always better to take a proactive and developmental approach. This gives the mind a store of tools that it can use in pressure situations. Additionally, it is always more difficult to fix a problem like injury, cramping or lack of focus after it has occurred. How often should mental skills be worked on? Imagine if you trained or studied or prepared for that presentation for one hour a week, in a group. How much growth or ability would you expect? This is similar to learning and practicing the mental skills, it should be made a part of the performers’ everyday routine . An athlete will see results only if they commit to it in the same way they do the technical, tactical and physiological aspects of their performance.

Mental Conditioning/Performance Psychology is more useful for the professional performer. High-performers who work and perform at high levels make use of mental skills counseling and preparation. Olympic athletes, Business Executives and other High Performers speak candidly about their relationship with a Performance Psychology, Executive Coach or Mental Conditioning Coach.

It is the young or amateur performer who often lack expertise and have less knowledge and skills to manage different performance challenges. Working on mental skills as a young performer creates a solid foundation that can later help the performer overcome any challenge they may face. I don’t need to work on my mental skills when I'm not performing; competing or preparing for something. When you are not actively performing, is arguably the most important time for an performer to work on their mental and psychological skills. This gives time and space to identify, learn, and practice with the absence of the competitive experience. This space and time is ideal to try new things, and new strategies to deal with and address performance challenges. Only the ‘weak’ or ‘soft’ need Mental Conditioning or Performance Psychology help Mental conditioning or Performance Psychology is for the athlete, person, performer that wants to get better. Being open-minded and vulnerable throughout the process of achieving your highest potential is the greatest strength an athlete can have.

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