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What is Performance Psychology?

It's a question I'm asked all of the time; "What does Prime2Perform do? What is performance psychology?" It's not surprising considering performance psychology is a relatively new subdivision of psychology. In basic terms, performance psychology is the study of psychological factors influencing optimal performance. It assists various types of performers such as athletes, competitors, business professionals, on-camera talent or anyone required to perform under pressure and often in front of spectators. It's no wonder it's become so popular. Elite athletes and other professionals often credit their mental training for giving them an edge and helping them achieve superior results.

Today, more than ever, the demands on athletes and performers are physically, mentally and emotionally intense. That doesn't just apply to highly-paid professionals; children and young athletes are under immense pressure to excel in performances or competitions. Concern

about the toll it takes on them psychologically has led to numerous studies on the benefits of mental training. Research shows that by equipping performers with tools such as imagery and goal-setting, the stress of competition or performing can be alleviated.

Although athletes, performers, on-camera presenters and public speakers all use different physical and intellectual skills, studies show the underlying psychological structures for achieving optimal mental focus are basically the same. That's why I'm able to work with performers from the arts, sports, media and business. My background is media but my psychological training and knowledge about mental structures and how to achieve optimal mental focus allows me to assist performers from other backgrounds as well.

How long does it take to gain these mental skills and notice a difference in your performance? Well, how long is a piece of string? It depends on what you want to achieve. It usually takes a few weekly sessions to assess your strengths, weaknesses and which techniques resonate with you. Once basic mental focus skills are in place, we build on those skills through performance exercises, imagery, mind-body connection and other methods. When my clients are feeling confident and mentally clear about their performance, they usually go from weekly sessions to bi-weekly, monthly or maintenance sessions to brush-up on their skills.

Finally, one of the things I love most about performance psychology is that it teaches skills we can use in everyday life. Clients report feeling more confident in areas like job interviews, daily communication, relationships and stress management.

Do you still have questions about performance psychology or a related topic? Don't be shy! Send me a message ; ). Don't forget to subscribe to get all the latest information.




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