Sunday, October 2, 2011

What is Peak Performance?

Peak Performance
Whether you have a goal to achieve mastery in a physical sports, artistic performance, business or personal/romantic relationships, it starts with the mental aspects.

The bottom line is that your emotional and mental state affects your performance in any area of life...from the board room to the bedroom.  To be a peak performer you need:
  • Focus and concentration
  • Calm
  • A Clear Intention
And the ability to:
  • Set new challenges, i.e. "raise your game"
  • Sustain motivation and forward momentum in the face of obstacles
Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, talks about the state of Flow as being an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing.

Being in "flow" or "in the zone" is an effortless, joyful, intensely focused state of consciousness characterized by self-forgetting, moment by moment awareness, time and/or sensory distortion, a sense of total control over the situation and a perfect match of your skill for this challenge.
Although you cannot make flow happen, you can increase the likelihood through training, preparation and mental-discipline.  Common blocks to peak performance include:
  • anxiety and worry - what I like to call the "what if's" and "Oh, my God's"
  • negative self-talk - such as "I can never win" or "I'm not ____ enough."
  • difficulty "shaking off" past performance problems
  • distractibility
  • fear of failure or fear of success
If you can say "Yes" to the following statements, you are more likely to achieve a state of Flow.
  • I have clear goals.
  • My goals are attainable
  • I have the skills and abilities to meet my goal.
  • I have the ability to focus a high degree of concentration on an activity without being distracted
  • I sometimes feel like my sense of time is distorted (moving faster or slower) when I am focused on something I enjoy doing.
  • I have the ability to adjust my behavior as needed, based on the direct and immediate feedback during my activity
  • My goals involve just the right balance between my ability level and the level of the challenge, i.e. the challenge is neither too easy or too hard.
  • I feel a sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
  • I find this activity rewarding, so there is effortlessness of action.
  • I often get totally absorbed in the activity, losing awareness of everything else, except what I'm doing.
Whether you are a professional/collegiate athlete, or a business person who wants to trim strokes off your golf game or wipe the tennis court with carnage from your blazing service game, or a martial artist training (like I am) for your Black Belt, call 314-246-0507 today for a complimentary coaching consultation.

Mental Toughness

"Ninety percent of the game is half mental." - Yogi Berra
"You have to train your mind like you train your body." - Bruce Jenner

"If I hit it right, it’s a slice. If I hit it left, it’s a hook. If I hit it straight, it’s a miracle." ~ Author Unknown

No matter if your "game" is business, sports or the performing arts, getting a competitive advantage is vital.  If you don't have mental toughness, you are vulnerable.

What is Mental Toughness?

According to Vince Lombardi, "Mental toughness is essential to success."  It is the margin of victory when all other things are equal.  Mental toughness is the natural or developed psychological ability that gives you the edge for success.  It allows you to be more consistent and better than your competition by remaining determined, focused, calm and confident, motivated and resilient under pressure. In short, it is the difference that makes all the difference in determining success.  It is your "success mindset."

Mental toughness includes:
  • a high level of resolution
  • inability to be intimidated
  • the ability to stay calm, relaxed and focused in a high pressure situation
  • a capacity for staying motivated and optimistic throughout a game
  • a propensity to take risks
  • never giving up
Mental toughness can be learned and developed!
Call 314-246-0507 today for a complimentary coaching consultation.