Psych Yourself Up For “Peak Performance”
6 Peak Performance Tips From High Performing Athletes
We all experience key situations in our day where we need to be operating at peak performance to ensure the best possible outcome. This could be a meeting, a presentation or an important call with a client, but whatever the situation we generally want to prepare ourselves for an increase in focus. Athletes do the same and are aiming to increase their intensity, which has physical and mental benefits. Here Dr Jim Taylor, an expert in prime performance psychology, shares six ways top athletes get themselves mentally and physically ready for a race or a match.
Psych-up Techniques: Lessons from Athletes
Just as deep breathing can reduce intensity, intense breathing can increase it. If you find your intensity dropping, several hard exhales can take your body and your mind to a more intense level. It’s a useful practice before a performance to take two intense breaths. In fact, I encourage you to make intense breathing a part of your training and competitive routines when your intensity goes down.
Move your body
Remember that intensity is, most basically, physiological activity. The most direct way to increase intensity is with physical action. In other words, move. Walk or run around, jump up and down. Anything to get your heart pumping and your body going will raise your intensity.
One of the main causes of drops in intensity is letdown thoughts. Thinking to yourself, “I’ve got this won,” “The game is over,” or “I can’t win this,” will all result in your intensity decreasing because your mind is sending messages to your body that it no longer needs to perform. When this happens, you can be sure your performance will decline. When you start to have these thoughts, you need to replace them with high-energy self-talk. Self-talk such as “Keep attacking,” “Close it out,” and “Stay pumped” will keep you motivated and focused, and your body will respond with more intensity.
Just as you can use keywords to lower intensity, they can also be used to counter letdowns and to psych yourself up. Saying intensity keywords such as “Charge” and “Hustle” with conviction and energy will raise your intensity and generate positive thoughts and emotions that will enable you to perform your best.
High-energy body language
It’s difficult using high-energy self-talk and intensity keywords without also having high-energy body language. Pumping your fist or slapping your thigh will also get you fired up and will increase your intensity.
Music has a profound physiological and emotional impact on us. Music can be used to raise your intensity and get you psyched up and motivated. The over-all sensation of listening to high-energy music (e.g., rock, hip-hop) is a generalized sense of excitement and energy.
You can find more from Dr Jim Taylor at drjimtaylor.com
To learn more above achieving peak performance for your organisation or personally contact Mental Toughness Partners.