The term ‘performance psychology' is typically applied to high-end performers who want to be the best in their field, be that sport, business, performing arts, military settings, or any other domain with a performance component.
However I have learned that your don’t have to be elite to use performance psychology. I often ask clients if they are “serious” about their performance. Thats really the key to who can benefit from performance psychology. I’ve worked with 10 year old ice dancers who are more “serious” and committed about their performance than some of the NRL rugby league players I have worked with.
Whatever the performance domain, the challenge is to be the best you possibly can. This typical involves focusing on doing what you need to do to get what you want. Often performers get hung up on what they want and dont spend too much time thinking about how they will get it. This is where performance psychology can help.
Performance psychology may be popular but it is not new. Generally seen to have grown out of the realms of sport psychology, it therefore dates back at least to the era of 1920s.
And while there has been a lot of work in sport performance, other performance domains exist in medicine, opera, music, acting, television presenting, education, space exploration, Mount Everest expeditions, in addition to a growing number of articles on business excellence.
If the past has taught us anything it is that the future will be different from today and that the rate of change will accelerate. A likely characteristic of the future is that margins between successful and unsuccessful performances, however they might be measured, will become ever smaller while the potential rewards of success will become greater.
Performance psychology is useful for anyone who wants to be better tomorrow than they are today. As the difference between success and failure gets smaller and the rewards grow, people in sport, business and any other high performance domain will increasingly seek out those who have the skills to help them to take the next step.