Our eyes, gestures, and tone bring us together in a more profound way than words alone. It’s why we look hopefully toward the return of in-person, face-to-face connection.
Verified by Psychology Today
Essentials of optimal performance
Kate F. Hays Ph.D.
As our common humanity reckons with major change, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are both predictable and not.
Sport psychology techniques can be oversimplified or misinterpreted. Here's what to pay attention to, along with some applications to life in the midst of rapid change.
Where and how we focus on time—whether past, present, or future—affects our performance. And more broadly, our life span, happiness, and productivity.
Becoming and being a performance consultant involves both academic/research knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as learning-by-doing, all within an ethical framework.
Yips, focal dystonia, stage fright. Same stuff/different performance areas? I've recently enjoyed a few (readable!) books in this area.
Interesting terminology highlights the different roles that team members contribute to the whole.
How do you spot and resolve conflicting stories of reality in your family, community, or society? A number of theories help lay out the parameters.
Who coaches the coaches? Mental performance consultants also benefit from their own support and training.
The choice to perform is an active process. At times, we need to revisit and re-examine our choices.
Sometimes our basic mental performance techniques—positive thoughts, goal setting, imagery, tension management, and self-talk—need adjusting.
Letting go of who we've been and exploring who we might become is an arduous process. Recognizing that in between space can ease the challenge.
When you're performing, a simple acronym—A-B-C—[Awareness, Breath, Concentration] can help you focus or re-focus on the task at hand.
When life-threatening illness means months, if not years, to recovery, mental skills for optimal performance can be adapted to support that process.
Mental skills techniques are used in one-off, specific events. Longer term performance can also be informed by these methods--and may in turn help with "traditional" performance.
The rule of improvisational theater is that you accept whatever your partner throws at you and move on from there. "Yes, and" applies to everyday life, too.
Another voice is added to the heartfelt chorus: women who have experienced inappropriate, unwanted sexual advances. We must keep speaking out.
A positive perspective is important and useful—but acknowledging feelings before shifting to rationality can be valuable.
Setting goals and striving as hard as you can is great—except when it backfires. A paradoxical story within a story illustrates the challenge and points to a solution.
We may want to perform at our best, but at times illness, injury, or life events conspire to limit what we can truly expect of ourselves.How then can we maximize our performance?
Transient hypofrontality is an elegant term to describe the possible mechanism for why running and other physical activities can alter our thought processes.
SMART goals are a great idea. But how do you actually implement them? Interval Goal Setting is a straightforward way to use your own performance to set new goals.
In our lives, we tend to find the easy way out—but that can backfire. Here are some ideas about creative, present-moment engagement.
Coping at an early age with the end of a career that's defined who you are--for athletes and dancers--offers challenges and solutions.
This is an exciting moment when organizations and structures are increasingly connecting the performance issues and mental skills of both athletes and performing artists.
Writing is different from immediate performance, yet it shares a number of aspects with performance. General principles help make the process and outcome more productive.
How do you discuss your child's performance with them? The timing and content are important for good results. This applies to our own performance, too.
Handling challenging situations in a constructive way can involve resolving past issues and addressing future concerns so that you can live most effectively in the present.
How can a cucumber decrease tension? Maybe you've imagined the answer. Three stories illustrate our unique, individualized ways of using imagery for optimal performance.
Our past experiences can help guide us toward more fulfilling futures--whether the elusive "work/life balance" or setting goals for the next competition.
Imagery is one of the key psychological skills for optimal performance. In this story, a tennis player develops images to help cope with post-surgical pain.
Kate F. Hays, Ph.D., is a psychologist and author whose practice in Toronto, The Performing Edge, focuses on sport and performance psychology.