What do you think the number one predictor of performance excellence is? Level of experience? Quality of teacher? Amount of practice? Moderation of nerves? Level of precision? These can all certainly make a difference, but even with all these things in place, there is one factor, without which, your performance will never shine.
Ask any performer what is necessary for success and they will quickly reel off a list as long as your arm… lots of practice, hard work, support, luck, maybe even a big bank account or a sugar daddy! Arguably the most important elements for success are often overlooked. It doesn’t matter how much technical expertise you develop, how many scales you practice, or how much hard work you put in, without developing the core psychological skills for peak performance, even the great virtuosos would struggle.
So why do these skills often get ignored?
It can be hard to know what these skills are, and even harder to measure and understand them. I often find performers treat them more like innate qualities rather than learnt skills, so they might say to me “I’ve never been good at focusing” or “I’m just not a confident person”. They don’t realise that these, and the other core psychological skills for peak performance are just that: skills, which anybody can learn with some practice.
Fortunately, researchers have already done the hard work for us and determined what the essential skills are.
How many of these skills have you mastered?
I’m often asked how performance coaching works and what to expect, so I asked one of my clients if I could share her story. I’ve changed the name for her privacy, but to be honest, this story reminds me of most of my clients! I hope you find it useful to get a better understanding of how performance coaching works and how it could benefit you:)