You have probably heard countless times that sport and exercise is good for your health but could psychological techniques used by elite sport stars and coaches help you manage pressure, score your life goals, and net that pay rise you've set your eyes on? If you're looking to improve your performance in an area of your life, then you can absolutely do it and the best place to start is by learning from successful sports people.
Sport and business have a lot in common and share a lot of the same behavioural traits- setting goals and targets, teamwork, competitiveness, dedication and dealing with disappointment; such as losing a sale or failing to score that crucial penalty. Pitching for new business in front of an audience can be stressful, similarly walking out on to a pitch with spectators eagerly waiting for you to score a goal is a lot of pressure. There are skills and tools available to help manage stress and keep focussed in pressurised situations. Taking a few moments when you are feeling particularly stressed to practise breathing techniques gives you the chance to refocus while you just concentrate on the breathing for a few minutes. Meditation is another technique used to manage and reduce stress. Some of the world's top athletes have made meditation an important part of their preparation and training.
In recent years there has been much written on the subject of what has been termed 'the inner game' and how the way we think can make a huge impact on how we perform. Just like sport, life works best when you have clear objectives and set goals. If you want to create the life you desire, you must know what it is you want to achieve and have something to aim for, like a runner striving to cross the finishing line. Whether the goals are sports related, work related or personal achievements, confidence and self-belief are essential to doing your best along with determination, dedication, and a number of other factors that have been shown to be common among successful sports people. Self-belief and confidence in our abilities are key to being successful and achieving our goals.
Success in sports and business alike also relies on the ability to continually move performance to higher levels and take advice and feedback on board. Sports professionals regularly get feedback from coaches after a performance and employees should regularly seek advice and guidance from their mentors. Feedback is vital to ongoing development and helps you focus on areas you need to work on. Practice makes perfect and motivation and dedication are vital to succeed on and off the pitch.
If you want to examine the key behaviours necessary for achieving your full potential - whether in the workplace or in your personal life - and look at ways you can incorporate these behaviours into your life then First Psychology Scotland workshops are available here. This interactive workshop is designed for participants who are interested in taking lessons from sport psychology to help manage stress and pressurised situations and enhance their focus and performance, in either the professional or the personal arena.