Performance Psychology is not just limited to sport. It can be applied to anyone wanting to be their best for whatever it is they want to do. Vague, I know. But the principles are actually quite similar, whether you’re wanting to conquer a fear of public speaking and perform in your job or if you want to get a podium result in your chosen sport. 

If we talk about sport and sports performance, the things that might present barriers to an athlete being able to deliver their best efforts include (but are not limited to):

  • fatigue
  • injury
  • loss of confidence
  • anxiety 
  • a previous experience that didn’t go well
  • fears about being good enough for the next steps in your sporting career
  • loss of motivation and passion, “What’s the point?”
  • Struggles with navigating the interplay between sacrifices and goals
  • Interpersonal stressors (within your team, with your coach)
  • Interpersonal stressors (with loved ones and family)
  • fear of failing

Sometimes these barriers can be incredibly frustrating, as athletes feel ‘stuck’. This ‘stuckness’ can create a lot of fear, especially if someone’s purpose and identity are strongly linked (or even fused) to their performance in the sport. 

If we are talking about performance in the workplace, many of the same issues arise, including:

  • Not good enough stories
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Comparison to other people and beliefs around falling short 
  • lack of confidence and self belief
  • lack of motivation and loss of passion/purpose
  • Burnout
  • Anxiety 
  • Interpersonal stressors (within the workplace, a bully, a colleague you have friction with)
  • Interpersonal stressors (at home, that then show up at work)

A common theme here is that nothing happens in isolation. There’s a very complex interplay of biological, physiological, hormonal, psychological and social factors and so performance optimisation needs to address all of these things.  This is where whole-person health care is key.