How to Achieve Peak Performance
Peak performance in football and other sports completes or pages on sport psychology and mental training. Peak performance means playing at the very best of ones ability, being “on a roll” or “in the groove”. Think back to your greatest achievement on the sports field or even in life as a whole. What was it that caused you to play so well? Unfortunately, most of us will have trouble answering that question, and such events are rare. The idea of peak performance is to turn these rare events into regular events. Peak performance started as a concept in athletics, but now it is well recognised in football or soccer and other sports as well as in the business world.
What characteristics does a state of peak performance have?
- Feeling relaxed. It is a common mistake that we should be “psyched up” to play at our best, but research shows that this is not true. The best state of arousal is slightly above normal, that is relaxed, but with a feeling of energy.
- Confident. There is a feeling of expecting to succeed, not hoping or wishing for success, but expecting it. There is no fear, and a trust in instincts and intuition.
- Complete focus. There is a feeling of being in the present, of being totally absorbed in the moment, with no sense of time.
- A feeling of that everything is effortless. Movements are smooth, even graceful, with the mind and body in perfect harmony. The game feels as if it requires little or no effort.
- Automatic actions. In other words, there is a feeling of being on autopilot with no interference from thoughts or emotions. Athletes perform better when apparently no conscious thoughts are involved. A footballer needs to be able to think about tactics, and who is around him, but the idea of not being distracted by emotions applies.
- Being in control. You feel in control, so that what you think will happen does happen.
- Fun. A sense of enjoyment. Peak performance is not obtained when we are bored. This is one reason why it’s important for coaches to make training as interesting as possible.