Peak performance can be learned
Leading athletes and sports people must often confront the unrelenting challenge to perform at their best week after week, combined with the impossible expectations of others. To be successful they might have to face:-
- Grueling schedules
- Fierce competition
- High demand to be the best
- Pressure from media and spectators
- High team expectations
The result is of course high stress which is typically not optional. This stress cant easily be avoided if you want to play the game. In other words, the athlete may not have a choice but to try to improve how they personaly respond to the stress.
Peak performers have mastered this art - they have learned who they are and developed some self-mastery.
We can define peak performance as delivering your very best when it matters the most. We argue that peak performance can be learned and the necessary behaviours engaged on demand. To succeed at the highest level requires more than knowing what must be done. Can you trust your intuition and ability to adapt to stress in the moment?
The key to this is not motivation or a self-help book. It is about SELF though - Self awareness, Self control and Self management. These three qualities you can gain with the help of biofeedback.
Competitive situations or even their anticipation can create pressure and stress that can "sneak up" on the athlete and make peak performance impossible. This is because stress can disturb the balance of your autonomic nervous system. We are literally wired that way. Of course we don't all respond to a pressure situation in the same way - it is very individual.
The athlete can learn self awareness by observing through biofeedback equipment how they personally and maybe habitually repsond to stress. The clues are in how we breath, how our heart rate varies, how we hold tension in our muscles, how blood flows through our body and even how we sweat. By using sensors the athlete can observe their bodies reaction to stress. The revelation is how we can then go on to self control. We can learn to bring our autonomic nervous system into balance with biofeedback. With plenty of practice these new skills can become part of our unconscious skill set.
The gift of an autonomic nervous system in balance is clear thought under pressure. It is relaxed muscles that dont block our expert movement. It is the gift that sets our trained and honed talents to be on display for the world to see.
Want to learn more? We are offering a new course on the "Practical Application of Biofeedback for Peak Performance" to be held in central London in May.