Can you remember a time you were performing at your best? What were you thinking? Did your actions feel effortless? Were you so caught up in the moment that you didn't care what others thought or what the outcome would be? If your answers were 'yes', then you experienced what sport psychology consultants call, "flow", "peak performance", "optimal performance", or an "in-the-zone"experience.
Who can experience peak performance?
You can! And you may have experienced it today without even realizing it. Peak performance can happen to athletes, musicians, dancers, students, business people, parents, etc. Research has shown that peak performance isn't a regular occurrence, nor can you force it upon yourself or others. However, studies have also shown that it's not something that just happens by chance; with the right tools, you could put yourself in the position to experience it more often.
How do I experience peak performance more often?
There are a number of factors contributing to the nature of peak performance, and some of the key mental skills involved are: anxiety management, confidence, motivation, focus, thought control, and self talk. Ultimately, peak performance happens when you just "let go", and focus on the here and now, or in other words, this very moment.
"Performing on purpose, with purpose."
Elite athletes perform on purpose, with purpose. What many average athletes take for granted and leave to chance, the elite athlete will do deliberately. They focus on "this pitch", "this serve", or "this snap". When you are performing in the here and now, and doing so with purpose, you feel no anxiety because you're not concerned about the future, nor are you bogged down by what happened yesterday because you know that you can't control what happened in the past. Peak performance happens TODAY, in this very moment.