Notes on Performance Psychology Isn’t Just for Athletes

By Hannah Prince

Performance psychology can be used outside of sports, in the realm of business to develop both human skills an emotional regulation skills (Prince, 52). Employment of skills to reach optimal performance requires knowledge of how emotions affect our performance and which of these emotions is most beneficial to performance (Prince, 52). Each person has different emotions that aid them in functioning. For some people, this could be anger and for others, this could be happiness (Prince, 52). Additionally, emotions are said to be ‘contagious,’ meaning they can spread through one person to another (Prince, 52).

To start the process of implementing performance psychology, athletes must first become aware of how they respond to intense situations (Prince, 52). This is followed by their first implementations of emotional regulation strategies. This process is generally as follows : athletes accept that unwanted emotions may occur, as is the nature of being human; change perspectives on the situation or recenter their attention away from the unwanted emotion or emotions in general; and finally reflect upon the situation and whether or not the techniques they used to accomplish their emotional goals were helpful for performance (Prince, 53).

One additional technique used to aid brain function is the use of “emotional gratitude” (Prince, 54). Before performing, athletes can use techniques to induce gratitude, such as inquiring “What am I grateful for?” before a game (Prince, 54).

Prince, Hannah. “Performance Psychology Isn’t Just for Athletes.” Talent Development, June 2019.

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