The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life – New from the Great Courses and coming soon to The Great Courses Plus!
In the classic joke, a New York tourist asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The old answer: “Practice. Practice. Practice.”
Today, the relatively new science of performance psychology tells us that the old answer is incomplete at best. In The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life, clinical sport psychologist Eddie O’Connor, Ph.D., shares the best ways for you to reach your personal Carnegie Hall based on the latest scientific research—whether your performance environment is music, dance, business, or sport. These often surprising research results will make you rethink your own performance strategies, offering approaches you might never have considered and busting myths you might have taken as truth.
In addition to the scientific research, Dr. O’Connor brings a wealth of anecdotal examples from his twenty years of clinical experience working with youth, college, international, and professional athletes; health professionals; and corporate executives. His easy-going manner, ability to make scientific theory and research results accessible to all, and numerous illustrative videos and demonstrations provide an energetic and interactive learning environment.
In The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life, you will learn how to tackle some of the greatest challenges that arise as you work towards your goals. The very first step is to clearly define those goals and your values, discovering how to shape your practice and performance as you go. Even with your path clearly defined, however, there are difficulties you will need to tackle along the way.
One of the most common roadblocks to success is performance anxiety, which you can learn to overcome through imagery techniques and other tools. A crucial thing to remember as you “get in the zone”—that psychological place where everything comes together and feels easy—is to remember to be compassionate to yourself when you don’t succeed right away. Pushing ahead and struggling will always be a part of accomplishing your goals; Dr. O’Connor teaches not only how to succeed, but how to deal with the negative parts of your journey as well, including how to identify and prevent burnout.
The relatively new field of performance psychology is helping performers around the world up their mental, emotional, and physical games in sport, dance, art, and business. With The Psychology of Performance: How to Be Your Best in Life, you, too, can aim for the top with scientifically proven theories and skills.
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