Have you ever been so distracted by your thoughts, feelings, and reactions surrounding performance that you made poor decisions and barely made it through? Performance flexibility is a concept we promote and a term I use to describe the ability of a performer/athlete to effectively navigate the highs and lows of performance that naturally occur and remain proficient and resilient throughout. At the heart of performance excellence is the ability for the performer/athlete to be flexible within competition or in the face of adversity. I believe that mastery of applicable performance enhancing components that we teach promote performance flexibility. In competition or performance, the situation can change rapidly. Performance flexibility allows the athlete to adjust, regroup, refocus, and respond to the present situation. This is an idea adopted from the late Ken Ravizza, world leading peak performance consultant and former sport psychology professor at Cal State Fullerton.
why is performance flexibility important?
Performance encompasses a series of setbacks and set forwards that can easily derail the path to success and excellence. The more mentally flexible an individual is within performance, the more adaptable they can be to variations and the greater their ability to maintain an optimal zone of natural excellence.
Resilience is the foundation of performance excellence as it most readily speaks to a performer’s mental flexibility. I believe flexibility that is rooted in resilience comes from having an appropriate balance of components such as, values-based goals, present moment awareness and acceptance, optimal motivation, and effective indivdualized mental routines that promote performance flexibility. For example, mental routines compel the athlete or performer to utilize multiple mental skills, that we teach, to help achieve an optimal zone of natural excellence prior to, during, and post competition. As the individual or group masters the ability to shift from a training mindset to a competition/performance mindset, they are able to execute appropriate tasks exhibiting the resilience necessary to flow within the highs and lows of an unstable environment. Quality practice of the concepts and skills we offer will help bring permanence to these aspects as a part of the individual’s life in and out of performance. This in turn creates a more mentally tough individual who is adequately trained, proficient, and ready to respond in the moment.