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Condor Performance Blog - Performing under pressure

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why it's mostly a mental battle at the very top

Many people know (will tell you) that at the elite level it’s about 90 % mental and yet they only spend 10% of their time on this part of their performance. There is a good explanation for this oddity. At the highest level of most sports the reason why the top 10 and the 100th best are most different psychologically is because the technical and physical areas have evened themselves out. In other words everyone at this level does about the same quantity and quality of work on the technical and physical parts.

Therefore the reason why psychological strengths are so dominant at the deciding the very best from the almost best is because this is the only part of performance that hasn’t “plateaued” yet amongst the super elite. I’ve worked with elite athletes who have made it to the top 100 in the world but whose “mental capabilities” are so poor it would be the technical equivalent of an equestrian athlete getting onto the horse facing the wrong way. Of course this also explains why 10% only work on the mental side. Regardless of how keen they are to improve the BIG FIVE (confidence, concentration, performing under pressure, decision making and motivation) very, very few people actually know the science based mental skills that – when delivered appropriately – do this.

Let us know your thoughts, GJM

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