Mental Skills Training

Why practise the mental side of performance?

Achieving outstanding results often requires a great deal of practice. However, practising just the physical side of performance (i.e. playing the instrument, competing in a race or delivering a presentation) might not be enough to achieve success because the lack of mental rather than physical skills is often the cause of problems that arise during practice or performance.

What are mental skills and techniques, and what can they help us with?

Mental skills and techniques are various exercises that can help us achieve our goals.

Research shows that mental skills training can have a significant positive impact on our practice and performance. It is used with athletes, musicians, students and those in the military or business. Mental skills training can enable a calm, focused and goal-oriented state of mind and advance the quality of self-awareness, motivation and self-regulation. Studies show that it can even enhance wellbeing, as it increases levels of perceived self-efficacy, positive affect and self-esteem. Finally, mental skills training has shown to enhance mental toughness, which is one of the most important predictors of success.

What techniques does Mental Skills Training include?

  • Relaxation

  • Goal-setting

  • Self-talk

  • Imagery

Watch our coach Donata deliver this short imagery relaxation exercise to help you relax and feel calmer:

If you are interested in learning more about how mental skills training could help you, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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Golby, J., & Wood, P. (2016). The Effects of Psychological Skills Training on Mental Toughness and Psychological Well-Being of Student-Athletes. Psychology, 7, 901-913.
Lemyre, P. N., Hall, H. K., & Roberts, G., C. (2005). A social cognitive approach to burnout in elite athletes. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports 18, 221–234.
Osborne, M. S., Greene, D. J., & Immel, D. T. (2014). Managing performance anxiety and improving mental skills in conservatoire students through performance psychology training: a pilot study. Psychol. Well BeingTheory Res. Pract. 18, 1–17.
Sheard, M., & Golby, J. (2006). Effect of a Psychological Skills Training Program on Swimming Performance and Positive Psychological Development. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4(2), 149-169.
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Weinberg, R., & Gould, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (5thed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.