Over the past half century, the branch of performance psychology has grown dramatically to focus on studying the human factors that enable individuals, teams, and groups to reach their goals for achieving success. Although it is often stereotypically associated with high-end performance in the arena of professional sports, the discipline studies human traits that can be applied to performance in business, performing arts, fitness, the military, or any other domain with a performance component. In fact, many performance psychologists conduct their work with the goal of facilitating peak performance guidelines into best practice through even the most mundane elements of our daily lives and interpersonal relationships too.
What Performance Psychologists Do
Performance psychologists are given the responsibility of helping individuals or groups of people identify the positive mindset for developing, enhancing, and maintaining optimal human performance in a variety of applications. Whether working with athletes, singers, dancers, actors, business owners, soldiers, leaders, doctors, or just average joes, performance psychologists will draw on psychological principles on the human mind to develop the mental skills that are needed to become better at what they already excel at. In most cases, performance psychologists will conduct research studies on attitude, motivation, personality, teamwork, leadership, visualization, self-programming, concentration, training, and other related domains to develop a toolkit that can be utilized to obtain peak performance. Performance psychologists have the mission of broadening clients’ skills and training them with more healthy habits to perform consistently at high levels in pressure situations.
Different Career Options in Performance Psychology
Through their expertise in goal-setting and mental training for improved performance, these psychologists can find a wide variety of career options available in helping people work towards becoming the highest possible versions of themselves. As with in other branches, performance psychologists are often employed in academia as university or college professors to teach courses in the field as well as conduct research studies on peak performance. However, those who take a practitioner approach are more likely to be found providing training insights in private practices, corporations, professional athletic teams, schools, community clinics, performing arts organizations, fitness centers, and even certain hospital departments.
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