The fourth element of peak performance psychology builds upon and complements the other elements as well as utilising other cognitive skills such as memory and analysis. It is concerned with helping you learn new skills as effectively as possible and then reaching and maintaining the highest levels of performance in those skills. These might be physical skills such as skydiving, scuba diving or skiing, intellectual skills like chess, mathematics or writing, or ones that combine both elements, for example, playing a musical instrument or cooking.
Learning some of these skills will involve becoming familiar with large amounts of facts, others by performing some physical action until it becomes successfully integrated into long-term motor-memory. Some of these methods will be familiar to you: you will probably have used them at school or at university, at any seminars you might have attended or at any on-the-job training you might have done at work.
However, there are situations in which further elements are necessary to master a particular skill. This will be so, for example, when high level performance is largely determined by internal psychological factors. In cases such as these, it can be useful to emulate as closely as possible the psychology of someone who has already mastered it.
This might include emulating their beliefs, their mental focus, their internal sensory representations, their underlying motivations, their intuitive and trained reactions and their learned behaviours. In other words, learning to emulate the full range of their internal mental strategies. However, many of these strategies might be so deeply ingrained into associative memory as to be effectively unconscious and therefore not capable of being easily articulated by the person you are learning from. As such they are not easy to teach in a traditional didactic manner.
So, instead, we will outline a procedure known as modelling. This involves breaking down the beliefs, internal sensory and muscular representations of the peak performer, finding out exactly what it is that they do when they are performing their skill, breaking down these elements into essential and non-essential parts, and then emulating the essential elements in as similar a way as possible, with the aim of replicating the same outcomes and results.
Our courses will cover the essential elements of modelling by pairing you up with a peak performer in a particular field, showing you how to master their strategy for what they do; we will show you how to generalise what you learn so that you can apply modelling techniques to any situation where you want to learn a new skill or improve upon a current one.
Additionally, having learned a new skill, most people find that after a while they reach a level where they do not make any further improvement. This is known as a performance plateau. We will outline research showing how you can practise any newly-learned skill in such a way that you can keep on raising your levels of performance and thereby avoid and overcome any performance plateaus.
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