Some of the following quotes, from me, Dr. Kathryn C. Wilder are excerpts from an article in a magazine called ASPECT. ASPECT examines the viewpoints of an eclectic mix of notable people in the search for truth, and is sponsored by Dudnyk Healthcare Group. The interview took place April, 2003.
Dudnyk Healthcare Group (DHG): What is the psychology of excellence?Successful performances in different fields follow a similar pattern. Using sport psychology techniques, I help athletes develop a process, or routine, for performing that enables them to focus on what is happening right now. The athlete who has well-defined goals, and who, during a competition, can focus on the process of performance, rather than on the outcome, will achieve the greatest success.
Dr. Wilder: What drives a world-renowned musician to peak performance also propels a surgeon to excellence. What works to enhance performance in athletics also works in business. World-class performers in almost every field seem to follow a pattern of thinking and behaving that is remarkably consistent. There are several key lessons to be learned from top performers that can be used to help anyone reach his or her toughest goals. Think of them as a formula for success.
DHG: In general, what elements make for successful performance?
Dr. Wilder: It is effective to reflect upon past performances. This can be accomplished in many ways. I tell athletes I work with to embrace, and reflect upon challenges they have encountered in their past. It reminds them that they have overcome obstacles by taking many different paths to achieve their desired outcome. I also counsel athletes to not dwell on their mistakes in the middle of a performance, so they recover from errors by focusing on their next move. They analyze errors later, when doing so can be instructive, not distracting. Successful athletes also learn to block out external distractions during a performance to drive excellence. Finally, I help athletes create a game plan.