Association of Applied Performance Psychology

  • Applied Performance Psychology
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Psychology In Action:Psychology In Action recognizes Applied Performance Psychology (APP) as an important component of an athlete’s success, at least equal to strength, power, endurance, flexibility and technical skills. For this reason, coaches and athletes are taught an ‘action orientated approach’ that includes APP skills in their daily training schedules. Regular use of APP skills reinforces the athlete’s mind-body balance, thus strengthening their inner competitor and expanding their potential for success both in sport and life in general.

Inner-Competitor:The athlete’s mind influences their body and their body affects their mind, the so-called mind-body balance. Although physical and technical training is vital, for an athlete to reach their potential, be that racing fast or success in life, they must attain a healthy mind-body balance. This is achieved via regular use of APP skills and developing their inner-competitor.

Athletes with a strong inner-competitor are mentally tough, resilient, recover quicker from mistakes, remain determined, and focused. Possess a psychological edge that helps them effectively control demanding competition, training, and life situations. The athlete with a strong inner-competitor thrives under race conditions, reacts positively to pressure, and is more able to reach their potential.

The inner-competitor is the crucial link between physical talents, fitness levels, and performance success - it determines outcomes!



Performance Psychology Skills aim to promote mental and physical well-being, by strengthening the mind-body connection. According to the World Health Organization “without mental health, there can be no true physical health”. This does not mean that physical symptoms are ‘all in your head’, more that the mind and body relationship can exert a powerful positive or negative influence on your physical and mental well-being. Thoughts and feelings affect your body and physical symptoms, influence your mind, what you think, how you feel, and what you do.

Here are two examples of eminent athletes, who are open about their mental health challenges:

Michael Phelps,the most highly decorated Olympian of all time, stated in a 2018 interview with CNN, that “After every Olympics, I think I fell into a major state of depression.”

Serena Williams,a global tennis champion, in a 2011 interview with The Telegraph, Williams revealed that she had been battling depression since winning Wimbledon the previous year, following injuries and health difficulties. “I cried all the time. I was miserable to be around.”

Performance Psychology skills help you cope with mental and physical challenges by teaching you how to focus on the way you think about yourself, the world and others.

This empowering approach helps you control how you we think, feel and act. They build resilience, understood as the capacity to constructively respond to, and cope with, difficult situations, events or setbacks. Ranging from the build-up of stress in daily life to significant life-changing events. A resilient person is more able to manage challenges as they occur, recover more effectively afterward, and learn and grow from the most challenging situations.

In short, Performance Psychology Skills not only help you train and compete to the best of your ability but also positively influence your physical and mental well-being, reinforce your ability to deal with stress you encounter at school, work and in your everyday life.