Perfectionism and other forms of self-pressure arise when we internalize judgments or beliefs about ourselves, how we are perceived, and the impact our actions have on ourselves and others. Unlike normal performance pressure (which occurs when the approval or successful execution of our actions carry disproportionate, high-stakes, or very public consequences), self-pressure can occur in the absence of—or even contrary to—external consequences or judgment from others. Self-pressure can be a valuable tool for dedication to routine, practice, and self-improvement, but it can also trap us in self-judgment, burnout, and self-limiting beliefs.
Psychology is an increasingly important part of elite sport. Winning at the highest levels can depend as much on peak-fitness of the mind as the body. For top-level sports people it’s not just skill and athleticism they count. So often, it’s mind over matter.
Dr. Patrick Cohn and Dr. Megan Melchiorre, our newest member to the Peak Performance Sports Mental Coaching team, start a new mental game video series for volleyball coaches, players and parents. They discuss the psychology of volleyball and some of the challenges that volleyball players have.