Performance Coaching : Sports Injury Prevention

Performance coaching is more traditionally associated with business, but is becoming increasingly popular in professional sports. Performance coaching is a way of optimising an athlete’s performance through a combination of psychological and physiological preparation. In elite athletes it is often helpful to have performance coaching before a big event, and in professional sports it is becoming more popular because of the increasing intensity of elite sport, and the pressure on athletes to perform well.

What does Performance Coaching Involve?

In general, performance coaching will combine psychological and physiological techniques to get the athlete mentally and physically prepared for competition. There is particular emphasis on psychology, since most athletes are in shape anyway. Research has been done to explain the characteristics of high achievers, and this information is used to create psychological techniques designed to improve motivation and performance. The actual techniques in performance coaching vary depending on whether they are aimed at individuals or teams.

Performance Coaching for Individuals

For individual athletes the focus of performance coaching is on increasing confidence, attention and focus, along with learning to manage nerves and anxiety. Mental preparation is helped by setting up specific and achievable goals and working on an attainable game plan. Once the performance has finished, performance coaching encourages athletes to evaluate their performance and identify areas of improvement to help them progress in the future.

Performance Coaching for Teams

In team sports performance coaching is usually focused on improving team spirit and group dynamics, building cohesion and honing team tactics, strategies and goals. Performance coaching will also try to boost the confidence of individual team members. As with performance coaching for individuals, there is also emphasis on managing nerves and anxiety, and on how to relax and evaluate your performance once it is finished.

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