How To Perform Under Pressure Close To Your Best #BITESIZE

How To Perform Under Pressure Close To Your Best #BITESIZE

professor adam nicholls

Adam is a professor of psychology within the Department of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science, at the University of Hull. The main focus of his research relates to the psycho-social factors that predict doping among adolescent athletes, along with coping and emotions among athletes. His research is supported by more than £1.5 million of funding. He has published more than 85 journal articles and written five books. His latest book, Psychology in Sport Coaching: Theory and Practice has also been translated into both Arabic and Hungarian.

One of the hallmarks of Mentally Toughness is the ability to perform well under pressure.  Whether you play golf or cricket, or enjoy gymnastics or netball.  It’s the same in your job if you have to stand up and deliver presentations at work.

So why do many people struggle with this? Why does thriving under pressure separate the great from the good on occasions?

Many things can prevent people to be able to perform in the manner they’d like to when the pressure is on for a host of reasons, including:

  • Performance anxiety
  • A failure to learn from past mistakes
  • Focusing on the wrong things
  • Making practice sessions too comfortable
  • Personality traits, for example your Mental Toughness
  • Off field pressures

Today’s short bite taken from episode 94 of Demystifying Mental Toughness, touches on this topic where Professor Adam Nicholls shares with you a few ideas to be able to improve the way that you perform under pressure.  Enjoy tuning in!

Key Learning Points:

  • Mental Toughness is about an athlete’s ability to be able to perform well under pressure, so that their performance is not adversely affected by pressure.
  • Typical signs that someone struggles with pressure are that their routines change, that they speed up or slow down or that they fail to carry out tactics and get caught up in emotion.
  • Experience is an important factor in making good decisions under pressure.
  • Simulating pressure in training and practice is another helpful approach to take.
  • Seeking to improve your self-awareness, being open-minded to learn is also essential so that you can make smarter decisions at critical times.

Connect with Adam Nicholls

Book: Psychology in Sports Coaches: Theory and Practice



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Sign Up to The Mental Edge

Join David @ The Sports Psychology Hub

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6 Relevant podcast episodes

Ep166: Mark Bennett MBE – How To Help Athletes and Coaches Reflect On Their Performances

Ep094: Professor Adam Nicholls – How to Develop Mentally Strong Rugby Players

Ep093: Dan Abrahams – How to Overcome Mental Blocks in Football

Ep091: Jarrod Leathem – How to Transfer Your Cricket Skills to Matches

Ep089: Will Shaw – How To Transfer Your Golfing Skills To The Course 

Ep050: Compilation – Mental Strength Does Not Guarantee Success

5 Relevant blogs

Blog: How To Play Well When You Aren’t Feeling Great

Blog: 5 Coaching Tips to Develop Mentally Tough Footballers

Blog: Mental Preparation for Combat Sports

Blog: Does Your Warm Up Influence How You Perform?

Blog: 3 Tips to Help You Overcome Setbacks

4 Valuable resources

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Understanding yourself better – The 4Ts.  Timing, Thoughts, Tension and Temperature

Understand your mental toughness tendencies

Driscoll’s Model of Reflection

3 Great conversations to have with your kids to help them perform better under pressure

Conversations with Kids – Fixed Mindset

Conversations with Kids – Emotional Rollercoaster

Conversations with Kids – Bravery



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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