There are many lessons that businesses can learn from Australia’s inspiring and disproportionately large share of sporting success, according to an expert in high performance, who said one of the most interesting parallels is on the subject of ‘mindset’.
“Athletes with better coping skills and who courageously execute their game plan, despite the result, often come out on top or at least achieve their personal best,” said Terry Reynolds, regional managing director, Asia Pacific, rogenSi, a global consultancy focused on sales and leadership execution.
“The same idea applies for those playing in a highly competitive business environment. Precious little separates athletes at the technical and physiological level. It’s the ‘mindset’ that makes the difference.”
When the stakes are high, he said performance is mostly driven by an ability to perform under pressure when needed most – and it’s often the teams that regress the least that perform the best.
Reynolds said that there are four key areas that make up a high performance mindset.
1. The ability to cope under pressure. When we look at peak performers, they remain on the front foot with their coping.
Always climbing forward through adversity, rather than being on the back foot, reacting to what’s going on around them.
2. Motivation – the ability to harness mastery-focused motivation. To be motivated alone is not enough. It’s a particular type of motivation that is important for mental toughness. That is, a motivation that comes from the inside-out, directed towards mastery.
When we get the type of motivation right, we’re able to maintain a thriving source of energy, resilient to outside pressures.
3. Maintaining the most resourceful self-beliefs. Self-belief also needs to be developed from the inside-out. Genuine commitment comes from believing in ourselves, and in what we’re doing, despite challenge, failure or rejection.
4. The ability to maintain a laser-like focus. Peak performers take aim and focus on the right thing at the right time despite distraction.