Elite Performance and the Psychology of Excellence. By Dr. K.C. Wilder

| April 22nd, 2019

Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off the seventh tee during the final round for the Masters golf tournament, Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Tiger Woods 2019 Master’s win exemplified a successful World-class performance. What exactly IS the psychology of excellence and what patterns are consistently observed?

ASPECT magazine interviewed Dr. Kathryn C. Wilder, Ph.D., Elite Mental Edge, Human Performance Consultant. Here is an excerpt from that article that was first published in April 2003. The ideas on the psychology of excellence are worth revisiting today.

ASPECT: What is the psychology of excellence?

Dr. Wilder: Successful performances in different fields follow a similar pattern. What drives a world-renowned musician to peak performance also propels a surgeon to excellence. What works to enhance performance in athletics also works in business. World-class performance in almost every field seem to follow a pattern of thinking and behaving that is remarkably consistent. There are several key lessons to be learned from top performers that can be used to help anyone reach his or her toughest goals. Think of them as a formula for success.

ASPECT: In general, what elements make for a successful performance?

Dr. Wilder: One of the keys to excellence is to focus on the present and avoid thinking about past or future performances. This can be accomplished in many ways. I tell my athletes I work with to use past achievements to meet present challenges. Visualizing recent accomplishments can help athletes excel because it reminds them that they have overcome obstacles in the past.

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