How to tackle high-pressure situations according to an Olympic coach

05 May 2020

Having coached more than 1,000 elites in the fields of sports, dance, and music, Dr Don Greene is no stranger to high-stress situations and demanding performances. 

The acclaimed author on performance psychology's methods can be successfully applied in any work situations such as investor pitches or public speaking, or even job interviews. 

To come out tops, you can consider following this approach: 

Get energised 

Work is not always fun, and it can be hard to feel excited about it. But it does not always have to be the case. 

To perform better, Dr Greene recommends doing exercise to get your heart rate pumping. Simple activities from jogging on the spot to jumping jacks can help boost your energy to tackle the challenge ahead. 

When your body is ready to get to work, you can also control your focus better and steer it towards your performance. 

Focus on your nerves

Butterflies in your belly or sweaty palms? People would usually tell you to relax or take it easy if not, your nerves might affect your performance. 

Dr Greene, however, advises people to take this adrenaline and make it your friend. You can redirect the nerves into positive adrenaline and use it to your advantage to fuel your performance. 

Work on being better 

Many people strive for perfection, but Dr Greene says it is better to strive for excellence. What is the difference? In short, perfection is doing the task in the right way, while excellence is finding the best way to finish the job. 

Dr Greene says that some people tend to over-analyse every little movement or step and try over and over to make it perfect. Instead, he encourages people to strive for excellence, stick to what you can control, and let go of everything else as there are many elements you cannot predict. 

Celebrate your hard work

For many, remembering the bad is so much easier than the good. An essential step to success is to celebrate what you did best and not focus and over-analyse the details you messed up. 

By celebrating the good, you can prevent negative thoughts from shadowing your successes and channel your good mood into bigger goals and projects in the long run. 

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