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APA Books
American Psychological Association
Book Order Department
P.O. Box 92984
Washington, DC 20090-2984
United States

Call:  1-800-374-2721
Fax:  1-202-336-5502

About the Book

Expert athletes understand the mind–body connection. For years, they have learned mental skills from coaches, consultants, and other practitioners in order to optimize physical performance. Now, these same mental skills are being taught to a broad range of performers, such as dancers, actors, lawyers, surgeons, business leaders, and rescue workers. The resulting new field of performance psychology allows performers from a variety of fields to "get their head out of the way so that their body can do what it's trained to do."

In detail, this book shows the everyday practice of performance psychology. Case by case, the stories demonstrate how consultants have helped performers develop confidence, overcome mental blocks, manage emotions, and use preparation techniques such as imagery and positive self-talk in order to achieve the best possible mental state for performance.

The chapters blend theory and practice by integrating literature reviews with real-world applications, and they cover a wide range of performers, including athletes, performing artists, business leaders, and professionals in high-risk occupations. Extensive session transcripts are provided, including the consultants' thoughts and reactions throughout the session.

Engaging, nuanced, personal, and highly accessible, this book will help practitioners and students from a variety of fields explore performance psychology…in action.
(From APA.ORG,



  • Mental Attributes For Peak Performance
    • The "Canon" of Psychological Skills Training for Enhancing Performance
      —Mark B. Andersen
    • Emotional Intelligence —Sean C. McCann
    • Confidence —Daniel R. Gould
    • Mental Preparation, Memorization, and Improvisation —Sandra Foster, Paul J. Lloyd, and Sara Kamin
  • Performance Challenges
    • Performance Anxiety —Kate F. Hays
    • Audition Anxiety —David J. Grand
    • Working With Perfection —Lynda M. Mainwaring
    • Competition —Gloria Balague
  • Performance-Related Consequences
    • Eating Disorders —Karen D. Cogan
    • Isolation —Shane Murphy
    • Overtraining, Burnout, Injury, and Retirement —Kirsten M. Peterson
  • The Consultant and the System
    • Adolescent Performers and the Family System —Douglas M. Hankes
    • Team Leadership —Robert S. Weinberg
    • Hierarchical Public Safety Organizations —Mario J. Scalora
    • Competition —Gloria Balague
  • Conclusion
    • The Consultant as a Performer —Charles H. Brown


Have you heard about performance psychology? As defined in this book, it is a discipline that "chiefly focuses on intervention strategies to increase and manage success." Performance psychology borrows largely from sport psychology and performance enhancement approaches used in business, the arts and other high-risk occupations.

Editor Kate F. Hays assembled 15 chapters by contemporary experts in the relatively new and emerging field of performance psychology. At first glance, you may struggle to find a unifying theme among the various chapters. However, with careful reading, the picture becomes clearer: performance psychology is an amalgam of intervention methods principally devoted to emotional, social and behavioral influences on peak occupational functioning.

-for the rest of James K. Luiselli's review, click here


Dr. Kate Hay's blog @ Psychology Today
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