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Can You Count On Peak Performance?

Posted on 10/27/10 6 Comments

John Cullen is a great resource. I know I have mentioned him a several times over this past year but if you haven’t checked out his blog you really should click here and do so. While you are there sign up to his mailing list. By signing up not only will you get info directly from him when he is ready to launch his new mental prep program, but you get access to this really cool diagnostic questionnaire that he put together to help his private clients discover more about themselves.

So after I filled out the questionnaire myself I asked John about it. Here is what he had to say;

Questionnaires like this one are often used in sport psychology consultation to determine the strengths and weaknesses in your psychological skills. This particular questionnaire will provide an overall score for your psychological skills and also measures the following specific characteristics:

* Ability to cope with adversity

* Peaking while under pressure

* Goal setting and mental preparation

* Concentration skills

* Freedom from worry

* Confidence in one’s self

* Coachability

While your psychological skills are only one part of the success equation, they allow you perform up to your potential and give you the edge over your competition. Once you understand where your strengths lie and your weaknesses hide, you can begin developing performance strategies to emphasize your strong psychological characteristics while you work on improving your weaker ones. Athletes will benefit just by completing this questionnaire because it directs them to pay attention to how they respond to challenges in their sport environment. Awareness is the first step in improvement.

Great insight. I have asked John to do a guest blog for me here,  I am hoping he can put something together for us all this week.  Cool stuff. And speaking of cool you just have to check out this presentation John has on his Youtube sight. Take notes, I learned tons, I know you will to.

Awesome stuff, to quote a friend of mine, a double dose of awesome sauce. This is the passage that struck a chord with me;

“There is no room for fear in peak performance. There are no worries of what happens if you make the wrong decision or if you fail to execute your move. You are aggressive, you go for it, you make it happen. It is the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win”

What about you, have you ever experienced peak performance? Yes? No? I don’t know? If so how often do you think you can count on it? Is it 10% of the time or more like 80% of the time? Can you predict it? Can you walk in with the feeling like;  “I am so going to nail this one” or is it more like “crap I hope I don’t embarrass myself too badly today”?

Today I am grateful for the wonderful group of seminar goers here in Arizona, I always made to feel very welcome here.


  1. Marc from Success.NET says:
    Friday, December 3, 2010 at 3:32pm

    Great blog post and great article. I find peak performance comes when you’ve prepared yourself in several areas that come together in perfect sync.


  2. Jenn says:
    Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 12:22pm

    This post came at a crucial time for me. Sharon I don’t know how you do it, but you always post such relevant things when I need them.
    I recently attended my first Championships with disappointing results. My results were not based on my handling skill or my dogs skills but purely due to my mental & psychological skills. My best,but certainly not pretty, run came after the leash runner whom I complete with regularily said something along the lines of “it’s just like putting out brush fires”, I’m sure she was just trying to lighten me up but then it hit me…Oh yea, I used to be a wildland firefighter and have faced far scarier things than this. I was able to battle thru horrible nerves and focus issues during that run based on memories of a time when “peak performance” was a life-or-death necessity.
    It seems so silly now, but so very relevant.
    I took John’s psychological survey and guess what…it directly reflected what occurred at Championships.
    Thanks for convincing John to blog…I’ve learned so much already!


  3. Sylvia Feder says:
    Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:33am

    >> What about you, have you ever experienced peak performance? Yes? No? I don’t know? If so how often do you think you can count on it? Is it 10% of the time or more like 80% of the time? Can you predict it? Can you walk in with the feeling like; ”I am so going to nail this one” or is it more like “crap I hope I don’t embarrass myself too badly today”?<<

    This is actually a fascinating question and topic. I don't compete in anything with my dogs (probably never will), but I sure enjoy watching people who do. Still, I am familiar with that "nailed it," peak performance feeling.

    In fact, I had one at work yesterday. I'm a paramedic and while many of our calls are routine, from time to time our actions make a difference. Yesterday my partner and I were called to resuscitate a young woman who suffered a cardiac arrest. It was a complex, fast-paced evolution, and I think we, as well as the firefighters we worked with, were all operating at "peak performance;" we did resuscitate this woman. It's a feeling that definitely resonated when I read your post.

    At this event, as perhaps in dog sports, I feel it is more than one person (me); it's my partner, the people I work with, and sometimes things outside all of our controls that dictate how one feels about the outcome. And it sure does feel good when it all comes together.

    Great post.



    • Acho says:
      Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:17am

      Great job Jodi! It’s very true that all great leaders have been know for their visoin. Influencing others is a difficult thing to accomplish and very few are great at it. Thanks for giving us some tools that we can use in our business to help others see the visoin that we have for our businesses.


  4. Jane n Bobs says:
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 10:41am

    Just love this quote, it really gets me going when my ‘get up and go’ is lacking…..

    Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail!!!


  5. Trudie says:
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 7:47am

    Thanks for the words from this great guest blogger.
    This is how I want my dog to feel too!

    In case anyone hasn’t got it, Susan’s “Building the Team” ebook is a really good investment here !! After the recallers course I’m reading it again and getting more from it.

    The mental attitude is great but, nevertheless as Mr Cullen and Susan say: first you have to have put in the work:
    -getting your own physical skills in shape.
    As well as, – your handling skills,
    – the criteria you set at the start line,
    – your dog’s competence for independent obstacle performance, and
    -building up all of your fundamental games together as a team which lead up to the “final” game on the course.

    I am so delighted, with my reluctant tugger we are now tugging in the face of more and more distractions, my dog is giving me so much to be proud of!!!


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