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In a survey of ASU students reflecting on their experiences of the past 12 months:
Source: American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment : Arizona State University Spring 2019. Baltimore: American College Health Association, Spring 2019, (n=2,096).
Utilize Peak Performance concepts to help build your best you. These practices contribute to optimal well-being and support your best academic performance.
A key factor to success is building the path to be at your best in the moments that truly count. Realistically, we cannot be our best at every moment of the day. As with most things, being our best when it matters takes practice. Examples of times when students want to be their best include when taking an exam, delivering a presentation, during an internship or a job interview, while playing a sport and when having a difficult conversation.
What is Peak Performance? Much of the research on Peak Performance comes from Sports Psychology. However, there are a few key concepts that we can take from this research that we can apply to all areas of our lives to help us be successful in our academic endeavors, work or in our personal lives. The six defining aspects we can utilize to help us be our best when it counts are motivation, visualization, self-talk, refocusing, emotional regulation and S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Motivation is the psychological push or force that activates or maintains a behavior. What determines our motivation can be broken down into three factors: our confidence in our abilities, our expectations about the outcome and finding value in what we do. When our motivation is lacking, we can address one of these factors to improve our motivation and increase the likelihood of success.
Tips to improve or maintain your motivation:
Visualization means using all of your senses to create an experience in your mind. Before we achieve a goal, we have to have an idea of what it looks like. Visualization has been shown to improve athletic performance by enhancing motivation, coordination and concentration, as well as reducing fear and anxiety. These same skills can also be applied in your academic, work and personal life to help you succeed.
Visualization asks the question, “what percentage of your game is mental?” and forces you to answer, “how much do you practice the mental aspect?”
Visualization is an important part of achieving any kind of goal and will increase your success. Practice visualization and your interview skills with virtual practice interviews provided by ASU Career Services.
Self-talk is the way you talk to yourself, either in your head or out loud. It is a powerful form of communication that can help you progress towards your goals or impede your success. Try using positive and realistic affirmations in your day-to-day life. Not everything will always be in our control, but we can control how we react.
Tips for enhancing self-talk:
Emotional regulation signifies the ability to realize, readily accept and respond appropriately to situations. At some point in everyone’s life, emotions can spin out of control. Whether provoked by an argument, professional or personal failure, or concern for a loved one, unchecked emotions can lead to regret for things said and done in the heat of the moment. It’s important to recognize emotions and identify the problem, so that they can be effectively managed. Identify and reflect on emotions when they start to impede your ability to do your best work.
Tips for practicing emotional regulation:
Challenge yourself by setting and pursuing goals. Goals serve as a guide to achieving success or something you desire, in your academic, work or personal life. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time bound. When goals are designed using the S.M.A.R.T. method, you will be more likely to stay on track and achieve them.
For more information on S.M.A.R.T. goals, including sample goals, a detailed breakdown of each acronym and specific steps to setting S.M.A.R.T. wellness goals, visit the Set Wellness Goals page.