French Open Lessons for Performers

Haas

While writing this article, I’ve been watching the 2013 French Open, one of tennis’ premier Grand Slam tournaments.   Let’s see what we can learn from these performers on the clay courts in Paris.  It took the 12th seeded German player, Tommy Haas, 4 hours and 37 minutes and 13 match points to beat American, John Isner in five sets in the third round on June 1.  Then Haas met and beat … [Read more...]

Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 3

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In the previous posts, Are You a Mentally Tough Performer?  Pt. 1 and Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 2, we have been looking at the skills, habits, and thought processes of successful performers. What makes these performers mentally "tough" enough to withstand the pressures of performing and seemingly, fly above? In Part 1, we discussed the "basic" skills or life skills of attitude, … [Read more...]

Are You a Mentally Tough Performer? Pt. 2

mental_toughness2

In Are You a Mentally Tough Performer?  Pt. 1 we discussed how important it is for performers to be mentally tough and that mental toughness is simply having effective mental skills that allow for fearless, exciting performing.  The Level I Skills include Attitude, Motivation, Goal Setting, and Commitment—basic life habits and skills that are developed early in life. Mental Skills Needed … [Read more...]

Self-Assess Your Performing Skills

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Performers don't hesitate to assess their musical skills as they continue to train and practice to be an excellent player or singer.   It's just as important to periodically assess your mental skills in order to determine how prepared you are to move forward, to grow, and continue to evolve as an excellent and mentally strong performer.  These mental performing skills include commitment, … [Read more...]

What About Your Inner Game? (corrected)

musician's brain

As a musician you have spent, and may continue to spend, a great deal of time improving your technique and preparing to perform.  There are countless nuances in your technique that you count on to reliably work well for you when you perform.  We might (actually Barry Green with Timothy Gallwey of The Inner Game of Music fame might) call this your outer game.   This outer game is what we … [Read more...]

Strategies for Becoming a Mentally Tough Performer

Itzhak Perlman

You, like many musicians, may have heard things like, “You gotta be tough!”  “You have to grow a thick skin!” or “Don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve!”    At the same time, performers are supposed to get their TOUGH selves onto the stage and become vulnerable artists in order to share their music with the audience.  Seems like a paradox?  Let’s see if we can figure this … [Read more...]

Mental Toughness in Performers

Fleming as Borgia

A powerful force in the life of your performing will be your level of mental toughness.  This toughness comes from responding to negative messages (thoughts & emotions) in an appropriate way.  Being a mentally tough performer means that under the pressure of competition you can maintain a present focus and continue to think constructively, non-defensively, positively, and realistically--and … [Read more...]