Schuler Sports Performance Text
Player holding American Football

Peak Your Performance: The Benefits of Sports Performance Counselling

SSP Program: GRIT Enhancement and Performance

It is a combination of passion and perseverance or stamina that makes high achievers special. That is what has been defined as Grit (1). Grit is more about stamina than about intensity. The psychology of success has been growing exponentially over the last few years and we now have the right frameworks and knowledge to help you develop grit. Some of the work we do in this area is highly satisfying to both the client and to us. There are many similarities in the profiles of high achievers but also many differences. Successful people “..can be introverted, extroverted, hardy or neurotic but all of them are committed to following their dream to excel..”(2)

  1. How Gritty Are You? We have validated tests to assess your passion/perseverance and tools to help you build up the different areas necessary. We assess interest, your knowledge of deliberate practice, purpose and hope.
  2. Positive Response Outcome Expectation (PROE):

PROE or Positive Response Outcome Expectation is a concept that originates from Ursin’s and Ericksen’s theory of Cognitive Activation of Stress (3). They argued that PROE was a determining factor in how the person would face challenges and set-backs and how much this would interfere with performance. Having a sense of self-efficacy (or “I can do it”) is essential to performance and often the lack of confidence can lead to performance breakdowns. It seems counterintuitive but the reality is that high achievers often have a very fragile belief in themselves and a fragile self-confidence. One bad practice or a comment from a person in authority can easily affect the person’s ability to perform at their next challenge. Some of the work is therefore targeted at building self-efficacy, managing self-doubt and working with the social support system is as essential.

Psychological Skills Training: Memorization, Refocus and the rules of Improvisation, Positive Self-Talk and Visualization.

Finally, A fun example can be found in the biography of Winston Churchill. We think of him as the first performance psychologist as he developed a method for himself to deliver the perfect speech. He worked arduously on all those areas, practice, memorization, and improvisation.

The science of performance has developed specific knowledge to assist you in each of these areas of memorization, refocus and improvisation (4)

Self-Awareness & Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence go hand in hand but are different concepts requiring different types of training. Self-awareness is typically enhanced with talk therapy and mindfulness training. Emotional Intelligence has a different training path and both complement each other. Please follow us on FaceBook for more information on the effects of mindfulness in changing the brain’s ability to focus and be in the moment leaving behind self-doubt and obsessive ruminations.

Emotional Intelligence is a term that was developed by Daniel Goleman (5)(6): it refers to how well we handle ourselves and our relationships: a) Self-Awareness knowing what we are feeling and why we are feeling it which is the basis of intuition and moral thinking; b) Self-Management: Using the emotions to understand yourself, managing or creating positive emotion; c) Empathy that is knowing what others are feeling; d) Putting that all together in positive relationships. The part of the brain that is responsible for emotional intelligence is the last part of the brain to develop.


  1. Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit the power of passion and perseverance. Toronto: Collins.
  2. Pensgaard, A.M. (2012). In Aoyagi, M.W. & Poczwardowski, A. (Eds) In Expert approaches to sport psychology (pp. 185-200). West-Virginia University: Fitness Information Technology.
  3. Ursin, H. & Erikson, H. R. (2004). The cognitive activation theory of stress. Psychoneuroendocrenology, 29, 567-592. In Expert approaches to sport psychology (pp. 185-200). West-Virginia University: Fitness Information Technology.
  4. Hays, K.F. (2009) Mental attributes for peak performance. In Hays, K.F. (Ed) Performance psychology in action. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
  5. Goleman, D., Boyatzis R., Mckee, A. (2002). Primal leadership: realizing the power of emotional intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
  6. Goleman, D. (2005). Emotional Intelligence: 10th anniversary edition: Why it can matter more than IQ. New York: Random House Publishing.


Dr. Siegi Schuler, PhD, RSW
32 Berwick Avenue (2nd Floor)
Toronto, Ontario