You're On! Consulting for Peak Performance provides guidance and advice for consulting with performers in the pursuit of excellence. Whether these clients are performing artists, businesspeople, physicians, lawyers, or in high-risk occupations, they must learn to focus, cope, and excel in highly stressful situations.

Based on extensive interviews with notable performers and experienced performance consultants in diverse fields, as well as the vast literature on peak performance among athletes, this book is packed with hard information on performance consulting. You're On! is a must-read for performance consultants, executive coaches, or any therapist or counselor who seeks to enter this burgeoning field.

Table of Contents


I. Setting the Stage

  1. Introduction: The Roots of Performance Consultation
  2. The Back Story: Research in Performance Consultation

II. Domain-Specific Information

  1. Unique Aspects of the Business Domain
  2. Unique Aspects of High-Risk Professions
  3. Unique Aspects of the Performing Arts

III. Key Factors in Performance

  1. The Foundations of Excellent Performance
  2. Getting It Right: Preparation
  3. Keeping Your Head: Mental Skills
  4. The Microscopic Nightmare of Infinity: The Experience of Stress
  5. Reframe and Relax: Coping With Stress
  6. You're On! (Performance)

IV. What Do Performers Want?

  1. The Help They Need: Assistance Performers Want
  2. The Ideal Consultant
  3. Consultant Efforts That Hinder Performance

V. What Consultants Need: Training, Ethics, and Practice

  1. A Good Fit: Training, Competence, and Ethical Practice
  2. The Consultant as Performer


  • List of Participants
  • Interview Questions For Performers
  • Interview Questions For Consultants


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Author Bios

Kate F. Hays, PhD, maintains a private practice, The Performing Edge, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a specialized focus on performance enhancement for athletes, performing artists, and businesspeople.

She earned her master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology at Boston University in 1971. For the following 25 years, she directed a community mental health center and subsequently developed an individual and group private practice in New Hampshire. Her research, writing, teaching, and practice both in New Hampshire and, since 1997, in Toronto, have been directed toward the mental benefits of physical activity and the application of sport psychology techniques to other performance populations.

Dr. Hays is the author of Working It Out: Using Exercise In Psychotherapy and Move Your Body, Tone Your Mood, and edited Integrating Exercise, Sports, Movement and Mind: Therapeutic Unity. She is the past president of APA's Division 47, Exercise and Sport Psychology.

Charles H. Brown, Jr., PhD, has been in private practice more than 20 years, totally independent of managed care.

He earned his master's degree from Appalachian State University in 1974 and his doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1979. From 1979 to 1997, he served as Director of Training at Family and Psychological Services (FPS) of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he provided postgraduate training in strategic systems interventions. He has been a leader in providing brief, solution-focused consultation that builds on the strengths and resources of the individual, relationship, and family.

After a formal respecialization in sport psychology, Dr. Brown has broadened these skills to help athletes, performing artists, professionals, and executives perform to their full potential. He directs the Make It Real program at FPS, offering weekend retreats for high-performing couples striving for balance and excellence in their personal and professional lives.