"Best talk ever" from performance psychologist

"Best talk ever" from performance psychologist

13 January 2021

Performance psychologist Miranda Banks ran a fantastic on-line session with Year 11 and Sixth Form students on 12 January sharing valuable advice on staying motivated during remote learning and in independent studies. During these challenging and uncertain times, Miranda’s insight and highly actionable advice was welcomed by all the students who took part.

Having worked as a performance psychologist for many years with Olympic and professional athletes, Miranda shared practical tried and tested techniques students can use to help make this period of remote learning as effective as possible.

In a fascinating session, which really engaged students, Miranda highlighted the main factors influencing motivation, which are direction (the reason for putting effort into what you are doing, the “what’s in it for me?”) and drive.

She asked students to consider their personal reason for putting the effort in, such as the career they have in mind, having their heart set on a particular university, or an idea of the type of lifestyle they would like to have in the future. If a student doesn’t have a goal in mind yet, Miranda suggested discussing it with family or friends. Having reminders of your personal direction, in photos, words or phrases, around your workspace can be helpful in keeping going when the going is tough.

Miranda talked about some of the key factors affecting drive - the "push" you have to achieve something - which are sleep, exercise, diet and hydration. She also spoke about other factors suggested by the students, including procrastination, anxiety, and uncertainty and had plenty of good suggestions to help. One top tip for students is to “teach back”, where they describe what they’ve learnt each day to parents, siblings or friends. Knowing you’re going to have to do this can give studying some extra oomph.

As well as asking questions, students used the chat function or spoke directly to Miranda at the end of the talk to say how inspiring and useful they had found the session. “Best talk ever” was one of the many glowing comments. The talk was recorded for students in different time zones unable to join live.

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