DO YOU ever wonder why you perform excellently one day and cannot get anything right the next day?

The answer might lie in how you prepare for an event - whether it is a game of golf or a business meeting.

To not prepare is to begin to fail, but psyching up with purpose can light the fire of greatness inside you.

Preparation comprises long-term preparation (training) and short-term preparation (pre-event routines and rituals).

Short-term preparation includes psyching-up strategies: " on the day before; " on the morning of the event; " just before the event; and " during the event.

These four phases are vital to handling performance anxiety, keeping you focused on your upcoming tasks, keeping you positive-minded and providing energy to drive your performance.

Here are some approaches I use when coaching business people, athletes and other speakers and coaches.

Strength training

Focus primarily on your strengths. Leave working on your weaknesses to your long-term training.

You want to build up your confidence just before a performance and reminding yourself of your best points will enhance that.

Get organised

Plan your day as much as possible to avoid stressful situations or conflicts that drain your energy and focus. Avoid activities that may make you tired, depressed or negative.

Keep your routine

Continue your usual best schedule of rest, eating, relaxing and exercising. This will help you maintain a sense of normality, ground you and keep you in a confident state.

Avoid over-training

Your long-term hard work and practice should carry you through, but over-doing last-minute preparation indicates a lack of confidence. Focus on your positives.

Have a game plan

Know what you hope to do once you start your event. Do not leave your strategic plan to chance. Cover all your bases.

Think positive

Visualise positive outcomes for your event. Analysing what can go wrong and planing for all negative contingencies needs to be done in the weeks of training prior to the event.

Get support

Spend time around people who will support your efforts and who validate you. You want to be with people who champion your abilities, encourage you and believe in you. This directly impacts your belief in your own abilities.

Everyone has a success story about their great preparations leading to great performances. The key is realising that you have control over how you prepare. Give yourself the gift of psyching up and watch your performances soar.