Talking about Performance with Petra Kowalski

Tim and Petra discuss the mental side of sports, how to achieve the flow state, and overcoming adversity.

Petra was a soccer coach at the high school, club, collegiate and semi-professional levels for eight
years before officially turning her focus to the mental game. Since then, she has been using
research-based mental skills, resilience, leadership, and team dynamics training to help individuals
and teams perform more optimally under pressure and thrive through adversity.

As a sport psychology consultant, Petra works with performers in many different disciplines
including multi-sport athletes, soccer teams, Ultimate athletes and teams, parents and coaches;
U.S. Army Soldiers, Wounded Warriors, civilians, and family members; law enforcement officers,
firefighters, and nurses.

A Colorado native and competitive athlete, Petra was a ski racer, golfer, collegiate and semi-pro
soccer player. She found the sport of Ultimate while attending graduate school and started playing at
the USAU Club level two years later. She played for Seattle Underground for three years, captaining for one year and serving as the team’s mental skills coach for one year, culminating in the team’s first appearance at Nationals in 2012. Since moving back to Colorado, Petra has played for Spikes Peak (2013-2014; mixed team out of Colorado Springs) and Colorado Small Batch (2015-2017; women’s team out of Denver).

Relevant Certifications & Affiliations:

  • M.A. Kinesiology, Sport & Exercise Psychology (CSU Chico, 2009)
  • Primary Instructor, U.S. Army Master Resilience Training (University of Pennsylvania, 2015)
  • Member, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (2009-Present)
  • Advanced National Diploma (National Soccer Coaches Association of America, 2008)

In this episode Tim & Petra Discuss:

  • Fear and how it affects performance
  • The Flow Cycle
  • Self-talk
  • Cognitive awareness and mindfulness
  • Getting to thoughts that could be more helpful
  • Self Determination Theory
  • Basic Needs: Autonomy – Mastery/Competence/Growth – Purpose/Connection/Relatedness
  • Performance Profile
  • How to train your mind like you train your body
  • Mental warmups

Books Mentioned


Connect with Petra

List of Recommended Resources

Petra’s Blog




Petra is accepting clients


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