ROAD » ROAD's Contributions

ROAD's Contributions

Dear Jenny,
I am writing to let you know how much the ESHS Band has appreciated our sessions with Michael Gervais as a Performance Psychologist. His instruction and work with our students has made a significant difference in our program and team performance level. In his words, we went from being "Recreational Performers" to "Elite Performers" and are on our way to being "Game Changing Performers."

Here are a few of the things we have learned from him:

• How to harness energy-and work with different energy levels in performance and rehearsal
• Develop our levels of concentration and view concentration as a skill to be learned
• Develop confidence, reallize that confidence is a skill to be learned, not a skill we are born with
• Know the difference between our Comfort Zone, Challenge Zone and Panic Zone

For each of these points Michael Gervais has entertaining, interactive and informative ways to help students have better awareness of the different states of energy and how to confidently navigate stressful performance situations.

I hope that we are able to continue having Michael Gervais as a speaker for our High School programs, and you are invited to sit in on any sessions he does with the band!

Edie Rice
El Segundo High School B
El Segundo Concert Band


What is FOCUS?

The primary purpose of the 6-hour FOCUS-team program is to aid student-athletes in their pursuit of personal excellence. This program was designed for entire high school sport programs (e.g., your entire high school volleyball team).

The theoretical development for the FOCUS program is grounded in sport psychology. Coaches and students receive access to valuable performance enhancement techniques, which are usually reserved for professional or Olympic athletes.

The operational theme for the evidence-based FOCUS-team program is for participants to enhance their sense of personal excellence by better understanding the essential skills necessary to thrive in world filled with pressure.

The goals for this program are to:

Increase participants ability to thrive under pressure (on the field, in the classroom, and in life in general)
Increase participants awareness of the performance effects of alcohol and other drugs (recreational and performance enhancement drugs).
The initial FOCUS program was released in fall of 2002. Since that time it has been administered in numerous school districts and community-based organizations. The developer of the 6-hour FOCUS curriculum, Dr. Gervais, specializes in developing human performance. The FOCUS curriculum combines performance-excellence skill development and drug use prevention strategies. This two-pronged approach is extremely enticing to coaches, administrators, community members and leaders, parents, and student-athletes.

The most exciting component of this program is that the same skills that enhance student-athletes’ performance on the field, are the same skills that transfer “off the field,” in school, and in life.

The curriculum includes topics such as:

Effective goal setting
The mind of a champion
Personal excellence
Distraction management
Impulse control
Strategies to increase self-confidence/self-esteem
How to let go of mistakes
Methods to increase performance (both athletically and academically) while under pressure.
This 6-hour program can be delivered in a 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day format (depending on location of school).

Program Findings: The FOCUS program has been independently reviewed and evaluated. Data has been collected from over 250 high school students. Initial findings indicate a positive and significant (p <.05) shift for participants on the following four factors: 1) goal setting, 2) arousal regulation (somatic), 3) attentional control, and 4) self-confidence. These findings suggest confirmation of the program’s purposes: to enhance participants’ abilities to develop personal excellence by activating the essential skills necessary to thrive in a world filled with pressure.