At the highest level of competitive sport, where most athletes are on par with each other in terms of physical, technical and tactical competence, there is usually only one factor that differentiates the good from the best. Whether it is the last few metres of a marathon, the final few seconds before the buzzer goes off or the last putt on the 18 th green to win a championship, it all comes down to the psychological readiness of an athlete.
Having played competitive sport and endured its high psychological demands from a young age, Nanaki recognized the importance of mental preparedness from her own journey. Introduced to the world of sport at the tender age of eight, she started honing her skills in tennis and later made her foray into golf. However, what started as enjoyable hobbies turned into a strenuous ordeal due to the pressure associated with excelling at all times.
The stress that Nanaki encountered as a budding tennis player eventually made its way onto the greens of the golf course. At her peak, Nanaki not only was ranked amongst the top ten women amateur golfers in a country of billions, but also was part of the Indian National Squad. Even though she saw early success, she felt a dire need for a sport psychologist who could have impelled her to play at a higher level which, unfortunately at the time was a scarce resource in the Indian sport ecosystem . In order to fill this void, she resolved to merge her passion for sport with psychology and give back to the community . Her journey in pursuing a career in sport and performance psychology began right there.
Nanaki is a Chartered Sport and Performance Psychologist under the British Psychological Society (BPS). She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Delhi. Her passion for sport motivated her to pursue a master’s degree in sport psychology from Loughborough University, UK in 2016. Currently, she is nearing completion of her doctoral degree in sport psychology from Staffordshire University. Nanaki is committed to working within the BPS professional code of conduct.
Nanaki is also a primary certified practitioner in Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) and applies it to the sport setting to help athletes deliberate on a more rational, logical and pragmatic approach fostering better performance and well-being among athletes.
Nanaki’s experience includes providing sport psychology support to athletes across a broad spectrum of age groups and skill levels, ranging from grass root to national and international levels. Such performance settings include sport such as cricket, golf, football, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, rowing, rugby, water polo taekwondo, among others. She has also worked with multiple national and international sporting organisations, including the Indian Golf Union (IGU), Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, City of Stoke Athletics Club and Staffs Elite Programme.
Additionally, she applies psychological principles associated with sporting excellence to other fields such as academics, business and performing arts by delivering workshops to help individuals deal with performance pressures.