Top performers are typically seen as those experts in their fields with the most confidence, highest powers of concentration, and best training methods. Is this a realistic, comprehensive assessment of the components of artistic and athletic success? Stress situations can create vulnerability to mistakes, even in professionals. Not one strategy is known to consistently shelter humans from the fear of public scrutiny. As long as the factors underlying personal achievement are not sufficiently researched, sub-optimal performance will remain a possibility. An interdisciplinary understanding of human physiology, psychology and behavior can aid the development and implementation of training, motivational, and coping strategies that help performers to achieve their best, even under pressure.