How not to Panic under Pressure

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Panic

Scribe: N. Tru Bass

Email: ntb@thethinkering.com

 

Have you ever wondered why the actor who has rehearsed the play perfectly just cant get it together during the actual performance? Or why the basketball player who shoots 94% from the line tends to miss the game winning shot from the stripe.

Then let’s look at the whys.

There are two types of memory Declarative memory which is when you can consciously recall information, or explicit memory that’s easily retrieved. And Procedural memory or muscle memory or instinctive memory.

Experts suggest when you see a guitar play that has played a rift over and over perfectly in practice and chokes at the performance it’s because he got in his own way. He over thought the situation, by forcing in the be a declarative memory vs. an implicit one.

When you start to think too much about the task you're trying to accomplish, you disrupt pathways to muscle memory. Over-thinkering shuts off your instincts and prevent them from kicking in.

A few of the ways scientist suggest to overcome the freight:

1. Distract yourself

2. Develop a mantra

3. Focus on the target, not your mechanics

You can distract yourself by singing your favorite song of setting your focus on something other than the task at hand. Developing a mantra involves a short and comforting saying such as, “Just Relax,” or “Smooth and Cool”. Finally Focus on the target, to avoid freezing under pressure you can always focus on all the pins going down. Play this result over and over in your mind before you bowl the perfect strike.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it will get you started.

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