In Part Two of this two-part series, Ray Williams, shares some helpful strategies if you tend to choke under pressure.
Understanding the Cognition of Choking Under Pressure
Paying too much attention to well-learned skill execution may be detrimental to performance. Understanding the cognitive mechanisms leading to poor performance under pressure … can lead to prevention, says Beilock, in “real-world tasks in which serious consequences depend on good or poor performance in relatively public or consequential circumstances.”
For example, many aspects of public speaking may ordinarily be automatic. However, lawyers giving a closing argument to a jury may feel pressure to perform, and as a result, think too much about what they are doing –and stutter or lose their train of thought. Training under conditions that have individuals attend to their performance, or, conversely, purposely taking one’s mind off well-learned skill performance under pressure. For example, repeating a keyword, singing a song, seeing a favorite image, recalling a pleasurable event, can help prevent choking.