It happens more often to some than others, however we’ve all faced and will face a high-pressure situation at some point of our lives. Either we create that pressure ourselves in our heads, or others watching, testing, monitoring, maybe judging raise that pressure for us. It might be school, work, sport, even health related. When such situation presents itself we might choke, blow up our chance of success, or we manage ourselves appropriately and triumph.
It got me wondering why is that, when one of my young athletes was in a pressured situation yesterday. Athletes learning new skills is a big deal in our gym and we like to share it with everyone. When an athlete gets a new skill, they have a privilege to “ring-a-bell”. The whole gym stops what they are doing and we all watch that one athlete perform their new skill. We all cheer them on and celebrate, congratulate them after. The video is taken and posted on our social media for everyone else to see. Like I said RINGING THE BELL is a HUGE DEAL!
It’s definitely a very exciting moment for athletes. Everyone WANTS to ring that bell. But after the bell is rang, the pressure is on, all eyes are watching, and expectations are high. Instantly an exciting situations turns into a high-pressured one. What happens next its hard to predict. Will the bell-ringer choke and fail under pressure, or show off new skill and triumph?
When, one of my nine-year old athletes rang the bell yesterday and couldn’t perform her new tumbling pass in front of everyone watching, even though she did it in class multiple times, I started to wonder why is that so. Why do we choke? Why only sometimes? And, how do we avoid it?
The answer is US!