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The Cure for Choking Under Pressure

I was reading a post by Roger Dooley about a study being done by 2 doctors in Florida on why some golfers choke under pressure while others don’t. In golfer terminology, the “yips” describes a method of choking where the golfer twitches or jerks while putting, resulting in missed putts, high scores, and lost tournaments.

By using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) the doctors hope to discover why some golfers have the yips and others don’t.

Having been in sales and management for decades, I suspect I know the answer already; lack of confidence. And often lack of confidence stems from lack of preparation and lack of practice.

Fluid performance in most sports comes from developing muscle memory. That comes from swinging the tennis racket or golf club so many times you don’t have to think when you play; your muscles remember what do to. If fact, the more you think, the worse you play.

When we invest in employee training, we may show them what to do and even make sure they know how to do it. However, if we don’t give them a chance to anchor that behavior so that it’s second nature, they will choke under pressure. Give your employees a chance to develop muscle memory so that desired behavior change becomes permanent.

Posted: under Managing Change (Leadership).

Comments (0) Jun 22 2009