There is always something that matters to us and adds pressure in the things that we do. It can be the desired outcome that you want so badly and the uncertainty that you will receive it or the opinions of others watching. Either one there is pressure that exists and is usually put on oneself.
Why do people develop the certainty in the mind that they crack under pressure?
Statements such as; I always choke in those situations. I am not a good test taker. No I can’t take the penalty kick.
The first reasonable answer for these thoughts I believe is that we don’t have the quality or knowledge to perform that exercise. For example, I will for sure “choke” if I have to take a test about spaceships and give a step-by-step guide on how to construct one. However this is not choking, this is failing because I am not prepared for a test in which I lack the understanding on how a spaceship works.
The dangerous part to this outcome happening consistently is that people develop a mentality that they are not a good test taker. This self-confirmation can then transfer into all pressure situations and this has an affect on people not pursuing things they should be pursuing. We need people who truly know the material and possess the quality in a specific subject to show up and perform so we have a great outcome!
Yesterday was staff game and All-Star game day at the camp with multiple games going into penalties. I overheard someone say, “I can’t take one, I crack under pressure”.
This inspired me to write today’s blog because the statement wasn’t that I am not good at taking penalties. It was that I crack under pressure.
These are the moments where we need leaders to inspire those who do not see their capabilities in the tense moments.
“Hey! Hey! Come kick, come kick. You hit them well!”
This quote is from Ronaldo in the 2016 Quarterfinals of the Euros, which Portugal went on to win. This message was to Moutinho to encourage him that he must take a penalty because of his quality and the team needed his contribution for the outcome that Moutinho and all of Portugal wanted. To win and move on in the tournament!
This is a great moment of leadership that was necessary to provide some security to a player who was capable but uncertain.
Managing pressure is a challenge!
Don’t be afraid to execute as long as you have prepared yourself!
Yours in soccer,