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Under pressure...

Under pressure... | Physical Education | Scoop.it
"You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under
pressure"
Winston Churchill

Ever wondered why we make seemingly senseless decisions under pressure,
those that given the benefit of hindsight we would never have made? Have
you ever asked the question of an athlete, client or colleague after a
particularly heated exchange or incident - “Why did you choose to do that,
at that point” and they’ve been unable to answer why?


Here comes the (simplified) science bit...

Well, it is likely because of the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS) and how
it responds to stress in different ways. It has two systems it can utilise,
the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System and
each treats the brain and body in different ways.

The one we are most interested in here is the Sympathetic system, this is
the system that creates a Flight, Fight or Freeze response in times of
duress. When you perceive a situation of stress the reptilian brain
activates and seeks a response from the "thinking brain", if it doesn’t
receive one quickly enough it assumes we are in danger and signals the
release of adrenaline into the system. The adrenaline speeds up muscle
response, ready for flight or flight, but the side affect is that it
diverts blood into the muscles (so they are ready for action) and away from
the neocortex of the brain (the “thinking” bit).

Because our reptilian brain is hardwired to keep us safe, it tends to over
react - for example have you ever spotted a spider on the living room
carpet and panicked, only to realise it was actually a piece of fluff?!
That is your reptilian brain sensing something that could harm us and
seeking a response as to how to react. Fortunately, you have experience of
spiders and know what they look like, so your "thinking brain" is quickly
able to let you know there is no need to panic, there is no spider. Chances
are though, that even in that split second, your heart rate shot up,
through adrenaline being released, readying you for action.

Adrenaline, whilst being brilliant for survival in a primitive setting,
where fight or flight was a reasonable response, doesn't necessarily set us
up well for surviving and thriving in modern life.


Effects of adrenaline

When the heart rate is raised by adrenaline alone (not through exercise) to
around 130bpm we are operating at approximately 30% of our cognitive
(thinking) capacity as blood is diverted to other organs, if the heart rate
rises to around 180 through adrenaline we are only able to access around 3%
of our cognitive capacity – this is known as “mind blindness.”

As I have rugby on my mind currently (sadly the England team failure cannot
be put down to mind blindness) and it was the Rugby League Grand Final this
weekend I had a recollection of an incident in last years grand final. If
you watched last year you will probably have seen the following incident
(warning – it’s not a pretty sight)…

Ben Flower of Wigan (the strong favourites) punched a St Helen's player and
knocked him out before punching him again whilst he was unconscious, 2
minutes into the match. Flower was consequently sent off, Wigan played the
remaining 78 minutes with 12 men and ultimately lost the match. It
demonstrates a near perfect example of a player who's sympathetic nervous
system is overly stressed before the match and consequently has taken that
adrenaline onto the field and quite literally “lost his head”. Some
adrenaline would of course be beneficial, rugby is a full contact,
physically demanding sport after all, but management of that situation is
essential to achieve optimal performance.

Flower's coach, or perhaps team mates, should have been able to recognise
how sympathetically stressed he was in the dressing room and helped him
engage his parasympathetic nervous system to rebalance. Using mindfulness
techniques, breathing techniques, listening to quiet music, having a power
nap or simply taking yourself out of the situation are all ways to help
engage the parasympathetic system and reduce the levels of stress and
consequently adrenaline to manageable levels.

I have seen many an experienced manager or leader go to pieces under
pressure and make terrible, irrational decisions that they would never have
made under more controlled circumstances. So next time an athlete or
colleague has a moment of apparent “brainlessness” remember, their body is
doing what is is designed to do, keep them safe, they are experiencing a
stress response.


What to do?

If you recognise this happening, be there to help them, give them the
opportunity to calm and reflect, take them out of the situation. If you
line manage employees, part of your job is to guide them in practice
through simulation training that replicates the stresses of their role as
closely as possible – experiential learning followed by reflection is one
of the most effective methods of helping control sympathetic stress.

If you are feeling signs of stress, remember it is incredibly taxing on
your nervous system and can eventually lead to burn out and a whole host of
other issues (insomnia, headaches, hypertension and so on) - take regular
breaks during your working day - 10 minutes to walk outside and just
breathe, 10 minutes to sit on a bench outside the office and read a book,
sit in the park and eat lunch, call a friend for a non-work chat over
lunch. All of these little moments add up to allowing your nervous system
to recharge and to help you maintain superhuman performance.

If you would like more information on this subject or help in managing your
own responses to stress and working to efficiently find some "you time",
please contact us here.

Via Iain Stanger
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Growth Mindset Launch

Growth Mindset Launch | Physical Education | Scoop.it
Back in March I blogged about becoming a growth mindset school following our staff launch event.  Since that time we have been very busy preparing to roll out the ethos to the whole school. Here's what we've been up to, and what we're planning for September... Re-branding the school Our old school motto was "Developing Potential…

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Emotional Regulation in Sport

Emotional Regulation in Sport | Physical Education | Scoop.it
Athletes experience emotions before and after competition and these emotions have been shown to be related to performance (Hanin, 2010; Beedie, et al., 2010). Appropriate emotional responses may benefit the athlete.

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Fear and Mental Toughness | Navy SEALs

Fear and Mental Toughness | Navy SEALs | Physical Education | Scoop.it

“Source: Men's Health The U.S. Navy SEALs are among the most courageous men on earth. Their secret: mental conditioning. Learn their secrets and you, too, c”


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BBC Sport - One shot: How do athletes perform under the greatest pressure?

BBC Sport - One shot: How do athletes perform under the greatest pressure? | Physical Education | Scoop.it
One shot: How do athletes perform under the greatest pressure? By Peter Crutchley (BBC Sport - One shot: How do athletes perform under the greatest pressure?

#Athlete #WorldChampion...

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The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop - User Generated Education

The Educator with a Growth Mindset: A Staff Workshop - User Generated Education | Physical Education | Scoop.it
I had the great privilege of facilitating a staff workshop on growth mindsets for the teachers and staff at Carlos Rosario International School.Staff were given access to the slide deck in order in...

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Kelly Christopherson's curator insight, September 12, 2014 11:58 PM

I like the infographic that is used in this piece as it shows clearly how a growth mindset can help both teachers and students to shift how they think and become more open to different possibilities. 

ManufacturingStories's curator insight, September 14, 2014 3:03 PM

add your insight...


Cynthia Day's curator insight, September 14, 2014 8:29 PM

making up my mind

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Association for Applied Sport Psychology: Dealing With Anger in Competition

Association for Applied Sport Psychology: Dealing With Anger in Competition | Physical Education | Scoop.it

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The Truth about Self-Confidence in Sports

The Truth about Self-Confidence in Sports | Physical Education | Scoop.it
One of the most over-used concepts in sports and performance psychology is self-confidence. Nevertheless, this concept holds considerable legitimacy and power as a key ingredient in success and winning in sports, politics, business, and life.

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Luis Valdes's curator insight, July 17, 2013 10:58 AM

If you missed my new blogpost yesterday, here it is again.  If you read it and liked it, please pass it along to someone who might enjoy.

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Challenges, Threats and Stress in Sports | Sports Psychology Today

Challenges, Threats and Stress in Sports | Sports Psychology Today | Physical Education | Scoop.it
The biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat (BPSM) (Blascovich, 2008), is a framework that explains how a person views stress and how it can then impact performance. According to the BPSM, when we encounter a ...

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Stephanie Keller's curator insight, September 6, 2015 9:21 PM

Today's pressure Which is put on athletes (rookies and veterans) has reached new heights. Psychologists play an important role in the stress management for these athletes

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Improving self-belief

Improving self-belief | Physical Education | Scoop.it
The mind is a powerful tool and can easily make or break an athlete.  Confidence in ones abilities is integral to success.

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Sports Psychology - Want to visualize like Tiger? - YouTube

http://nevrodda.com http://facebook.com/nevrodda Tiger Woods talks about his creative imagination, sports psychology and what happens to him when he is in PE...

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Kevin Pietersen: The Importance of Team Cohesion - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology

Kevin Pietersen: The Importance of Team Cohesion - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology | Physical Education | Scoop.it

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An introduction to information processing system , memory and its role in sports. - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology

An introduction to information processing system , memory and its role in sports. - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology | Physical Education | Scoop.it

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36 Pictures To See Which Muscle You’re Stretching » Make Your Life Healthier

36 Pictures To See Which Muscle You’re Stretching » Make Your Life Healthier | Physical Education | Scoop.it

You should all know that you need to stretch, whether you are a chronic sitter, a weekend warrior, or a daily exerciser.


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Brain Training: Improving performance from your lounge room.

Brain Training: Improving performance from your lounge room. | Physical Education | Scoop.it
Imagine you’re an athlete of the future. It’s your rest day, but you schedule a specialised brain training session that gives you the edge over the competition, without compromising recovery.

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Sports Confidence Theory

Sports Confidence Theory | Physical Education | Scoop.it
Vealey (1986) proposed a sport specific theory of confidence, she defined sport confidence as `the belief or degree of certainty individuals possess about their ability to be successful in sport’.

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Sports Psychology – Pre-game mental preparation - Sports Psychology – The Sport In Mind

Sports Psychology – Pre-game mental preparation - Sports Psychology – The Sport In Mind | Physical Education | Scoop.it
Sports Psychology – Pre-game mental preparation - Sports Psychology – The Sport In Mind http://t.co/ARNvGPE5yH

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Craig Crossley's curator insight, November 18, 2014 5:14 PM

YEAR 12 HPE - SPORT PSYCHOLOGY (term 4 2015)

 

In almost every sport the top level performers are all similar in their level of ability, for example they all have similar attributes of being strong, fast, skilful, and have as much stamina as each other. Yet in every sport some performers emerge as winners while others never quite reach this level.  The difference between these top level performers and the winners are the players who can overcome the mental pressures of a tough game; they can ignore and in some cases embrace the crowd and the importance of the occasion.

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Gregor Townsend - Coaching and Growth Mindset - YouTube

Gregor Townsend, Coach of Glasgow Warriors, on how he uses having a growth mindset with the rugby players he coaches.

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WHAT is outstanding teaching and learning? (1428x2014 pixels)

WHAT is outstanding teaching and learning? (1428x2014 pixels) | Physical Education | Scoop.it

A MUST READ!

 


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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, September 6, 2014 11:12 AM

The feedback point is interesting. It is about information given to students relative to their learning goals. Feedback also means feedback for the teacher. What do we mean by student goals? What does this mean in relationship to curricula-as-plans. It suggests that teaching and learning are part of complex conversations (Pinar) and that the curricula-as-lived (Aoki) are important considerations.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Mark Gittos's curator insight, September 8, 2014 2:56 AM

Very interesting

Educate Massachusetts's curator insight, September 8, 2014 9:27 AM

Organized, clear and easy to read this infographic has important reminders for all of us in the profession of education.

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Anxiety in Sports Performance - #Fitness #Health

Anxiety in Sports Performance - #Fitness #Health | Physical Education | Scoop.it

"Anxiety is a concept that is widely discussed by performers and coaches. Practitioners involved in sports performance need to be aware of anxiety related symptoms. Once awareness is built it would be prudent to deal with anxiety related issues." http://buff.ly/12ORtln


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How Much Confidence Is Enough? - velonews.competitor.com

How Much Confidence Is Enough? - velonews.competitor.com | Physical Education | Scoop.it
velonews.competitor.com
How Much Confidence Is Enough?
velonews.competitor.com
“The most consistent finding in sport psychology research is the direct correlation between high levels of sport confidence and successful sporting performance,” said Dr.

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Luis Valdes's curator insight, September 9, 2013 10:41 AM

Being confident vs. feeling confident. 

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Influencing Factors Of Sustained Motivation In Sport - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology

Influencing Factors Of Sustained Motivation In Sport - The Sport In Mind – Sport Psychology | Physical Education | Scoop.it

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Association for Applied Sport Psychology: Dealing With Anger in Competition

Association for Applied Sport Psychology: Dealing With Anger in Competition | Physical Education | Scoop.it

Via Iain Stanger, Aberdeen Grammar PE
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SPORT PSYCHOLOGY: Positive Self Talk & Mental Conditioning with Dr. Voight -- PART I-Introduction - YouTube

In this DVD [go to www.drmikevoight.com for more info] Dr. V takes you through 8 different situations that present mental challenges for players and coaches ...

Via Iain Stanger, Aberdeen Grammar PE
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IOC Athlete MOOC: Sports Psychology - The Winning Mindset

IOC Athlete MOOC: Sports Psychology - The Winning Mindset | Physical Education | Scoop.it

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Luis Valdes's curator insight, July 29, 2014 12:26 PM

Nice online course developed by the IOC Athlete MOOC Team.