When you play sport, at some stage you’re going to have to perform under pressure and to be able to handle pressure successfully, it helps to know about the prefrontal cortex in the brain.
The prefrontal cortex has lots of functions and under normal conditions it works effectively, but when the pressure gets ramped up, it struggles to cope with the amount of instructions it tries to give and when you are under pressure, it’s time for the prefrontal cortex to take a break, unfortunately it doesn’t.
You can’t physically remove the prefrontal cortex out of the picture, but what you want to do when you have to perform under pressure is to give it a task so you keep it distracted and let what you’ve trained to do, happen.
There are techniques to enable the distraction process to take place and three books to read are:
The Inner game of Tennis – Timothy Gallway
Choke – Sian Beilock
Clutch – Paul Sullivan
You wouldn’t want to have your boss checking up on you and giving you instructions every five minutes when trying to complete an important task and that’s what the prefrontal cortex is effectively doing when you come under pressure. Distract it so you can get on with the task.
When performing under pressure, distract the prefrontal cortex