homeabout kottke.orgarchives + tags

How to not choke at sports

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 21, 2012

One hemisphere of your brain can cause you to over-think things and choke at key moments during athletic competitions. Scientists wondered if you could somehow break that pattern by doing something as simple as making a fist with your left hand. And it worked.

Lead researcher Juergen Beckmann, PhD, put it pretty profoundly: “Consciously trying to keep one’s balance is likely to produce imbalance.” Simple (brain-hemisphere-dependent) tasks that activate motor portions of the brain while drawing activity away from the ruminating portions can help experienced athletes perform (in terms of accuracy and complex body movements done from muscle memory) without being messed up by nerves. “Just let it happen; be the ball.”

We Work Remotely