What is Pressure?

I follow a number of golf coaching blogs as they often provide me with ideas to write about for archers and coaches. The excerpt below is from the Golf State of Mind blog which is about the mental game applied to golf.

What do you think?

Firstly, what is pressure?
Simply put, we feel pressure whenever there is a perceived success or failure for the outcome of an event. The magnitude of the pressure we feel is related to how much we think that outcome will affect our lives in the future. E.g. if I were to give you a challenge and tell you that you were going to win $1 for completing it successfully, you’d probably not feel any pressure at all, as the outcome will not change your life in anyway. However, if I were to tell you that you were going to win $1 million for completing the challenge successfully, you would immediately feel the effects of pressure.



Filed under For All Coaches

2 responses to “What is Pressure?

  1. Marty

    Pressure doesn’t have to be financial. In my very limited experience in archery, merely ‘showing off’ with my friends at a 3D shoot can cause pressure, particularly if I string walk a bare bow and they have the latest and greatest compound with lighted graduated sights etc.
    I always considered peer pressure as the greatest hurdle. Say you are considered ‘one of the best’ archers. In most cases the archery prizes while good are rarely life-changing. Financially, there is little difference between a $2500 1st place prize or a $1500 2nd place prize. Even in the stratosphere, a $25,000 1st place prize and a $10,000 2nd place prize are not that different.
    You need to overcome self-pressure to get through 1st – 2nd – 3rd rounds of competition, where you are one of many, and the $25,000 or $2500 prize is just a distant thought. How well the student learned technique plays a big part in this. Good technique got you to the 1st – 2nd – 3rd place finals, now you experience the all-eyes-on-me peer pressure. Will the fellow archers watching me see me as a success? At this level, I know my technique is good. At this level, 1st place is important, 2nd place is nearly as important, but winning $2500 OR $1500 isn’t nearly as important.


  2. One time-tested process is to consider what both the best and worst things that could happen to kind of bracket the situation you are in. Too many people respond as if there were a life threatening situation. Not thinking about this leaves one at the mercy of programming hard-wired in by evolution.


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