How a kick in the head can get you to perform better
Nobody is physically going to kick anybody in the head just yet, so relax and read on.
Just yesterday, a couple of world cup qualifying matches were played around Africa. A couple of interesting results also came in but the joy of the day for me and several other Africans was the game between Ethiopia and Nigeria played in Addis Ababa.
If you watched 45-50 minutes of that game, you would’ve probably abandoned the game halfway or just remained patriotic hoping that Nigeria would at least steal away a draw. It was that bad. Ethiopians outplayed Nigerians, they were fast and furious, accurate with their passes and to sum it all up, they played more like the dreaded fc Barcelona (well maybe in an African way) . They played so hard until they got the first goal!.. Interestingly just after the goal, Nigerians suddenly began to play better (apparently the thoughts of the disgrace a defeat would bring to the reigning African champions occupied their head) and in no time the eagles equalised and even got a second goal. Leaving the east African country’s hope of an appearance in Brazil 2014 world cup completely dashed (maybe). Now the question is, did the super eagles of Nigeria have to wait till they got kicked in the head before really waking up?
I’m sure they only realized how bad they had been playing the moment they were a goal down!
I’m reminded of the quote, “if it’s important to you, you’ll find a way, but if it’s not you’ll find an excuse.”
Most people perform better much better under pressure. Some work better under a tight deadline.
I even read an interesting study with a little twist that shows that athletes perform better under pressure when they make a fist with their left hand. (I wonder if Emenike did twist his left hand when he got the first thunderbolt goal)
Pressure isn’t necessarily bad – it can enhance motivation, concentration, and enjoyment. That feeling of stress that often accompanies a pressure situation can keep you on your toes, ready to rise to any challenge.
However when you get a kick in the head, to perform better you should –
- Never ever give in. maintain commitment and desire in the face of adversity
- Learn to focus on the right thing at the right time, regardless of what is going on around you.
- Practice mindful thoughts (no negative thoughts.. I mean think positively!)
- Strive for excellence not perfection
- Focus on technique and strategy
- Have good error recovery strategies – people tend to make more errors when they perceive they are under pressure, so you need to have to have a good strategy to deal with them without them affecting your confidence.
- Finally – Maintain your belief in yourself, no matter what the situation!
Do you perform better under pressure? Let us know!