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Why The Superstars Don't Choke

     Stress has always been with us. If we go back to caveman days, there was no doubt the stress of survival - finding food, seeking shelter, escaping predators, fitting in with the clan.

Today even though our lives have changed drastically, stress is still with us - we're just stressed about different things. Some of us are worried about our financial future or the stress of being out of work. Others, who have a job may be facing stressful situations at work. Many people have health related problems and face the stress of dealing with their illness. Maybe you are in a loveless marriage that is so filled with stress that it is barely surviving. Even kids are not immune. They may be dealing stressed out from trying to conform to peer group expectations. The point is that stress is around us all, every day. And those who want to survive find productive methods of contending with it.

Experts in stress management know that trying to eliminate stress from a person's life is not only futile, it's arguably not even desirable. So they concentrate on managing stress instead. But why is it that some people thrive under stress and others, in a similar situation, will collapse from it? There are a couple of reasons why, but the main reason is that a large part of anxiety response is psychological. The first individual has learned how to manage his anxiety so well that he actually thrives under pressure. Likewise, a stress management expert will help you to achieve similar results.

Where does anxiety come from? There is no one answer. Often it comes from a traumatic life changing event such as the loss of a parent, the loss of a child, or the loss of anyone you love. It can also come from less dramatic life changing events such as moving to a new neighborhood, attending a new school, or starting a new job. But most forms of stress or anxiety boil down to either loss of the familiar or anticipation of loss of the familiar.

The word "choke" is often used in sports. A sports team may win one game. Then they win another, and another, until finally they've managed to win 12 games in a row. Now, all eyes are on them and the pressure is on them to win. Because now they're playing for the expectations of their families, their coaches, and fans. Now, instead of being lose, they approach each game with the attitude that they HAVE to win. The next loss has not even happened and yet some of the team members are already feeling tightness. Since the loss hasn't happened yet, it can only be attributed to anticipation of what will happen if the team does lose. So, in many high profile, high stakes, games you'll see players dropping balls that they would normally catch with ease, missing goals that they would normally make in their sleep, and passing up shots that they would normally take. In other words, they're choking.

On the other hand, the superstars in these games have leaned to manage and direct their stress. They not only will avoid passing up a shot, they'll insist on taking the shot. They'll actually want the ball in crucial situations. They will love being in the spotlight in front of thousands, maybe millions of people. Same game, same situation, different player, different reactions.

The crucial thing to notice is that this feeling of self-assurance or comfort has nothing to do with skill level. We all know people who have little or no talent in their field who are nonetheless filled with supreme confidence in their actions and abilities.

Article Source:

Ellen Huston is writer and researcher for . To read other articles on stress anxiety relief as well as other stress related topics, please visit her website.

Posted on 2009-12-10, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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