​CHAPTER 4 - Wait, Who's Watching?

People that are hypersensitive about what people think about them are more susceptible. They are highly conscious (aware of themselves and surroundings) and tend to begin thinking too much.

One area that leads to people worrying more and being more aware is the presence of others or fans.

Sport Scientist Geir Jordet examined all soccer penalty shootouts from major competitions over the past 25 years. He found that those soccer players who were most publicly esteemed through awards and/or players of the year actually performed worse. The “stars” made 65 percent of their shots, compared to 90% of other “lesser known.”

Simply put, the “stars” felt more pressure in these instances. Many have commented how their “fans” added to the pressure, which led to them being more self-conscious and trying not to mess up.

Fans  Increased Self-Conscious  Trying NOT to Mess Up


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​It's a Catastrophe

Catastrophe Theory- All performers have an optimal range of arousal under pressure circumstances. Pressure is a privilege. When arousal gets too high, it turns into anxiety and then there can be an extreme drop-off in performance or a “catastrophe” (Hardy, 1990).

The catastrophe is caused by one error or mistake which leads to another and another, a complete drop-off, or meltdown.


Jordan Spieth has won 2 majors and had yet to trail in The Masters in two years. He was the defending Masters champion, made the turn at -7 at clicking on all cylinders making four straight birdies. He had a five (5) shot lead with nine holes to go and was in control.

And then it happened; he had a catastrophe on hole 12 at Augusta National.

He hit the ball in the water at 12, which was obviously not good, but honestly, that happens. He could have recovered. What followed after the tee shot in the water was unfortunately worse and it was where and when the catastrophe occurred.

It was a bad decision that led to the choke. Jordan Spieth dropped it in an awkward spot near 13. What followed was another ball in the water. Quadruple bogey.

He later admitted it would have been better “not to use the drop zone”, but performing under pressure takes working memory, (the strategizing and decision making in real time). The working memory by Jordan Spieth on the tee box at 12 was completely occupied because of hitting the ball in the water, so it was actually the poor decision that led to the choke.

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