5 Seeing challenge as an opportunity
As you have heard from both Chris Hoy and Ronnie O’Sullivan, performing under pressure is partly about how challenges are framed. While ‘butterflies in the stomach’ from anxiety can be unsettling, the only way to get them to ‘fly in formation’ (Hanton and Jones, 1999) is to try out new strategies of dealing with situations rather than avoiding them.
Skilful coaches and parents therefore talk through how young people might approach a pressurised event and help give them the skills (e.g. imagery, self-talk, appropriate goals – see PCDEs in Session 5, Activity 4) to cope with the demands they face. You may recall that there was a scenario related to this in the Medal Quest game – you will get a chance to try it again at the end of the next session with the help of this new knowledge.?