‘Precision under pressure’

We use this term is several of our recent posts. It’s an idea that needs further explanation.

I’ll start by summarizing our theory of time perception in the brain: proportional to stress. So the more stress, either external or internal, the slower time is perceived. There is not shortage of application or development of this theory in other posts. 

This is important because brain entropy is internal pressure. The more stress we put on athletes, mental or physical, the more brain entropy they have, and the slower they perceive time.

How does that apply to precision? Imagine your golf swing as a single fluid motion. If you are 50% accurate with your swing, about half the balls will go where you want them to. But if your swing has two motions, there is twice as much room for error. So the more thought you have in your swing, the less accurate it can be. And the more stressed you are, the slower time is for you. The more time for thought in the swing, and more room for error on the shot. Therefore, less stress equals less entropy equals faster time perception which equals more accurate movements over a longer period of time.

untitled (1).png

This is why a swing will break down under pressure. And why a natural athlete needs to be aware of the fundamentals of their practice. Because in crunch time, things feel different. You have more time to swing, throw, or kick. So if you don’t know how to tune out the pressure or adjust to it, you will become unpredictable over time.

This is why practice is crucial. You practice to develop your skills but also tune them to each level of stress. If you casually hit tennis balls every day, you may not be match ready. There is more stress. And as the match wears on, you get more tired, which also increases stress.

With this in mind, you can start to see the advantage of a bigger brain. The bigger the brain, the greater the volume the athlete can reach without reaching the same level of entropy. There is essentially just more room for pressure.

And when pressure gets high, entropy gets high, and time gets slow. And when time gets slow, it gets harder and harder to accurately do the same thing over and over again with predictable results.


Leave a Reply