Why do some athletes crumble under pressure while others succeed?   Our society has long been obsessed with sport, primarily because of the arena it offers for us to witness the human response to pressure.  It is one of our most primal instincts, and our response to that instinct dictates our success.  The September edition of the #GoMental! eJournal features some tremendous articles by an excellent group of authors on the topic of Choking.  The topic is ‘Choke:  Understanding and Preventing Expert Fail’.  Our contributors this month include Rick Sessinghaus, “Releasing Pressure:  Methods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety”, John Ellsworth, “Choking: The Science behind Why Athletes Fail”, and Marc Tobin, “How to Approach Anxiety with Players”.  Please enjoy our submissions.  #GoMental!


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The limits that our cognition puts on performance is a subject that is endlessly fascinating.  How much of what we achieve is based upon what we have seen others accomplish?  How much is it limited?  This narrative plays out in every aspect of our lives, but in no space is the idea more clear than in sport!  And, so, it was with much anticipation and excitement that we watched Andy Murray defeat Novak Djokovic in the US Open Final.  It was a tremendous display of athleticism and the challenge of overcoming a seemingly invincible foe.  Murray has long been at the doorstep of greatness, but as with Djokovic before him, he seemed to have a mental barrier in place that didn’t allow him to step inside. With each tournament, a final four awaited that included 3 of the greatest players in history.

Something changed in Murray the day he won the Olympic Gold Medal at Wimbledon.  He had never defeated Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal in a final, and with the gold medal he got that monkey off his back.  He redefined his preconceived limits.  His performance in the US Open Final was nothing short of astounding.  Djokovic delivered his absolute best, and over 5 hours, Murray broke him down.  The image of Murray bouncing around while Djokovic received medical attention before the last set was the final straw in a 4 year ascension of Murray to the top of the game.  He’s finally done it.  Tennis has entered a golden age, and how fortunate are we to have a lens into the game?