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Beilock Book Summary Linked In


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Excellent Book. This presentation is a outline of a speech I gave about this subject.

Excellent Book. This presentation is a outline of a speech I gave about this subject.

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  • 1. Choke - What the secrets of the brain reveal about getting it right when you have to . By Sian Beilock PhD (2010) Free Press/Simon & Schuster Book Review By Madhu Rao
  • 2. Choke
    • An abstract concept…yet a concrete reality when it occurs.
    • Definition:
      • Choking is suboptimal performance, not just poor performance. It is performance that is inferior to what you can do and have done in the past.
      • Choking is most noticeable when an opportunity to win is squandered.
      • Choking is not random.
  • 3. Beilock Research Questions
    • Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests?
    • Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag?
    • Why do you mess up when it matters the most—and how can you perform your best instead?
  • 4. Paralysis by Analysis
    • Beilock describes a condition of "paralysis by analysis“. This is essentially an imbalance between working memory and procedural memory.
    • The theory: Under pressure, experts often over-think well practiced procedures.
    • This over-thinking, in turn, inhibits the timing and coordination of the procedure, resulting in a "choke.“
  • 5. Cure
    • Minimizing Choking/Maximizing Performance
    • Practicing under simulated pressure, for a math test or a golf tournament, lowers the risk of failure.
    • Don’t dwell on previous outcomes.
    • Focus on the outcome (strategy), not the mechanics (tactics).
    • Find a key word (e.g., smooth) and own that.
    • Focus on the positive. You are there to have fun, learn, be with others.
    • Flow – remember the last time you were in it. Try to recreate conditions that lead to that feeling.
  • 6. Write It Out…Out of Your Mind
    • At the onset of negative thinking, write down your thoughts. Get them out of your mind.
    • Expressing concerns gives people some insight into the source of their stress , allowing them to reexamine the situation with an alternate perspective.
  • 7. Summary
    • Think about what you want to say…not what you don’t.
    • Practice. Practice making a fool out of yourself in an improvisational setting. You will have experienced the sensation of what this feels like.
    • Write it out…out of your working memory that is.
    • Remind yourself you have the background to succeed.
    • Prepare well but don’t over anticipate. Avoid too many “what if’s” scenarios. These may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    • The Secret…is you and attracting your positive thoughts to sustain you through stressful times when your memory is overworked and decisions are difficult to make and unclear.
  • 8. Additional References
    • What Happens Under Pressure
    • Wall Street Journal 9/27/2010
    • Two books investigate the not-so-fine art of choking. Article by Phillip Broughton.
    • Bother Me, I'm Thinking
    • Wall Street Journal 2/20/2010
    • Why you should drop that espresso and bounce a ball instead. Article by Jonah Lehrer.