I’ve choked many times. But compared to others, I’m really not that much of a choker. Honestly, we make a big deal out of choking, and the reality is that almost everyone cracks under-pressure. Clutch is what’s rare, that’s what makes 4th quarter Tim Tebow so exciting.
I want to be clutch. So I read this book.
Basically, the book outlines five traits of clutch.
These 5 traits are what makes people clutch -and they make sense, but there has to be something more, what about Tim Tebow?
Part me wants to believe that God is doing this out of amusement, to use Tebow to promote himself. But I think I can make a better guess.
Tebow is clutch because he truly wants to play. Maybe he thinks about the pressure of losing a game, or his reputation carried from being a Florida Gator, or how critics say he has bad mechanics. This doesn’t make him want to be on the field any less. When you love the game, sometimes pressure is exciting. There are people who really enjoy pressure: the student who can’t wait to take the SAT, the thief who would rather steal the heavily guarded valuable than the few easier valuables of the same price, the environmental lawyer.
When I think back, the times I’ve been the most clutch are dance performances, and classroom presentations. There are very few times I’ve choked and messed up a move, forgotten a routine or banter, or repeatedly said “um, um, uhhhh”. When I think back to all the times I’ve been clutch, enjoyment was always the main factor. When I sign up to do a performance or a presentation I know there’s a chance I will mess up and look really stupid, but my underlining mindset is always “that seems fun, I want to try it”.
That’s not to say that preparation has no effect. There were many times I thought I choked, but now I now see that it was just lack of preparation. I didn’t choke, I simply didn’t practice enough and got cut from basketball tryouts, missed the opening swing for the golf playoff determining game, guttered the bowl when I only needed to hit 3 pins.
Preparation will get you far, but enjoyment is the power up boost that will overclock your performance.
Agreed. David wrote about a similar mindset a couple months ago in Tynan's community section. It helped me develop a better mindset for working under pressure and it may help you as well. Check it out here.
As a creative or strategist, there seems to be a never-ending flow of good ideas. Ideas that we are really hyped up for, but for some reason we just don’t execute.
What tends to happen to me is that during times where I’m driving, showing, or when I’ve just had coffee, I get flooded with ideas and visions of things I could do. I immediately start actioning them in my head. It goes something like:
Okay I’m going to set up this joint venture program, what does that look like. Okay, this works and this works but I don’t have these resources to actually make it work.
Then I get distracted before I fully develop the strategy in my head. This is detrimental because while I’m spending energy half-determining the upside and resources involved, I waste a ton of mental energy thinking about what those action items will be for myself. I don't write it down because I’m not fully convinced — because the concept isn’t thought through.
After reading Getting Things Done, I’m convinced that this is the reason why I often feel mentally drained. If, when you’re planning out the strategy and don’t fully plan out the action items, you actually waste will power by halfway thinking through implementaion task even though you aren’t actually implementing. Meaning, you spend energy “implementing” when you haven’t actually implemented anything.
"Kobe Bryant is so clutch." I constantly hear this statement from people, whether they're basketball fans or not. I have never bought any of this; in fact, I don't believe in being clutch. I'm going to lay out my logic why. Unfortunately, I didn't use any statistics, just pure reasoning. I think there's a variety of statistica proof on the Internet against the notion of clutch. Hopefully, though, mine will make intuitive sense.
My argument is as simple as this: people have a misconception about being clutch because they take into account the number of successes, not the percentage. What does this really mean? Here's one of my favorite quotes (I'll explain how it relates, don't worry):
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan
Doesn't this quote deal with failure? Well, yes. But, there's a certain part of the quote I want to focus on. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. Wait, isn't Michael Jordan regarded as a clutch player? 26 misses a lot, especially compared to the limited opportunities one has to make a game-winning shot.
What I'm trying to say is that basically people care about the number of successes. It doesn't matter if a player misses 4 game-winning shots; if they make the fifth, they will be regarded as clutch. There is a similar phenomenon with All-Stars and scoring. Fans think the best players are the ones with the most points. But, that's obviously not true. NBA statistic sites, like Wages of Wins, highly stress the importance of Field Goal Percentage. A player who scores 20 points or more is not that beneficial if their FG% is below 40%. They might as well pass up the opportunity and give it to a teammate who has a higher conversion rate.