Niel Essay

1077 Words Jul 10th, 2012 5 Pages
THEPOSTGAME. wednesday, june 15, 2011

Can LeBron Transform From Choker To Champ? A Sport Psychologist Has A Game Plan
Monday, June 13, 2011 4:54 pm Written by: Eric Adelson
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The Decision has led to The Derision, and many are now calling LeBron James a choker. Let's stay away from that label. But let's also ask: Why do great athletes sometimes fail to show up in important situations? Why did James, so dominant in fourth quarters leading up to the NBA Finals -- don't forget his incredible finish against the Pistons in the '07 playoffs -- start making high school mistakes when it counted most? And is there a way he can confront this problem and overcome it? There are answers, and they go all the way back to the 1989 Stanley
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"What we've seen in winners is huge testosterone-to-cortisol balance," Davis says. "When they're on their game, we see evidence that there may be an elevation of testosterone. When people are losing, they are overwhelmed with emotion. That's cortisol." Now here's the twist: Davis has found that when top athletes have a traumatic experience in a game or event, and then return to a similar moment (such as the fourth quarter of the NBA Finals), they often start producing cortisol. Davis has worked for years with the Canadian Olympic team, and he's seen swimmers do perfectly well for years, in every competition, and then fall apart when they get to a scenario reminiscent of one where they struggled four or eight years earlier. It's the exact same stroke or race, but it's a completely different moment. The athlete responds not to the event, but to the moment. In fact, whenever athletes start thinking about the pride or pain of winning or losing, they can become overwhelmed with emotion and unable to perform the basic duties of playing in the present. "The moment someone thinks about the reward," Davis says, "they are in a whole different space." So you see the brilliance of what Dirk Nowitzki did in Game 6. He held his emotions back until the second the game ended and the title was won. Then he hustled to the locker room to cry. He was completely unemotional and then he was completely

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