Tennis Identity

The Science Behind Choking in Sports

We’ve all heard the term choking before. In the context of competition, Wikipedia pretty well sums it up.

In sports, a choke is the failure of an athlete or an athletic team to win a game or tournament when the player or team had been strongly favored to win or had squandered a large lead in the late stages of the event. Someone who chokes may be known as a choker or, more derisively, as a choke artist.

We’ve all felt it at one time or another. You’re on the court, you’re up a set and a break, and all of a sudden you get distracted. You remember that you’ve got a dentist appointment later in the day. You lose your rhythm and concentration, and uh oh you just lost your serve, there goes the break. Before you know it, it’s one set apiece.

That flushing sound you hear in your head is the match going down the tubes. Don’t feel bad, it happens to the biggest names in the game.

The Betway Insider, a UK publication that covers a variety of sports, conducted an exclusive interview with Andy Murray’s former psychologist, Roberto Forzoni, on the subject:

“It’s a thought process,” he says in the interview. “Rather than thinking about what you do, you think about the consequence.”

The Science Behind Choking

*Feature photo from Tennis Warehouse’s forums.


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