It's 3rd and short late in the game during a key point in your game with your defense out on the field. The type of situation a well-coached offensive team will go to a hard count to draw you offsides for a big free first down.
I know I'm not alone when I share that one of my biggest pet peeves as a head coach is being in those types of situation and hearing a coach or player on your sideline yell "DON'T JUMP!" That drives me nuts.
Do basketball coaches tell guys about to attempt the game winning shot "Hey, don't miss." Of course they don't.
That lead in brings me to this moment from Emmanuel Acho on ESPN's show Get Up, where he explores the topic of how athletes perform under pressure, something that he took a deep dive into while pursuing his Master's in Sports Phsychology. The topic was especially relevant after Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw let a two-run lead slip away the other night after allowing back-to-back home runs in the eight inning of a key postseason game against the Washington Nationals.
Why do some athletes fold under pressure? Believe it or not, a lot of it can have to do with our word choice as coaches, and as teammates.
"When anxiety and fear step in, the first thing that leaves is your working memory. What that is, is your quick recall memory, A.K.A a sudden decision that you need to make at a sudden time," Acho explains.
Listen to Acho explain that approach more in depth in the clip.