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Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To Hardcover – September 21, 2010
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“Readable explanations for why we choke and valuable suggestions for what we can do to get through a make-or-break moment with a better chance of success.”
--Wall Street Journal
"If you aspire to be cool under maximum pressure (and who doesn't?), Beilock offers smart tips such as practicing under pressure and 'pausing the choke' by walking away from the problem for a few minutes in order to think clearly."
“. . . a must read for golfers.” – WorldGolf
“Choke is an important, fascinating book. Everyone who is looking for optimal performance would benefit from reading it and implementing its principles.”
—Daniel G. Amen, MD, Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body
“Do you want to hit better shots on the golf course? Score higher on the SAT? Get less nervous before speaking in public? In this marvelous book, Sian Beilock will tell you how, as she reveals the mental secrets to performing under pressure.”
--Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist
“A wonderful exploration of what happens inside when you choke on the outside. Essential for anyone who has, or plans, to compete, and especially for those who have choked.”
--Andrew Newberg, M.D., co-author of How God Changes Your Brain and Born to Believe
“Dr. Sian Belock is one of the world's leading researchers in human performance. In her book Choke, she explains with great insight the scientific underpinnings involved in individual triumph and failure--whether these take place in the world of sports, academics or business. The reader is arrives at a rich understanding of why and when people choke and more importantly how to achieve one's best in the competitive world. Choke is destined to be a classic in the world of human performance and is a must read for those who seek excellence in all domains of life.”
--Michael Lardon M.D., Sport Psychiatrist and author of Finding Your Zone: Ten Core Lessons for Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life
“When do we thrive under pressure? When is it better to stop thinking about what we are doing and simply do it? This informative book teaches us when less can be more, in sports, in exams, and other areas where performance under stress is critical. Its engaging real-world examples offer the reader a wealth of useful and challenging insights into how our brain functions when the heat is on.”
--Gerd Gigerenzer, author of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
“Choke is required reading for anyone who has to perform under pressure. Beilock takes you on a riveting tour of the science of success, with an insider's insights into what it means for the real-world challenges of business, sports, and education. Beilock gives you the tools to make your brain choke-proof and rise to any challenge.”
--Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of Yoga for Pain Relief and the forthcoming The Science of WIllpower --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Sian Beilock, a leading expert on cognitive science and the many factors influencing all types of performance, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. She received a BS in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego in 1997 and PhDs in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University in 2003.
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Top customer reviews
I think this book is right for anyone who is serious about their sport and takes more than a casual approach. Highly endorse this one! RIH
As a performing musician who, after many years, still would like to improve his consistency and quality of performance, I started this book expecting specific advice about how to deal with choking, i.e. how to counteract the tendency toward freaking out and not doing one's best when it most counts. Beilock does make a useful distinction early on between so-called "working memory," which seems to be conscious intellectual thought and analysis, and "thinking outside the box," which seems to be what most of us might call instinct or gut reaction. The upshot of her thesis boils down to this: under pressure people who rely heavily on working memory get into trouble because too much conscious thought can actually inhibit and disrupt performance rather than enhance it. While certainly true this is not exactly a new idea, and rather than develop it Beilock goes off for much of the book on tangents about high-stakes academic testing and self-reinforcing stereotypes, material that is certainly provocative and important but that seems less than central to the main topic. There is some sound advice about preparing by putting oneself in pressure situations in advance of the "main event," and of dealing with performance anxiety by writing about it and facing it head-on rather than denying or ignoring it. I also like the little checklists that summarize the main points of several chapters. Still, with regard to minimizing the chances of "choking" and improving one's overall performance in pressure situations, other books have covered the main topic as well or better, especially as applied to specific areas of endeavor such as musical or athletic performance.