Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Science of Competition

Ultimate teams and players can learn a lot from this bestseller.

Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing
by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman

Info: In Top Dog, Bronson and Merryman use their astonishing blend of science & storytelling to reveal what's truly in the heart of a champion. The joy of victory and the character-building agony of defeat. Testosterone and the neuroscience of mistakes. Why rivals motivate. How home field advantage gets you a raise. What teamwork really requires. It's not who practices more; it's who competes better.

Some insights via a W I R E D interview [March 2013].
Connection between stress and performance:
"...in stressful situations, you want to focus on being excited and challenged rather than worrying that your stress means it's not going well."

Being a team player:
"...there's this concept that teams need to have good relationships between members in order to be high-performing. But a team that's all chummy, with no discord, is often like a couple that burying something and not talking about it. Teams are going to be challenged, and they have to perform - and that sometimes requires yelling at teammates or doing something that pisses people off. Discord can be more associated with performance than harmony is."

Dealing with mistakes:
"We all lose sometimes, so everybody needs a post-failure toolbox....We should avoid ruminating on what went wrong - "If only I hadn't done that" (subtractive thinking). Rather than saying to yourself, "Oh, if only I'd made that [throw]," think, "I have another strategy I didn't use. Next time, I WILL [do this other play]" (additive thinking). If you think about things that didn't happen that you'd like to do next time, you can prime your brain for better performance after a failure.

No comments: