Perfoming under pressure with Dr Adam Nicholls (Part-2).

What is choking under pressure? How to deal with your thoughts under performance pressure? What is better: emotion or problem focused coping? Listen to the second part of my conversation with Dr Adam Nicholls, professor of psychology at the University of Hull. Before you think he is only doing research: Adam is also an accomplished BJJ competitor and in 2021 he won silver at the British Open in gi and bronze at the 2022 no-gi British Open. He is the author of the textbook ‘Psychology in Sports Coaching’ .


Academics versus practice and the role of definitions
Do thoughts create feelings and emotions?
Lazarus coping framework
Emotions come from appraisal
Explaining mental skills and coping to performers
Relational meaning and emotions
Changing thoughts or emotions
Emotion versus problem-oriented coping
Control is key
The goodness of fit hypothesis
Matching coping to the manageability of a stressor
Is it better to use problem-focused coping than emotion-focused coping?
Analyze the problem: do I have control over this?
The concept of control is huge
Coping strategies in the moment
Stopping thoughts in Brazilian JuJutsu as a coping strategy
What is positive self-talk?
Coping quality versus end result
Is thought stopping possible and how do you do it?
Attention to the task
Breathing techniques in BJJ
Mental plans before the match
Mental imagery
Explanations and interventions for choking under pressure
Personal experiences with choking
How to learn to perform under pressure
The need for successful training experiences
The key message for performing under pressure
What inspires Adam?
Making performance psychology accessible