Sunday, 1 November 2020

Power poses -- for self-confidence and stress reduction

With so much on the line and so much talent on the team, why did Memphis choke? Interest in questions like this goes back more than a century and motivated one of the first experiments in social psychology. In this study, though, the question was why performance sometimes gets better, rather than worse, in the presence of others. Athletes have to learn to perform in front of huge crowds, but sometimes even the best players and teams choke under pressure. Social Facilitation Theory, Take 1: When Others Improve Performance At the end of the 19th century, Norman Triplett did what most psychology researchers do best: He observed a phenomenon in the world, developed a theory he thought might explain it, and went about designing experiments to test his idea. The observation was that cyclists were able to ride 20 to 30 seconds per mile faster when they were racing with other cyclists than when they were racing alone. Triplett speculated that the mere presence of other competitors heightens arousal, which in turn improves performance. The researchers have done randomized control trials on this project that confirm that over time, this energy efficiency behavior persists. Air-quality apps create momentum for China's sweeping clean-air reforms Access to real-time data helps us, as individuals and families, to behave in climate-friendly ways. It also drives policy changes at astonishing scales. If you've been to China in recent years, you'll have seen how omnipresent cellphones have become. According to China Internet Watch, the country has more than 854 million internet users--more than the entire population of Europe. Many of these people begin their day by checking an air-quality app. With data available from tens of thousands of sites across four hundred cities on the mainland, these apps have become as much a part of daily life in China as its social media platforms. Air-quality apps enable people to make better-informed decisions about whether they need to stay indoors or put on a face mask, or if the air is clean enough for them to bike to school or work. These apps provide a vital source of information in a country notorious for deadly air pollution. Strength coaches like the great Al Vermeil who have two championship rings in both NBA and the NFL, developed some of the best championship teams with basic lifts such as squats, presses, cleans, and jerks to name a few. The basics are the basics, and time tested basic exercise lifts have developed some of the most dominant athletes in the world.

The key is to address the athlete's needs with sound scientific principles and methods, not gimmicks. You play in a fast, explosive, and physically demanding sport. So working with slow and light weight exercises will ruin your athletic potential and durability. It is clear with rising injuries, surgeries, and knee replacements that we, as strength coaches, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and the entire health and wellness community need to take a long look at how we are preparing athletes. In my view, we are failing them, and we are resorting to bandaid solutions like taping. This is the reason it is vitally important that proper training is done during the off-season, and the in-season. Kawhi Leonard, 2019 NBA Champion & MVP said it best, This is why I work out all summer, during the season, and I'm happy that my hard work paid off. To test his idea, Triplett (1898) asked children to reel in a cord on a fishing rod as fast as they could while he recorded their time. Sometimes they performed this task alone, other times they competed with each other. Most of the kids tested were faster at reeling in the cord when they were competing than when they were performing alone--a finding that supported an early version of social facilitation theory. Triplett's paper sparked a flurry of research exploring how an individual's performance is affected not only by a competitive environment but also by the mere presence of other people watching. Many studies showed that performance improves when an audience is watching. The problem was that other studies began showing the opposite effect: Performance worsened when others were watching. To make sense of these mixed results, Robert Zajonc proposed an updated version of social facilitation theory. Social Facilitation Theory, Take 2: Others Facilitate One's Dominant Response Zajonc (1965) refined social facilitation theory by suggesting that the mere presence of others does not always improve or hurt performance; If that task is a simple motor task (reeling in a fishing line) or something that you've practiced very well (playing a piano sonata for the thousandth time), your dominant or automatic response is to reel fast and play accurately. They also supply powerful motivation to demand positive change. Air pollution hit highs never before seen in China in 2013.

In the capital city of Beijing, average particulate matter pollution (PM) was nine times the amount considered safe by the World Health Organization. In January of 2014, pollution reached thirty to forty-five times the recommended daily levels, and residents were told to stay indoors. Seventy percent of the entire Chinese population experienced PM levels that, if sustained, would correspond to a 6. The same year, a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said that pollution in Beijing was so bad, the city was nearly uninhabitable for human beings. An influential study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that air pollution had shortened the lifespans of people living in northern China by five years compared to those living in the south. Such dire health impacts, in combination with daily app reminders of how bad the situation was, fueled an outcry and drove mass public demand for change. In this case, personalized awareness of how critical the situation was led a national response. In 2014, Premier Li Keqiang declared a war against pollution at the National People's Congress. Simply put, stop doing silly exercises others are posting on social media, when you haven't even taken care of the fundamentals. Remove yourself from the hamster wheel and dedicate a proper off-season to work on yourself. Strength is the foundation and the mother of all qualities. It is the most sought out quality after skill. It is impossible to achieve elite athlete status unless you are strong. Once you have achieved a decent level of skill, it is important you get stronger to elevate your skills. The stronger you are, the easier it becomes to perform your skills with less effort. Contrary to popular belief, it is backed by science that the stronger an athlete becomes relative to their body weight, the less prone to injuries they will be. Strong things do not break easily, weak things do. In terms of injury and performance as well as elevating an athlete's performance, strength is the key. In these cases, having an audience likely will improve your performance. But if the task is a complex one (finding the logical inconsistencies in a philosophical treatise) or one that you are only just beginning to learn (playing a piano sonata for the first time), the dominant response will be to make mistakes;

What is it about an audience that increases the dominant response? Social facilitation theory The theory that the presence of others increases a person's dominant response--that is, the response that is most likely for that person for the task at hand. The Role of Arousal Zajonc proposed that simply being in the presence of others heightens arousal, which can improve performance but can also make it hard to focus. In fact, he said, every animal is aroused by the presence of other members of its species. Does this mean that other animals will show social facilitation effects? To find out, Zajonc carried out what is the only social psychology study performed on cockroaches (Zajonc et al. The declaration came just a few months after the government instituted the toughest-ever clean-air policy in the country, allocating $270 billion to specific plans to reduce annual average PM. Beijing, which had already set aside $120 billion to fight pollution, would need to reduce PM levels by 34 percent to meet its targets. More than half of China's air pollution comes from coal-fired power stations. The national action plan on air pollution created an outright ban on new coal-burning plants, and accelerated the use of scrubbers and filters. It prohibited large construction projects in order to prevent smog from cement production and diesel trucks. It created a new environmental protection agency with tough, far-reaching powers of enforcement. China has achieved remarkably cleaner air--in just four years. Between 2013 and 2017, PM levels in Beijing dropped by 35 percent, while levels in surrounding regions dropped by 25 percent. According to a 2019 UN report, No other city or region on the planet has achieved such a feat. As a result of this profound turn of events, the average Chinese citizen could increase their lifespan by 2. We recommend everyone begin proper strength training as early as eight years old, regardless of whether you are an athlete or not. When starting proper strength training during an off-season, one must build mobility, flexibility, and strength all at the same time.

The main principle is to use variations of foundational exercises such as squats, pulls, presses, and foundational movements such as running, jumping, and throwing in a highly coordinated fashion. As you get older and stronger, the goal is by age 15 years, you should be able to perform a full range of motion; Science has shown that when you reach double bodyweight back squat, it will help you effectively utilize your strength, power, and speed relative to your bodyweight. For example, if a male athlete weighs 150 lb, he needs to squat 300 lb. If a female athlete weighs 100 lb, she needs to squat 150 lb. Get complementary resources including a sample off-season program block that you will be able to download and use by visiting https://lpsathletic. Be aware, this program is served as sample and is not personalized to you, but it will provide you a basic outline of how and what key elements an athlete needs to build a solid foundation for exponential growth. TRAIN EVERY DAY Cockroaches were timed as they ran a maze in order to escape a bright light for a dark corner. Two aspects of the situation were varied. First, the cockroaches either ran the maze alone or in the presence of other cockroaches placed in clear Plexiglas boxes alongside the runways. In addition, the route to the darkened goal box was either easy (just a straight shot down a runway) or relatively difficult (requiring a choice of paths and a 90-degree turn to find the goal box) (see FIGURE 9. Just as others had found with humans, when the task was easy, the cockroaches reached their goal more quickly in the presence of other cockroaches than when they were alone. But when the task was difficult, it took the cockroaches longer to reach their goal with other cockroaches lurking about. Because the psychology of a cockroach is pretty stripped down compared with our own, these findings suggest that social facilitation effects are due to a very basic biological process: feeling aroused when in the presence of others. Do Other Species Get Aroused by an Audience? Even cockroaches exhibit a social facilitation effect. When around other cockroaches (compared with being alone), they do better on an easy maze but worse on a difficult maze. The shift from airpocalypse to poster child for combating air pollution has been fast and decisive. In November 2019, Beijing was removed from the list of the world's top two hundred most-polluted cities.

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