Wednesday, August 7, 2019
There are many factors that may influence a persons performance in a given task. Some of these factors include fitness, anxiety, arousal control, situational awareness and self talk. A concept in sport psychology known as zones of optimal functioning help performers understand their own U curve. This is achieved by understanding their zones of optimal arousal to a certain point before anxiety and fear take over. The U curve is a concept by Psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson known as the Yerkes-Dodson curve. The Yerkes-Dodson law dictates that performance in a given task increases as mental and physiological states are aroused but only to a certain point. The optimal level of arousal is also known as flow state. Flow state is the most optimal mental state a human can be in. Research by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi shows that for flow state to be achieved the task at hand must be not to easy and not to difficult. Mihaly also states that when a performer is in flow state time seems distorted (speeds up or slows down), the performer has no thoughts on their mind other than the task at hand, and focus seems almost effortless.