Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Understanding why some athletes crack or shine in the spotlights make sense in the Inverted U and Zone of optimal functioning sections. A player with high arousal in easier tasks tend to shine with positive reinforcements such as making a crucial 3 pointer or hitting a home run to tie the game where as a player who misses their shot or strikes out might have a low arousal as they could not get the job done. This also ties into the next section on the Cusp Catastrophe model where a player can be on a hot streak and that entices physiological arousal in optimal performances and the opposite being a catastrophe being from cold streaks. I always thought there was something physiological to a players streaks. This model reminds me of a perfect set of examples, for the cusp performance, RA Dickey comes to mind, he completely reinvented his pitching style after many years of failing to become a CY young award winner in 2012 with a knuckleball. The only knuckleballer to win that award while leading the national league in strikeouts. A player with the catastrophe performance would be Ike Davis, a first basemen with tons of potential only to get injured and be on a downward slope in his career who could not bounce back and was forced to retire.