Is the pressure getting to you?

The crowd is on their feet cheering.  The basketball game between University of Kentucky and Texas A & M is in overtime.  With just 1:11 remaining, Ulis scored to give UK a one point lead.  

The clock ticks down … 12 seconds, 11, 10 and at 9 seconds remaining, UK’s Humphries is fouled by Texas while pulling down a rebound.  The clock stops with UK still just holding the lead.  However, with a heightened level of excitement, Humphries slams the ball to the ground thinking the call was against him.  He is no doubt frustrated.  The whistle screams as the official calls a technical foul on Humphries.  It was his final foul of the game and he had to take the bench.

How many times have you acted out in frustration?  

At this point, the protocol of the game allowed Texas A & M to take the shots for the technical foul first, and they did not miss – pulling their score up to a one-point lead.  With 9 seconds remaining, UK had little time to pull this one out.  

What are the consequences of you cracking under pressure?  Are they regrettable?

Because UK’s Humphries was in foul trouble and pulled from the game, and he could not take the foul shots. His teammate had two shots at the basket for that foul called on Humphries.  He made one bucket evening out the score to a tie.

The ball was put back into play.  In those final 9 seconds, UK couldn’t rally to the bucket.  Texas got the ball and drove for a 2-pointer to win the game.  

Humphries stated in the wrap up interview that he “will learn from this.”  Texas expressed ‘Thanks’ as they were somewhat surprised they won against the 14th ranked Kentucky powerhouse.

Do you crack under pressure and regret it later?  

Why do some team members choke under the pressure of presentations or client meetings? The brain can impair critical decision making and memory recall without warning.  Acquire an understanding of how the challenges of a manager or team member affect performance and resiliency and how neuroscience based interventions can address these. The APA reports that stress costs corporations $300 billion a year in absences, medical costs, lost productivity and turnover. Learn techniques to combat emotional outbursts, impulsivity, anger and subsequently lost productivity while increasing your team’s executive functioning and performance

On April 6th, please join SWE – Chicago for a Professional Development event as we are hosted by Continental Corporation for appetizers and speaker Debbie Vyskocil presenting “Choking Under Pressure.”  For more on this FREE event and registration, go to

April Bledsoe, SWE-CRS, VP – Professional Development FY 16

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About SWE Chicago

We are the Chicago Regional Section of the Society of Women Engineers. We are dedicated to the professional development of all women engineers in the Northern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana. This site is primarily focused on keeping our members informed of events and activities.