I am not sure if you have been watching the Rugby world cup, but to many who know me also know that I used to play the crazy sport. The 2015 World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia is this Saturday for you non Rugby fans. Did you know it’s the third most watched sporting event in the world? Right behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. Anyways, I had an amazing club side rugby coach after college. His name was Coach Estes. He was a hard nosed guy (also the father of my two boys, but that is another story) who taught simple life lessons, one of them being how to avoid premature ejaculation. I see this a lot, not in literal terms, but in essence of how we treat life. When your under pressure, your performance can go either way, ideally the right way.
Now in rugby the ball must move laterally or backwards. If it is thrown forwards (unless kicked) the team who does this loses possession of the ball. Imagine running forward at full speed, receiving that lateral pass, catching the ball (shaped like a rounder football), advancing a few meters, getting tackled, then your body becomes the new offsides line where opposing teams face off. At this point your giant guys step over you, protect the ball, then your scrumhalf (like a quarterback in football) steps up to the “ruck” to pass the ball out again, then repeat.
…now imagine doing this, let’s say 3 or 4 times in a row. It’s working perfectly. Your team is gaining 3-4 meters each carry… And THEN it happens! You are 3 meters out, you can see the try line (touchdown line)! … But one of your teammates (who is supposed to be securing the ball) thinks that he can make it. He picks up the ball from behind the ruck, instead of protecting …dives forward… Boom! He’s lit up and the ball knocked out of his hands. No score. An ugly turnover.
Giant performance under pressure – You can overcome it
When under pressure we all respond differently. The sports heroes that are able to remain cool sometimes under giant pressure seem to perform with ease. They follow the game plan. Many of us suffer from PEJ. At work, at home… Squirming under pressure. Changing a plan when the plan we have is working. For example, you become friends with the Boss, the two of you click… Then an opportunity to move up the chain opens and you try to act a bit smarter, more in charge… But now you just look fake.
Or in fitness. You get a food plan from your nutritionist, follow it, start losing a pound or two a week. People notice… Then they start telling you how they lost their weight. Advice from the not-so-certified begins to pour in until finally you begin to doubt your own food plan. Do I remove carbs? Or eat them? Are tomatoes a free food or not? How much fat should I be eating? Does fiber cancel a carb? Do I really need all of this protein? Then BOOM!!! You switch up your food plan, start to yo-yo and gain 3 pounds. Ugh!
There is one simple way to correct PEJ. BELIEVE in YOU. Have faith in yourself and get a great Coach with the right game plan.