1. Joined
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    31 Aug '12 15:41
    Most of us would agree that simple ability is not sufficient in the cauldron of professional sport. The ability to perform under pressure is something that can separate the good amateur from the pro, and the greats from the very good.

    So who would you say was the best at handling pressure in any sport you choose?

    I'll go first with golf and nominate Nick Faldo. I watch a fair bit of golf (and am a Brit), and I have racked my brains and cannot remember any occasion when I think Faldo cracked under pressure. I can think of many occasions when he same through under the severest of tests.

    Two examples (and you can watch them if you like):

    1) Muirfield 1992 The Open. Faldo had been pushed all the way by John Cook of the USA. He had just holed 'one of those' at the 17th. He needed a par at the tricky last. After the drive, he had a tough 3 iron to the green. It never left the flag.

    YouTube

    2) 1995 Ryder Cup. Faldo basically needed to make a 4 on the final hole to secure the cup. He drove into the rough, Curtis Strange drove into the fairway.

    Faldo then showed the ultimate in composure. He did not attempt to thrash the ball to the green. He laid it up to wedge distance and backed himself to get up and down. He wedged it to 5 feet and holed the putt under the most intense pressure.

    YouTube

    There are other examples I can think of. But as I say, I cannot recall a time I ever thought he crumbled under pressure, even if he hit a bad shot.

    Faldo had the reputation of an emotionless automaton. If you watch the videos, you will see that is not the case, and if you read what he says about these moments, he will tell you he was quaking inside. But he managed to conquer this and play wonderfully thought out and executed shots when it mattered most.

    Over to you.
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    31 Aug '12 18:57
    Kevin Keegan.

    YouTube

    I rest my case.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    01 Sep '12 15:00
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    So who would you say was the best at handling pressure in any sport you choose?
    Bill Werbeniuk, snooker.

    Wiki: [He] was noted for the copious amounts of alcohol before and during matches – up to 30 pints of lager per day. He said that he generally drank around six pints of lager before a match and then one pint for each frame. He said he did this to counteract familial benign essential tremor. Later in his career he also took propranolol, a beta blocker to cope with the effects of his alcohol consumption on his heart. [...] Werbeniuk was ranked as high as 8th in the world in 1983.
  4. Joined
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    01 Sep '12 18:32
    Originally posted by FMF
    Bill Werbeniuk, snooker.

    Wiki: [He] was noted for the copious amounts of alcohol before and during matches – up to 30 pints of lager per day. He said that he generally drank around six pints of lager before a match and then one pint for each frame. He said he did this to counteract familial benign essential tremor. Later in his career he also took propranolo ...[text shortened]... lcohol consumption on his heart. [...] Werbeniuk was ranked as high as 8th in the world in 1983.
    When I said pressure, I did not mean blood pressure.
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    02 Sep '12 13:45
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    When I said pressure, I did not mean blood pressure.
    The German football team, then. Never mind golf, consider the pressure of a penalty shoot-out at the national level. When you miss, it's not just your bank manager who hates you, but every single fan in your entire country. That's pressure. And who wins most of these penalty shoot-outs? Right, the Jerries.
    By the same reasoning, worst under pressure: the English football team, just pipping the Dutch for that honour.

    Richard
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    02 Sep '12 14:11
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    The German football team, then. Never mind golf, consider the pressure of a penalty shoot-out at the national level. When you miss, it's not just your bank manager who hates you, but every single fan in your entire country. That's pressure. And who wins most of these penalty shoot-outs? Right, the Jerries.
    By the same reasoning, worst under pressure: the English football team, just pipping the Dutch for that honour.

    Richard
    Good choice and it raises an interesting point.

    It seems to me that some sports may be more easy to identify where someone cracks under pressure. These are sports which are not team games and when also when you have complete control over the process without interference by another (e.g. Golf, snooker, darts etc).

    And what are the moments which you are likely to pick on from other types of games to identify when someone has cracked under pressure? Those moments or elements within these games which are entirely within the control of the individual.

    So, in tennis, you might point to the double fault on match point. You chose the penalty shoot out, when football stops being a team game.
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    02 Sep '12 14:19
    Joe Montana always came through and frequently in come from behind manner and always appeared cool as a cucumber.
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    03 Sep '12 12:28
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    So, in tennis, you might point to the double fault on match point. You chose the penalty shoot out, when football stops being a team game.
    Yes, which puts all the pressure, which used to be shared by the team, on the shoulders of that one player. It's all the greater because you're not responsible just for yourself, but for the team. They rely on you. And it's greater yet if your team (and therefore, at that very moment, only you) represents not just the club and the town and the fans from other places, but the entire country.

    Richard
  9. Wat?
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    03 Sep '12 13:27
    So Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett didn't represent the entire country when they graced the track?

    I don't recall them cracking, apart from against each other. They didn't ever let the country down and they, as individual competitors, were under huge stresses, strains and pressures to deliver week in and week out for many a year! 😉

    I'd sooner watch them run, than a penalty shoot out.

    -m.
  10. Standard membersh76
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    03 Sep '12 18:36
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Most of us would agree that simple ability is not sufficient in the cauldron of professional sport. The ability to perform under pressure is something that can separate the good amateur from the pro, and the greats from the very good.

    So who would you say was the best at handling pressure in any sport you choose?

    I'll go first with golf and nomi ...[text shortened]... is and play wonderfully thought out and executed shots when it mattered most.

    Over to you.
    Mariano Rivera for baseball. Best postseason pitcher in baseball history and even when he did get beat, it was usually on dinks and dunks. Other than an opposite field HR to Sandy Alomar in 1997, I don't recall him giving up an important well hit drive in his post season career.

    In football, I'd say Tom Brady. He seems to have the knack for making the big pass in the big spot. It was Welker's fault for dropping a good pass that cost them last year's SB.

    In basketball, it has to be Michael Jordan.

    In hockey, I'd say Mark Messier.

    I don't really follow other sports so I won't go farther than that.
  11. Joined
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    04 Sep '12 13:171 edit
    Originally posted by mikelom
    So Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett didn't represent the entire country when they graced the track?
    Not as much as the official national team, no. An individual athlete may wear his country's flag, and may have been officially chosen by the electors or whoever manages these things in his country, but he doesn't represent the country on the same level as the national team. He still runs as himself, and mostly for himself.
    The football team, by contrast, is the national football team first, and its individual members second. The Olympic gold medal goes to Joe Dash, from Sprintania, who gets the Sprintanian medal played, but the other Olympic gold medal goes to the Kickland national team, not to John Shoot, Paul Tackle, and Pete Punt.
    (Apart from that, there are many more football fans than athletics fans in most countries, so even by mere numbers the football team represents more of the country.)

    I'd sooner watch them run, than a penalty shoot out.

    I would not disagree with you there, but that wasn't the question.

    Richard
  12. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Sep '12 15:41
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    So who would you say was the best at handling pressure in any sport you choose?
    I don't know about him being the "best", but Alan Border batting when Australia were at a low ebb is a thing that has to be mentioned here.
  13. Wat?
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    05 Sep '12 02:38
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    Not as much as the official national team, no. An individual athlete may wear his country's flag, and may have been officially chosen by the electors or whoever manages these things in his country, but he doesn't represent the country on the same level as the national team. He still runs as himself, and mostly for himself.
    The football team, by contra ...[text shortened]... out.[/quote]
    I would not disagree with you there, but that wasn't the question.

    Richard
    Agreed....

    -m.
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    07 Sep '12 15:53
    Some Olympic athletes perform under pressures from culture, state, and family that may be more stressful than the competition itself. Consider an Iranian soccer goalie in a game against the U.S. Or the Russian gymnast on the balance beam, teetering between Gold and disgrace. I think perhaps the Chinese diver performs the best under the most pressure. He probably has little wealth at stake, but expected Gold success for China in a sport that is both athletic and artistic has got to be nerve-wracking. He not only has to do it, but he has to do it with grace.
  15. Standard memberElamef37
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    08 Sep '12 01:211 edit
    Rilee Roscoe Rossouw

    http://youtu.be/FW0zzdzbz8Y
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