6 Keys to Great Game Day Decision Making

During last summer's Olympic games I heard commentator Brandi Chastain on television, during the U.S vs. Japan gold medal soccer match, talk about the importance of decision making and it struck me as just how critical a function that is for any athlete in any sport.

Chastain's reference to decision making pertained to possible fatigue among the United States players in playing their third match of the week. In a state of mental and physical fatigue decision making during a game can become less precise and, thus, lead to mistakes that can have monumental consequences on the outcome of a game.

The potential for poor decision making is even more likely with younger athletes who don't possess the experience or mental toughness to fight through fatigue (including adverse weather or playing conditions).

Game day decision making can also suffer under pressure of competition. Sport, by definition, requires performance. As such a younger athlete can succumb to anxiety before and during a game. This anxiety can look like fear of failure, which can lead to doubt and delay in making decisions.

Boost your athlete's sports confidence quick!

Or anxiety can look like the game speeding up inside an athlete's head, causing him or her to make decisions hastily. In either case "performance anxiety" can cause poor decision making which will lead to inconsistent performances, at best, and more likely disastrous performances.

Because most every sport requires precise execution of physical game mechanics and actions decision making on ball possession/transfer or hand/foot movements are critical. As it is said...timing is everything

high school volleyball game
So how can your athlete consistently make good decisions, even in the most stressful of game situations?