Choking during a competition is a term used to a describe a suboptimal performance by an athlete that is less than s/he is capable. Several factors (emotional, cognitive, attentional, situational) may interact to create a clutch performance. An athlete who chokes frequently may give up the sport due to frustration or embarrassment.


Antonymn: clutch (a superlative performance under pressure)

Synonym: falling apart


Key factors that may contribute to choking during a competition:

(1) anxiety

(2) self-consciousness

(3) experiencing a high level of pressure


Additional factors that may act as triggers:

(1) physical illness (prior to the competition)

(2) physical injury

(3) ability to respond automatically to a situation (ability to respond without thinking, based on training or experience)

(4) medications

(5) adverse environmental conditions

(6) emotional factors in the athlete's life

(7) fatigue


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