Practice Deflates Pressure

As we say in Atlanta, Rise Up!

On Sunday, when Matt Bryant’s 49 yard field goal split the uprights to give the Atlanta Falcons a last-second 30-28 playoff victory, I must admit, I was excited.

What must have been going through Bryant’s mind as he lined up for the deciding moment of the season?

In a radio interview the day after the game, Bryant was asked if he was nervous. His comment was a great reminder to leaders everywhere.

“I wasn’t about to have a heart attack, if that’s what you’re asking, but my heart was racing. I knew it was a big kick.” 

That’s putting it mild.

When asked how he handled the pressure, Bryant said, “I just tried to remember all the preparation I had done leading up to that moment. It gave me confidence to think back on all the thousands of kicks I had made during practice. I simply tried to transfer my preparation into the process of making the kick.” 

Great performance has more to do with preparation than it does with handling pressure. Pressure rises when preparation is absent. Think back to your school days. Did you ever dread taking a test when you knew all the answers? No. Have you ever shied away from a challenge when you knew you were stronger than your opponent? Probably not.

If you are facing a challenge in the coming months, knowing that pressure will likely be present, you can lessen the dread if you will simply, prepare.



Where do you need to step up your preparation in the coming month?




Leave a comment


8 years ago

I always tell my students before they test this: don’t think of my seriously hard, writing intensive tests as something to be afraid of or nervous about, rather think of them as a way for you to show off what you’ve learned. We’ve practiced analyzing, annotating, and writing in class, and now it’s you’re turn to really shine displaying your skills.
As for me, my discipleship girls and I are getting ready to embark on a 90 day read through the Bible quest which will be great spiritual preparation for me and for them before they head off to college.


8 years ago

Thanks Susan. Those tests still sound scary!


8 years ago

Thanks Randy for the reminder. I find my days go better when I prepare for them by reading scripture and praying first. It also helps to lay the ground work before a project begins…
Thanks again


8 years ago

You are welcome Jason. Thanks for commenting!


8 years ago

Sounds like the wisdom of a basketball coach I knew long ago! Hard work brings profit but mere talk leads only to poverty (Proverbs 14:23). Hard work happens in practice…preparation happens as much in the last 10 minutes when the coach says, “Okay, girls, on the line,” as it does in the first two hours of practice with the ball in your hands. Start well, finish well!
From a grateful player,


8 years ago

Well said from an old post player who was relentless in her preparation!

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved