Love pressure – its nothing but the shadow of great opportunity.

‘Love pressure, its nothing but the shadow of great opportunity’

This week’s blog is all about that thing so many of us love to hate – pressure. We all have to deal with tight, tense situations where we feel that uncomfortable sensation of endless pressure bearing down on us, with its ever-present companion, the crushing jaws of defeat, ready pounce on any error we make. Be it in the form of an exam, a sporting event, a job interview or any other difficult scenario we find ourselves in, pressure and how with we deal with it can so often have a huge impact on our performance. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail in the face of such tension may well just lie in their interpretations and perceptions of the pressure.

How often do you hear the words ‘he crumbled under the pressure’ or ‘they couldn’t handle the pressure of the occasion’ and countless other phrases to that effect? Such crumbling is one of the unfortunate outcomes for those who fail to prepare adequately and have not seen pressure in a positive way. After reading Michael Johnsons book, Slaying the Dragon, this week (which I would 100% recommend to absolutely anyone), my perceptions of what pressure is and what it can do for you have definitely altered. He talks about seeing pressure as nothing but ‘the shadow of great opportunity’ and actually, think about it… he’s spot on really!

I’d been feeling under a lot of pressure latelymyself; to do well in my upcoming exams, to finish my coursework assignments, to find a job for summer and oh yeah, get my leg to work properly again! I know I’m not alone here as it’s a really stressful time for so many people around this time of the year and we all can feel under insurmountable pressure at times, but I think if you can start to see it as ‘nothing but the shadow of great opportunity’ as Johnson says, things can really start to seem so much more worthwhile and can really motivate you to get working on all those things you need to do to be successful. By thinking, not about what might go wrong or what failure might lead to or how you can’t afford to stuff something up, and instead viewing strenuous situations with a positive outlook of how you can benefit from doing well, how you can showcase yourself and just what you might be able to gain from them you can really set yourself up for potential success. And when something doesn’t turn out quite as you’d hoped for, you just have to regroup and find yourself another window of great opportunity in future, this time ready to succeed and being aided by the strength gained from past failures.


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About Roy Barber

‘I am aspiring athlete and fitness enthusiast, currently studying Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University, widely regarded as the best course of its type in Europe. I am currently a 3 time County Athletics gold medallist over the sprint disciplines at junior level and am working hard every single day to continually improve myself mentally, physically and athletically. With a great passion for all things fitness and sport, I hope over the coming years to forge a successful and fruitful career in sport, dealing with a variety of aspects such as strength and conditioning, nutrition and recovery. ‘ ‘I ended up at Loughborough studying what I am because I’ve known for a few years now if I was going to go to university, sports science was the degree for me, I’ve always loved sport, PE and learning about all the different areas of science in relation to the human body so it was a natural move for me. In terms of why Loughborough specifically, I always heard great things about the university, I had a relative who came here and loved it, and I was incredibly impressed with the campus when I came on an open day and fell in love with the place. Who inspires me to compete is a more difficult question, I’d have to start by saying my coach who has done a fantastic job in turning me into a 'proper athlete'. I am also inspired by a range of people in my life, from world class athletes to friends and family. Roy Barber is 20 years old and comes from a small Leicestershire town called Market Harborough
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