Stress and fine motor skills


.from the “Warrior’s Edge”:
“The performance curve referred to by Schmidt is a method of measuring the performance of a skill in relation to relative levels of stress.
For fine motor skills, or motor skills which have a high degree of cognitive decision-making, the research indicates that optimal performance will occur during low levels of stress.
Motor skills that are moderate in motor control and cognitive complexity will produce best results during moderate levels of stress.
Motor skills that use large muscle mass (gross motor skills) and are cognitively simple (require very little decision-making), produce optimal performance during high levels of stress.
From a physiological perspective, this principle is quite reasonable.
We know that when the human body perceives stress, the body increases the production of adrenal hormones.
The adrenal hormones increase blood supply to the extremities, thus increasing an individual’s strength potential.
This explains why gross motor skills, such as power-lifting, can be performed optimally under high levels of stress.
However, an increase in adrenal hormones will also interfere with fine motor skills and accuracy during event performance.

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