This is a nice summary of two working theories for why we sometimes “choke” under pressure.
Your favorite athlete closes in for a win; the crowd holds its breath, and at the crucial moment … she misses the shot. That competitor just experienced the phenomenon known as “choking,” where despite months, even years, of practice, a person fails right when it matters most. Why does this happen, and what can we do to avoid it? Noa Kageyama and Pen-Pen Chen explain why we choke under pressure.