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January 10, 2014 1:13 PM Subscribe
Does the significance of a game really affect performance? Is having experience at higher levels a deciding factor in outcomes? Because I'd think that professional athletes don't get to where they are without the kind of focus that makes those considerations irrelevant.
posted by colin_l to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
, in mentioning why bookies are giving San Francisco a slim lead over Carolina, says
It could also factor in the 49ers’ recent playoff experience. Since 2011, the Niners have played six postseason games (record: 4-2), while the Panthers haven’t appeared in the postseason since Jan. 10, 2009.
Can that really make a difference? Just because coaches and players have experience at these higher-level games, where the other team hasn't, shouldn't professionals be immune to those kinds of considerations?
Or is there some fundamental thing in our lizard brains that causes us to think and act differently under different scrutiny or pressure?