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Performance impact of losing mid-race
http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/...from Simon, Sat 22nd Oct, 9:46pm
Proof that over-optimistic whistles in Bumping races just help the opposition...
by jpd - Sun 23rd Oct 2011, 6:05pm
Simon said: Proof that over-optimistic whistles in Bumping races just help the opposition...
Great article, but there's a distinction (for me at least) between over-optimistic whistles (result: channelled rage - "fuck you, you arrogant shit, there's no way I'm going to let you bump me") and being told you're just behind (result: renewed concentration - "focus in, a bit sharper now, 2% more squeeze, we can beat them").

Incidentally I experienced the former in a head race yesterday - the guy behind closed up a bit, then his coach shouted "come on you can get him, he's blown up" - big mistake.

Of course, ideally neither of these should have any effect...
by jpd - Sun 23rd Oct 2011, 7:30pm
jpd said: ...over-optimistic whistles (result: channelled rage - "fuck you, you arrogant shit, there's no way I'm going to let you bump me") and being told you're just behind (result: renewed concentration - "focus in, a bit sharper now, 2% more squeeze, we can beat them").
Also, I believe both of these effects had a part to play in this over-bump (after missing out on Thursday).
by Ulrike - Mon 24th Oct 2011, 9:03pm
The interesting thing to me is that the 2nd effect makes people perform so much better. Is it because being slightly behind takes away the psychological pressure that's associated with potential failure? Whatever it is, the advantage (in my opinion) lies in the cold-minded confidence that springs from the sudden realisation that you've got nothing to loose but still all chances to win it. It's the psychological advantage of the hunter that frees so much more energy than the defensive motivation of the hunted.

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