Adidas Reveals Its Commitment to Empowering Athletes in Conquering High-Pressure Moments in Sports

Adidas has disclosed its initiative to alleviate negative pressure in sports by collaborating with both elite and grassroots athletes, highlighting its impact on performance. The exploration of pressure’s profound influence on the younger generation’s engagement with sports, affecting enjoyment and overall participation, involves the application of neuroscience to understand how top athletes effectively manage it. Championed by the brand’s uplifting slogan, “You Got This,” the objective is to assist everyday athletes in mitigating pressure and realizing their potential in sports.

Adidas conducted cutting-edge research revealing that pressure is a shared experience across all levels of sports. The key insight indicates that grassroots athletes and elite counterparts face similarly intense pressure in high-stakes moments, but elite athletes are up to 40% more adept at handling it. To bridge this gap, Adidas is collaborating with leading neuroscientists, neuro11, to unravel the impact of negative pressure on play and offer guidance to athletes at all levels on disarming this feeling.

The brand enlisted elite athletes from football, basketball, and golf, along with grassroots players in the same sports, to participate in a study with neuro11. This study involved capturing and analyzing cerebral readings during high-pressure moments. Athletes such as Emiliano Martínez, Ludvig Åberg, Nneka Ogwumike, Rose Zhang, and Stina Blackstenius contributed to this study to provide valuable insights for athletes worldwide on understanding and overcoming pressure.

Dr. Niklas Häusler, co-founder of neuro11, emphasized the existence of a scientific sweet spot in the brain known as the “optimal zone,” where the brain is physically relaxed but mentally focused, leading to optimal movement and performance. The collaboration aims to teach routines that help athletes enter this zone more frequently during pressure moments.

The study delved into various pressured situations, including penalty shootouts, high-stakes putts, and must-make free throws. The findings showed that elite athletes were better prepared to face pressure, offering valuable insights for grassroots athletes on disarming pressure.

For example, during penalty shootout testing, Emiliano Martínez demonstrated exceptional performance under pressure, being 90% more in the optimal zone compared to a grassroots goalkeeper. Similar findings were observed in free-throw tests with Nneka Ogwumike and golf putting tests with Ludvig Åberg and Rose Zhang.

Adidas plans to release a range of athlete stories, expert insights, and neuroscience-powered guidance materials to help athletes disarm pressure in sports. The brand’s global campaign aims to inspire the next generation of athletes by providing unique insights into how top athletes manage pressure and offering tools and techniques to empower everyone to overcome pressure in sports.

Florian Alt, VP Global Brand Comms at Adidas, highlighted the significance of the campaign in helping athletes overcome negative pressure, emphasizing the mission to unlock the joy sports bring. The global brand campaign will feature sporting icons demonstrating how they handle pressure in high-stakes moments, with a series of content and activations set to inspire everyday athletes. The campaign includes an episodic series available on Adidas’ Instagram and YouTube channels, along with how-to-guides for each sport.

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