This article and my future posting on emotional management are as applicable to high-stakes boardroom decisions as they are to peak performance athletes or the combat environment.
There is no one single point of human performance failure in combat or even within competitive sports. However, an argument can easily be made that the mental, emotional, and psychological components are the most frequent common denominator’s contributing to human performance factors (HPF) related failures.
This phenomenon is readily observable at the free throw line as performance degrades under the pressure of an observant crowd. It is also easily observed in police performance during rapidly evolving and dynamic force encounters.
Unfortunately, most force training does not include biopsychosocial awareness and management strategies.
Most literature and discourse regarding police performance or human performance, collectively speaks to physiological arousal as the primary contribution to the human-to-human breakdown. This narrow approach offers little insight into the root cause of failure during activities such as close-quarters combat. This deficit also results in literary distortion wherein physiological arousal is amplified as the causal agent in performance degradation. This is an inaccurate.
Society rightly expects used-of-force, specifically police use-of-force force to be measured and disciplined. Existing training methodology and curricula lacks content about the dynamics of human emotion. The largest contributor to the sub-optimal performance displayed in dynamic, rapidly evolving, tense and uncertain environs is the failure to manage the biopsychosocial construct of affect and cognition.
Priority must be placed on human affect and cognition as it relates to high-yield human performance. Integrates the biopsychosocial intersect as the the foundation of police training and we permanently will alter the dynamics of police-civilian interaction and enable police officers to maintain Constitutional sanctity during highly charged social intercourse without reduction to critical performance capabilities.
In future postings, I will develop a transparent and comprehensive response that will reflect the role of emotional competency in police performance.
Stay tuned.
Your Combat Coach