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With next month being Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought I’d share some thoughts on pressure.

Everyone has pressure.  Pressure at your job, in your relationships, to succeed.  But it means different things to different people.  And it doesn’t have to be larger than life.

I thought Frank Martin, men’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina, had a great quote during the recent Final Four about “pressure.”  The former high school coach and teacher said, “I’m not one of those guys that believes in pressure when you’re playing the game. I said this a long time ago and I’ll say it again: You know what pressure is? Thirty-five students, 27 desks, 188 textbooks, 180 days. You’ve got to educate every single kid in that classroom for 180 days. That’s pressure.”

Former quarterback Peyton Manning described it as, “Pressure is something you feel when you don't know what the hell you're doing.”

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mark Messier said, "The only pressure I'm under is the pressure I've put on myself."

So, you can see why golf legend Lee Trevino stated, “Pressure is playing for $10 when you don't have a dime in your pocket.”

Television and film producer and host Andrew Denton thought of it this way, “Pressure and stress is the common cold of the psyche.”  His definition fits among the many definitions offered by Merriam-Webster, “Pressure: the burden of physical or mental distress.”

Queen and David Bowie wrote these lyrics:  “Pressure pushing down on me…Pressing down on you no man ask for…Under pressure - that burns a building down…..Splits a family in two….Puts people on streets…”

For me, I’m going with a Manning-Messier-Trevino combination.  If you’re as prepared as you can be, if you’ve done everything you can to get to the point you’re at, your decisions can alleviate any pressure.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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