Can You Take the
To create a pamphlet on
Willis Photo Courtesy
- Dontrelle Willis was
pitching for the Florida Marlins against the San
Diego Padres. The Marlins had a lead, and it was
beginning to look like Willis would get his
first Major League win.
But then his pitches
started to miss the plate. As Marlin's manager
Jack McKeon looked on, he saw Willis fidget and
sweat. The more nervous Willis got, the harder
it was for him to get the ball over the
- McKeon knew exactly what to do.
The 72-year-old manager quickly called time out. He
walked to the mound to calm to his young pitcher. McKeon
gave Willis a short speech about how to throw a strike.
But his words were not the important thing.
McKeon's confidence and joking
style were just what Willis needed. When McKeon left the
mound, Willis was smiling and relaxed. He was ready to
pitch again. He finished strong and got his first win for
When was the last time
that you were nervous, scared, or angry? Perhaps
you can remember a test, a nightmare, or an
argument with a friend.
Think about your body's
physical reaction at the time. How did you feel?
Did your heart race? Did your face and ears grow
warm? Did you begin to breathe a little faster?
Did you tremble all over?
You are a sports
psychologist for the local university. In your
spare time you advise a Major League baseball
team. Your team has been playing poorly this
season. Early loses have increased the stress on
The stress has shown up as
sloppiness and anger. Players have lost their confidence!
Some have even lost their tempers on the
The team's owners are worried. They
know their players have talent. What the players need are
techniques for handling the stress.
You have been given two jobs.
First, you will find out how people deal with stress.
Then, you will create a pamphlet on managing
The Research - Read Skills
- Conducting a Survey then follow its guidelines as
you write a set of questions for a survey. You need three
kinds of questions:
- What makes the person angry,
nervous or frightened?
- What feelings do they
- and, How do they deal with
Use your survey to interview thirty
Organize and display your data in a
pamphlet along with suggestions for dealing with anger
Designing a Pamphlet -
Reactions associated with worry, fear, and anger are
caused by the autonomic nervous system. Read
Fundamentals -Flight or Fight and other resources
(encyclopedia, Internet, textbook) to learn more about
the autonomic nervous system and how stress can be
controlled. Take notes on the facts you find.
Produce a pamphlet based on the
findings from your survey. Your pamphlet should have four
- The most common things that
make people angry, nervous, and/ or
- The most common feelings that
people have when they become angry, nervous, and/ or
- How the autonomic nervous
system is involved with our feelings in these
- Successful ways that people use
to deal with their anger, nervousness, and
Be sure to include pictures
(drawings and photographs may be copied from the Internet
and pasted into your document) to illustrate your
pamphlet and make it look appealing.
This activity was developed
by the Event-Based Science Institute with generous
support from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. A
version of this
and all other baseball/biology activities is available
free from the Institute. This Can You Take the
Heat? activity was was written by Michelle Smetanick,
science teacher at Baker Middle School, Damascus,
2004-12 Event-Based Science Institute