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Women handle pressure better than men, according to new research on athletes


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Photo: Instagram/@venuswilliams

Men may take more #gymselfies than women—any woman on Tinder has likely seen enough of ’em to last a lifetime—but despite that blatant show of confidence, it turn out women are more likely to pull through when it counts, like those last seconds at the buzzer or final paces in a sprint.

A team of researchers did a deep dive looking at women tennis players versus men. Is there anything more nerve-wracking than a whole stadium full of people watching you (and you, alone) compete? As far as stressful situations go, Wimbledon and the US Open are pretty up there. Overall, they found that women tennis players outperformed men in the moments when the stakes were high and they had the most to lose.

“We can confidently say that in the world of elite tennis, women are better under pressure than men are,” head researcher Alex Krumer tells the Harvard Business Review. “They choke less.”

How’s that for smackdown fodder, when someone says those with XX chromosomes are too “emotional” to take on big challenges?

Speaking of mental agility, this is the time of day when you are most likely to make your best decisions. Plus, the scientific reason why anxiety can cloud your judgement.