Fine motor skills, do you really lose it under stress?

Discussion in 'The Classroom' started by Kodiakco, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Jun 1, 2013 #1
    Kodiakco

    Kodiakco XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I've heard over and over again that during stress a person may lose fine motor skills. As I have read about this subject I have started to believe that this may not actually be true. One example that sticks in my mind are fighter pilots. They are under a lot of stress in combat and at the same time work all of the electronics and comm gear. I also think of a trauma surgeon who is under great stress in an emergency or mass disaster situation. How about the snipers that makes a record breaking long distance shot while they KNOW their comrades are being shot and killed in battle?

    As shooters we have been taught grip, stance, sight alignment and trigger control. We have also been taught that repetition creates muscle memory.. Then comes "During a stress situation you can't count on your body and muscles to perform". Somehow the two schools of thought appear to contradicts each other. Consider that pulling a trigger is a fine motor skill and yet releasing a slide is not. I've observed that some have said that it is better to release a slide a certain way due to loose of fine motor skills and at the same time say you should pull the trigger straight back, clearly a fine motor skill.

    I am by no means a body mechanics expert or even extraordinarily well versed in the human body and mind. As a sample of one, I look back at some of my actions and others under stress and have trouble believing that one ALWAYS loses fine motor skills under stress.

    Maybe it is actually the training, or lack there of, that is the deciding factor. Maybe drive and desire play a part. It could also be that ones calmness of mind hinders the bodies "fight or fight" reflex. I thought that this would be a good topic to discuss. I would really like to hear others LEARNED opinions on this.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  2. Jun 1, 2013 #2
    Fileobrother

    Fileobrother XDTalk 500 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NY
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    I wouldn't say it's a complete contradiction. When you are under stress, you revert to instinct. If you've practiced and acquired instinctual fine motor skills, you will likely retain and use them under stress. Conversely, try learning a new way to shoot while being shot at. It's not necessarily a loss of fine motor control, as much as a zero gain.
     
  3. Jun 1, 2013 #3
    AwPhuch

    AwPhuch XDTalk 15K Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,588
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Ratings:
    +3,979 / 26
    Training compensates for the increased stresses and heart rate/adrenaline.

     
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #4
    _JB_

    _JB_ XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    When my body kicks in adrenaline I start to shake, so pushing a small button may take a little longer.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #5
    memo

    memo XDTalk 1K Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Fun story: I used to get really tense for sparring and practice fights -- spent all my energy just clenching up and never getting anything done. Had to retrain my adrenaline response: it never leaves you, you'll always have the adrenaline rush from a fight, but you can teach your body how to better handle it.

    How do you do this for guns?

    Do some fast cardio, get your heart rate up, then do target drills. Have caffeine + sugar to simulate the effects of adrenaline and try to control your hands shaking. Run half a mile flat-out, then draw and intelligently defend yourself. Drill weak hand. Drill strong hand. Drill from the ground on your back. Drill from kneeling.

    And of course, enter in a defensive pistol competition. Don't worry about the other competitors, don't worry about your ranking, use your carry gun and do your best. Most EDC guns should be stock service pistol, so enter an IDPA match and see how your body handles it. It's not the real thing, but it'll get your blood up.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2013 #6
    cz75luver

    cz75luver XDTalk 3K Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    156
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +554 / 71
    It depends on conditioning and training and is likewise person dependent. I had to draw my M9 once while in Afghanistan. Being that I was in a vehicle, I thought it better to keep the safety on, but when I drew and readied to use it, it took me three attempts to disengage the safety. That's three attempts at a flick of the thumb and I had to focus just a tiny bit on the third attempt. It maybe took all of two seconds, but seemed a lot longer at the time.

    As for the rest of it, I felt light as a feather, my lips, nose, fingers tingled, and everything slowed down. My heart beat so hard/strong that I thought the person next to me could clearly hear it through all the noise. Other than the safety, my mind was clear and focused. Despite how I was physically feeling, my mind ran through what I considered the likely scenarios to happen and then I just waited/prepared for one. My mind was actually quite calm and ran through the thoughts matter-of-factly.

    The only part that required fine motor skills was disengagement of the safety, but as mentioned, it took me a few attempts to finally get it. It's because of this I will never carry a gun with a safety engaged. I either carry a straight, non-safety, striker fired gun such as a PPQ or Glock, or carry a DA pistol such as one of my CZs that doesn't allow you to engage the safety when in DA mode.

    After the incident above, I never, ever carried the M9 with the safety engaged when travelling. Every person will react differently. I can only speak for myself.
     
  7. Jun 3, 2013 #7
    Dad4mnc

    Dad4mnc XDTalk Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Read "On Combat" by Lt Colonel David Grossman.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2013 #8
    cz75luver

    cz75luver XDTalk 3K Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    156
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings:
    +554 / 71
    I think you're mixing and confusing the different/various scenarios. There's a huge difference between feeling anxious versus your instinct taking over just as there's a huge difference between self preservation and the preservation of another. A sniper won't feel the same level of stress as they are not physically the ones in immediate danger unless being shot at themselves. Same goes for a surgeon whose life is not in danger. A fighter pilot spends a ton of time in real-world training and simulators so that they react via pre-conditioned steps/operations.

    Likewise, I don't consider pulling a trigger a fine motor skill as under stress (for the average person), I think it'll be more like gripping/clenching the gun, but it all depends on the situation. If gripping/clenching, the trigger finger would be the only one with freedom to move thereby pulling the trigger. A lot of it will depend on training.

    Many think they're going to get the perfect grip, get into the perfect stance, etc. when their life is immediately in danger. I think they're dreaming. I think they'll more closely do what they've trained to do and do the best they can.
     
  9. Jun 3, 2013 #9
    Kodiakco

    Kodiakco XDTalk 100 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Thanks everyone for the responses so far. Its really interesting, the different thoughts of everyone. Keep it coming!

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  10. Jun 3, 2013 #10
    Groo

    Groo XDTalk 10K Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    14,460
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western U.P.
    Ratings:
    +2,454 / 60
    you can make instinctive fine movements under extreme stress, but if its something you have to think about at all; forget it.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
adrenaline causes loss of fine motor control
,
anxiety and fine motorskills
,
effects of stress on fine motor skills
,
elevated heart rate and fine motor skills
,

fine motor skills and stress

,
fine motor skills in high stress
,

fine motor skills stress

,
good fine motor skill test when stressed
,
loss of fine motor skills body alarm response
,

loss of fine motor skills under stress

,
loss of motorskills under stress
,
motor skill loss under stress
,
motor skills and stress
,

stress and a lack of motor skills

,
stress and fine motor skills