The Performance Curve
The performance curve is a bell shaped curve that tracks performance on the X-axis relative to stimulation on the Y-axis. Everyone has a baseline status somewhere on this curve (i.e. right now when as you are reading this you are on the graph). As stimulation increases you move from the left to the right on the curve. If you are to the left of the peak to begin with, a little movement to the right (increased stimulation) could be a good thing. However, if you are at or past the peak to begin with increased stimulation and its accompanying movement right will push you past your peak, ultimately decreasing your performance.
Using the Performance Curve to Enhance Student Success
You should determine how increased stimulation affects your students. Take mental notes about your students, paying close attention to who performs well under pressure, and who does not. For students who have difficulty performing in challenging environments, help them by suggesting a consistent warm up routine, breathing exercises, or an affirmative mantra. You should encourage students that perform well under increased stimulation to raise their heart rate, or mentally fire themselves up before a challenging run or rapid.