In my sixth of 12 vlog segments devoted to athletes and coaches, I focus on, well, focus in your training and competitive efforts. When I talk about focus, I mean two things. First, your ability to pay attention to things that help you perform your best including technique, tactics, your mind, conditions, or your opponents. Second, how well you can avoid distractions that interfere with that focus that results in quality training and high-level competitive performance. These distractions can come from two places. External distractions include who’s watching or what’s happening around while you’re training or competing. Internal distractions can include negative thinking, irrelevant thoughts, or anxiety.
Focus is so important to athletic success because you if you’re not focused, you have little chance of doing the things that will enable you to perform your best. That’s why it’s so important that you have a some effective focus tools in your mental toolbox that you can access to either sharpen your focus to the max or fix your focus when you get distracted.
In training, the goal of using these focus tools is to ensure that you stay consistently focused on whatever you’re working on to improve, whether technically, tactically, mentally, or in your overall performance. In competitions, the goal is to stay focused on what will enable you to perform your very best from the start of the competition to its conclusion.
This vlog segment will introduce you to simple and practical tools you can use to help you stay focused when it counts most. These tools include:
- Having tangible goals and a clear understanding of how will accomplish those goals when you train and compete;
- Identifying and actively limiting distractions that you know exist in your training and competitive efforts;
- Using mental imagery to narrow your focus onto image and feelings related to ideal performance;
- Using breathing to redirect your focus and center yourself;
- Developing training and competitive routines that will keep you focused on your preparations;
- Writing messages on your equipment that will remind you what you need to focus on in training and before competitions; and
- 3 Ps: Focus on the positive, process, and present.
To learn more about how to use these focus tools in your sport, watch: Prime Sport vlog segment #6.
Want to get your mind in its best shape possible so you can perform your best when it matters most? Take a look at my online courses for athletes and coaches.