Sport Psychology 101: A Quick Focus Tip to Maximize Athletic Abilities
Athletes who are able to focus on the next play allow themselves to put all their attention and energy on the only thing that is important while competing. Unfortunately, other “stuff” often gets in the way of this mindset, including hostile fans, the last bad play, or even plans for the weekend. The point is that it’s sometimes difficult to keep focus on what is important while ignoring the things that aren’t relevant to athletic success.
It is important to note that our minds cannot think of two things at the same exact point in time — what this means is that the choices athletes make while competing will ultimately dictate where their attention is directed. Using this concept the following things are true:
- Athletes who do have a focus plan (i.e. use mental toughness skills like cue words, self-talk, and imagery) leave little room for other irrelevant thoughts to interfere with athletic success.
- Athletes who do not have a focus plan leave themselves exposed and vulnerable when it comes to focusing on irrelevant factors during competition.
Focus is a great skill to develop, and focus is often the difference-maker when it comes to maximizing athletic abilities. Simply understanding the importance of focus is the first step, then learning how to maintain focus so that other unwanted stimuli are blocked will allow for peak athletic performances. For more information on focus, as well as other important mental toughness skills, check out the Mental Toughness Guide to Athletic Success.