#1 key for how an athlete can perform at their best
Major factor for how an athlete can perform at their best when it matters most
For how an athlete can perform at their best, it comes down to many different factors, however, there is one thing that no matter how good someone is at the other mental skills if this one thing is missing they will not be able to perform at their best. This skill is focus. Focus is key in any given moment. If you are not focusing on the right thing at the right moment you will under perform, no matter how skilled you are. Therefore being able to focus appropriately is key.
Many people understand that focus is important but don’t really do anything to train it or make it a better skill. If you are not actively doing something to train your focus, you are not getting the most out of it. It is like any other skill. The more you train it the better it becomes, the more reliable it becomes and the more consistently you will have it at your disposal. If you don’t you are leaving it up to chance.
I always find it interesting that many athletes are not satisfied with their physical skills and relentlessly work at improving them, even for marginal gains, but do nothing for their focus. And yet, this mental skill can impact whether or not the physical skills you have been working on can be fully displayed when you need to.
So how do you train focus? There are a few ways you can train focus. One is via cognitive sports training another way is through mindfulness. The key for focusing is staying present in the moment, this is what both these approaches do to help with training focus. With any form of training you do that should be a primary focus, how can you stay in the present better. If you have a lot of negative self talk, or ruminate on mistakes easily then this is definitely a must. Any time we are focusing on the past or future we are not in the present. Any time we are thinking about something in our mind during sports when we should be reading and reacting we are not fully present in the moment.
Sports happen in the outside world, not in our heads. In order to pick up all the information you need to perform at your best, you need to focus on all the important pieces of information and for most sports that is occurring in your environment. If you want to reach your full potential and be the athlete you know you can be then it is a must for you to train your focus.
To your success,
Kate Allgood, Owner.
About: Kate Allgood is trained in the field of applied sport psychology. She holds two graduate degrees in psychology where she graduated with distinction. She has spent the past 12+ years working one on one with high school, college, Olympic, and professional athletes to help them with their mindset, mental performance and mental skills training. Kate has also been a consultant for professional teams, including the Anaheim Ducks primary minor league affiliate the San Diego Gulls, to help the team and players develop their mental game.