Do you Train your Attention? Do you Know How to?
I would say one of the most valuable resources your have as an athlete is your attention. It influences so many factors, some you know and some you don't.
Your attention determines:
Your sense of fulfillment and accomplishment
How calm you are or how reactive you are
What you learn and remember
How well you bounce back from mistakes
The quality of your experience
Sports are fast paced and high intensity, you need your attention to be where it needs to be when you need it to be there in order to perform. If it isn't your performance will suffer. Your ability to perform up to potential and to display your physical skill set is determined by your attention. Even your ability to learn those skills sets are determined by your attention. Yet how much time do you spend training your attention?
You miss 50 percent of your life due to a lack of proper attention, and the other 50 percent determines, your perceptions, stories and view of yourself and is determined by what you decided to pay attention to, or often what you didn't decide to pay attention to, because your focus was highjacked. You have actually probably missed 50 percent of what I have said so far. The good thing is there is an ability to train your attention and it doesn't require any fancy equipment. All it requires is your time, attention and your breath. That's it. You can do it anywhere and anytime.
So what has researched started to show is the best way to train attention? Mindfulness. Now don't get too caught up on the terminology, I know mindfulness can have. a rather soft connotation to it. So if you need to call it something else do, but the exercise and principles behind it, are what matter. When you do a body scan or a single point focus on your breath meditation, you are training the three key systems of attention, and helping it to get better. The amount of time that is required you might ask? 12 minutes a day for 5 days a week. That's it, that is all. There are a lot of things that easily only take 12 minutes and this is one of them. You just have to do it.
If you are serious about your performance and getting the most out of yourself as an athlete, you need to take training your attention seriously. Don't leave it up to chance. Don't let your default mode that you have right now determine how successful you will be. You can change your default mode.
Any questions about how to create a mindfulness program to train your attention, feel free to reach out.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified