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  • Kate Allgood

Mental Skills Training for Athletes: The skill of Focusing on Controllables

It is a skill to be able to focus on what you can control versus what you can not control. The human mind likes to rest of what we can't control, so we must have the awareness and discipline to shift that to what we can control. In each situation there are elements we can control but we have to have the skill to do so.


So what is it that we can control in each situation? Well I have spoken on this before, they are Actions, Attitude, Thoughts and Effort. Two are more physical and two more mental. In every situation you can control these elements, that is it. Everything else has an illusion of control, but there are elements you can't fully control and therefore how things turn out will be dependent of variables that you have no say over.



Mental skills training for athletes in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County. Sport psychology for professional and youth athletes.


As I mentioned in the first paragraph, it requires discipline and awareness to be able to focus on what we can control, and to be aware of ourselves when we start to focus on what we can not control. It is probably at times one of the most difficult things for a human to do. Even though we all know we can control only certain elements, when pressure and stress increases our minds fall to what we can not control, making us even more frustrated and stressed.


So what do you need to do in order to help with this? One thing is to remember and etch into your brain what you can control, and then you also need to do things to develop the awareness of when you are focusing outside of those four things. One thing that can help with this is self reflection afterwards. Looking at what you were placing your focus on. Were your goals based on things you can control within the process or were they result based goals. What did you hope to get out of the time you spent doing whatever it is you were doing? Was it within your control or again what it outside of your control?


We have to constantly exam where our mind is and what we are focusing on. Use your emotions to help you. If you are getting frustrated or angry there is a good chance your focus is on something you can not control. Use it as an indicator you are off and adjust to what you are paying attention to and focusing on.


To your success,


Kate


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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification


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