What Can you Control?
I work a lot with athletes on the concept “focus on what you can control, not what you cannot control.” That means you want to focus only on what you can control when performing.
Athletes get distracted when they focus on circumstances that are outside their direct control.
You (or your athletes) might focus on these uncontrollable factors:
-Poor weather conditions
-Difficult field, course, ice, or court conditions
-Other competitors’ behavior
-Who’s in the stands
-Opponents who are cheating
I’m working with an athlete right now that focuses too much on his playing time and when coach will put him into the game.
Can he control when he enters the game? No. Does he fret about it on the sidelines? Yes.
If he worries about this on the sidelines, then he’s not fully prepared to do his best when he does get the chance to enter the game – and he will enter the game at some point.
When you focus too much on circumstances outside of your direct control, you’re distracted at the least and maybe even frustrated.
In reality, the only things you can control are your reaction and your response to stuff that happens to you.
You can pay attention to how unfair a situation is or you can let go of what you cannot control and focus on the things you can do to improve your situation.
In baseball, if you strike out because of a tight strike zone, you can choose to be frustrated or get back in the game and focus on your next at-bat…
In tennis, if the weather is bitterly cold during a match, you can choose to be angry or you can focus on your serve or volley.
In hockey, if you get called for a penalty that you think was unfair, you can be upset with the ref or try to get your mind back into the game.
How you handle stuff beyond your control is a matter of focus… You can choose to let this distract you or you can choose to focus on how you respond to that circumstance.
What Can You Control?
Before you can learn how to focus on controlling the controllable, you need to gain awareness of the things you can and cannot control.
Make a list of all the things outside of your direct control including weather, playing conditions, other people, etc.
Consider circumstances that could occur in your personal life, training, competitions and other events that are outside of your direct control.
Next, start thinking about how you can respond to those circumstances in a more effective way.
How can you view those situations? Can you do anything about those circumstances?
Next, refocus on the game when you find yourself giving mental energy to those things outside of your control.
Engage with the play call. Focus on the next point. Refocus on your tactics or strategy.
By not giving energy to uncontrollable circumstances, you’ll focus your attention on the important performance cues for your game.
Improve Concentration in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!
Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!
The Focused Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!
This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.
- How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
- How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“Dr. Cohn did a
great job working with my son Joe on his mental skills for tennis. He
taught him the mental skills and discipline necessary to move to the
next level. Thanks Doc!”*
~Mike Withers, Joe Withers son
“I wanted to let you know that in just a couple sessions with you, we are seeing a change in not only in our daughter, but the manner in which we handled things. I’m glad to see her starting to use skills that she once had
in full force at her prior club as the “alpha dog,” if you will, but
that have become dormant over the past 10 months. More importantly, I
wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you are doing for our
~David, Sports Dad