Focusing During Game Time
Focusing is an important mental game skill, but it’s hard to maintain focus over a long period of time.
So many distractions can invade your mind during a long competition such as fatigue, starting off the competition poorly, your opponent’s level of performance, etc.
How many times has your focus wandered off during a long competition?
You can give in to those distractions or choose to adjust.
Most athletes do have the ability to focus well, but they struggle in longer events.
The truth is focusing is a skill and you can improve. How can you learn to pay attention to the “right things” for longer periods of time?
Four-time Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall competed in her first Olympics at the age of 19 and her longevity in the sport is proof of her strong mental game.
Randall competes in long races, the 10-kilometer, 15-kilometer and 30-kilometer events, and has a unique strategy to improve her focus for long periods of time.
RANDALL: “If I break the longer distances into pieces in my mind, it becomes surprisingly manageable. The best reference I ever heard on how to race a (30-kilometer) was from a coach who said to think of it like a book. Every few kilometers you’ll go through different chapters — some will be good chapters; some will be bad chapters. But through it all, you just think about getting to the next chapter.”
In the early chapters of her races, Randall repeats a few cue words, “quick,” “flow” and “relax” to herself to keep herself in the groove.
RANDALL: “I pick out a few key words before the race that if I feel like I’m getting distracted or negative, I can remind myself of those key words… Just repeating a few of those words over and over again can bring my mind back.”
In the middle of the race, Randall focuses on strategy which helps her push the pace. At the end of the race, Randall focuses on emptying the tank.
RANDALL: “It’s definitely painful and you’re focused and in the moment of what you’re doing. But it’s cool to get to those later stages of the race where you’re really try to get every bit of your effort out.”
By breaking up the race into sections, you can improve your focus in each section of the event.
The strategies employed by Randall also help her regain her focus when counter-productive thoughts invade her mind.
Also, keep in mind that the mind can also get fatigued, just like the body does in longer events.
Tips for Improving your Focus in Competition:
–Review past races or competitions and identify the points in your race where and when you lost focus.
Divide your race in manageable chunks and create a focusing plan according to those “chapters” of your race.
Know what’s relevant to focus on for each section of the race. Be aware of your top distractions and be ready to refocus.
Keep in mind that all athletes will lose focus occasionally. But how quickly you get back on track is the key to a strong mental game.
Learn How To Boost Concentration And Overcome Distractions!
The Focused Athlete CD and workbook program is a step-by-step plan to immediately boost concentration, eliminate distractions, and consistently improve sports performance.
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 can help you get you to where you want to be!
What are customers saying?
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent
Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am impressed with the willingness and openness of Dr. Cohn to share all of his assets (intellectual, products, etc.) with the MGCP students. You have developed an incredible model/package for mental training. Even though we are paying for your service, you are passing on a legacy built on your contribution to the world of sports. Thank you for that.”
~Tony Melito, MGCP
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“Ashley wanted me to let you know that she placed very well at her competition this past weekend, thanks to you! She won the short, won the long, and had her personal best. She now looks at her competitions like ice shows and has fun. It is really nice to see her thoroughly enjoying the skate. She is very focused and very confident. We definitely attribute this to you.”
~Brenda Glassco, Skating Parent
“I just wanted to let you know that son skated this weekend at our Regional Competition. He worked his mental game and everything you taught him. He skated two wonderful programs, scored a personal best and ended up with the title of Pacific North West Regional Champion at the Intermediate level. Thank you for your wonderful training. He had the right focus and had so much fun at this competition. The title is sweet icing on the cake.”
~Pomaika’i, Sports Parent