Concentration And Focus In Sports
Concentration is critical for peak performance in sports, closing out games, competing against top teams, and playing consistently during a long season.
Concentration is your ability to focus on what you need to do in the present moment.
During a game, there will be countless distractions competing for your attention.
Focusing on what’s important is the most powerful tool that an athlete can have in his arsenal and a super key mental skill for athletic performance.
Concentration or focus helps athletes in a number of ways:
- Keeps you in the present moment and in tune to game situations.
- Helps you move past mistakes and quickly get your head back in the game.
- Lessens anxiety and worry about outcomes of a game.
- Helps you block out mental and physical noise.
- Fosters a positive mindset about competing.
- Gives you an edge over the competition.
The Golden State Warriors are an excellent example of the power of concentration.
The Warriors set an NBA record starting the 2015-16 season with 24 consecutive wins.
Players and coaches were constantly asked about “the streak” but the Warriors were committed to focusing one game at a time. Instead of worrying about wins and losses or the “streak,” the Warriors stayed focused on their aggressive, attack style of play.
By the end of the season, the Warriors approached another NBA record, the most wins in a season.
Again, the Warriors were hounded by questions of potentially eclipsing the 72 win total of one of the best NBA teams of all time, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, by one victory.
Golden State stayed true to its approach of focusing on one game at a time. After their 72nd victory with one game remaining in the season, power forward Draymond Green reiterated the team’s mantra of focusing one game at a time.
GREEN: “We can get to 73. That’s the significance for me of 72.”
After setting the all-time win record by beating Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, guard Clay Thompson was quick to move forward and get focused on their very next game.
THOMPSON: “This record doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t take care of business in the postseason.”
Mental skills, such as focus, are the same as any sports skill.
Practice, more importantly practice in pressure-packed scenarios, helps develop the skill of focusing… but you can’t practice focusing once in a while and expect to be able to concentrate in tough games.
Focus requires mental effort and repetition ahead of time. If you practice focusing until the skill is second nature, you will be able to perform better in crunch time.
Top Strategy for improving concentration during big moments in competitions:
The objective is to stay focused in the present.
Set short periods of time in practice, like warm-up, to solely focus on what you are doing.
Try to let the action unfold without over-thinking it. Get into the feel of what you are doing whether it’s stretching (feeling your muscles lengthening) or light running (feeling your body move forward).
When your mind starts to drift to thoughts such as, “This is going to be a hard practice,” refocus on what you are doing in the moment.
Every athlete becomes distracted. The key is to be aware of your top distractions so you can quickly refocus on the task.
Check out The Focused Athlete CD program for all my strategies to help you focus at peak levels.
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you or your athlete(s), ages 12 and up, overcome 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?
“The mental side is everything in golf—the ability to see your shot or line and trust that you can hit that shot or putt. Dr. Cohn has helped me trust my game and putting stroke.”
~Frank Lickliter, PGA Tour, Nike Tour Winner
For All Athletes – Learn Confidence-Boosting Techniques!
D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
No matter ow positive you try to be, are you unable to shake the doubt that rushes into your head when you size up your competition?
Have you labeled yourself as a loser, poor closer, or mediocre athlete and these labels keep you stuck in a rut of self-pity and indecision?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Confident Athlete!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for ultimate self-confidence. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover proven confidence-boosting techniques guaranteed to drastically build self-confidence and improve sports performance.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“I enjoyed ‘The Confident Athlete’ very much. I particularly liked the format, the ease of the program, and the 2 CDs that accompanied the workbook – 10-20 minutes a day was simple to adhere to and put in my busy schedule. I love the part about confidence with grace, and what I want to portray and feel the minute I step foot into Los Angeles for nationals. I love the affirmations, the relaxation techniques, and just the entire perspective of the program.”
~Sarah, US National Aerobic Gymnastics Team
“I am a ASP world qualifying professional surfer and after beginning the ‘The Confident Athlete’ I had an almost instant change in attitude about my own surfing ability and my mindset going into competition. By using the Confident Athlete strategies, my confidence has done a complete 180 degrees. I won a local pro/am a few weeks back, and just had my best result of the year in one the last big events on the world circuit this last week in Brazil! It is my secret weapon!”
~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
What are parents and coaches saying about our program?
“I think the material on your web site and the communications I receive are excellent. I find the advice practical and the topics that are discussed, very relevant to my own experiences. I feel very happy with my purchase of the Ultimate Sports Parent Program. Your materials are top class. I will continue to study them.”
~David Wormald, Sports Parent
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
For Mental Coaches – 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’ll start by saying that the Mental Edge Workbook program is awesome. It put all the pieces together for my mental work with soccer players.”
~Eitan Azaria, Mental Coach for Soccer
“Congratulations on your Mental Edge workbooks. I have been through the package and it looks great! The MGCP program just got a lot better. Your workbook program makes it much more tangible and easier to use the mental strategies. This is the missing link in the MGCP program!”
~Bob Simpson, MGCP