Focus On The Process
In college sports, outcomes are everything. It’s all about wins and losses, your record, your score or your time.
If outcomes are so important to sports, why do so many sport psychologists, coaches and athletes talk about the dangers of focusing on the outcome?
Why do we constantly hear of the importance of focusing on the process?
Let’s look at a great example of focusing on the process: Princeton University women’s basketball team is undefeated, 27-0, as they prepare for the Ivy League title and NCAA tournament.
Much of the media has written about Princeton’s pursuit for perfection but the Lady Tigers remain focused on the process (one game at a time).
In preseason, Princeton women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart and her team defined their goal, “We’ve been focusing on an Ivy title all season long.”
The team views each practice and game as steps in the direction of their goal.
That’s not to say they don’t want to win every game or end the season undefeated.
Barnhart wants her team to seize every opportunity to grow their game.
BARNHART: “I’ve heard people ask, ‘Do you want to lose so the monkey’s off your back?’ I say you play to win every single game. We’re learning to be relentless and we’re learning to win.”
When you are overly focused on the outcome, a perfect season, maintaining an unbeaten streak can be emotionally draining. You become solely focused on not ruining the streak while your opponent is focused on playing the game of their lives.
Streaks end and performance is negatively affected when you lose focus on what is really important… playing the game.
Sport Psychologist Eddie O’Connor recognizes the challenge inherent in streaks.
O’CONNOR: “When athletes are on a streak of any kind, the challenge is to keep their focus on the game at hand. The context and pressure of winning/losing streaks can distract players from what is essential. So a streak could help or hurt, depending on if the athlete uses the streak to improve concentration or if it becomes a distraction.”
Paying attention to the process is all about having a singular focus: playing the game and not worrying about the result.
The key to positive athletic results is to focus on the process, the task that you are facing THIS CURRENT MOMENT.
If you play the right way, the results will take care of themselves. No one has ever worried themselves to victory. You need to work your way to victory.
Try these tips to stay focused on the process:
- Tip #1: Have a game plan or a strategy for each game or competition. Ask yourself: “What do I need to focus on to perform my best?”
- Tip #2: Suspend your focus on goals at the door. Instead of reminding yourself of your long-term goal, work for this moment. Recalling your long-term goal can create more pressure.
View each practice and game as a step in the journey and that each step must be the most important step at that moment.
Successful athletes have learned to boost concentration and eliminate distractions. We’ve created The Focused Athlete, Workbook and CD program to help you do this.
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?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian
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 first purchased The Confident Athlete to see how the program went and immediately saw results. I then purchased the rest of the confident athlete series and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I currently play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game. My attitude and confidence at the plate.”
~Tylor Prudhomme (Listen to his success story)
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~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 appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
“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 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
“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