Be A More Focused and Present Athlete
One of the best things that you can do for yourself is continue to learn about, and improve your mentality. It’s important to examine yourself and become aware of which thoughts are good for you and which ones aren’t. Too much thinking about the past, or the future, will keep you from performing your best IN THE PRESENT.
You can actually train your mind to be more focused on there here and now, but it does take work. Your thoughts will continue to stray to what could have been, or what might happen, but you can notice that then bring your attention back to the present. The more you do this, the easier and quicker the process will become.
Think about these questions:
- Are you constantly thinking about the past, and beating yourself up for what “should have been” or “what was”? Does your mind feel cluttered with thoughts about what you “could have done”?
- Do you find yourself getting caught up with what you “have to do”? Are you always thinking about “what’s next”, and where you “need to go”, what you have to take care of?
You can let go of those thoughts about what could have been, and start thinking about “what is” instead. Bring your attention and energy back to what you’re doing right now, and give your all to that, and only that.
You can train to become more focused on the present, so that you can let go of the past, or think less about the future. You can improve your focus and to stay more present, especially when you’re feeling pressured, stressed or rushed.
- Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention solely on the present moment. The more you practice this, the less you’ll be caught up in your worries, concerns, doubts and the outcomes.
So, how do you do it?
You can practice mindfulness very informally. Simply do one thing at a time and think about only that thing.
- When you’re brushing your teeth, driving, rowing on the erg, or petting your dog, try to focus on all of your senses and emotions. Tune into exactly what you’re doing and how it feels. Focus on all of the little details and think only about the task you’re doing.
- If your focus goes off track, bring it right back to what you’re doing. See if you can focus on exactly how it feels, and how you can do that specific task to the best of your ability. Stay present and challenge your thoughts to only think about the now.
Staying present will help you get the most out of each moment.
The more you practice this in your life outside of the gym, the easier it will be to focus when it counts in training and competition.