Serious competitive athletes realize there is no room for distraction if they want to win events. Developing laser focus is possible, can be done and is necessary for reaching your BIG goals. When you are training for high performance unbreakable concentration is required. Consciously training your mental game provides you an edge over your competition.
Beth, a triathlete developing her race strategy for the season, decided to take on a big challenge. Although it felt like a significant leap, she decided to train in order to win a qualifying spot for the Kona Ironman. Stepping up to this challenge required a tighter training plan, self confidence to achieve her goals and unshakable determination.
One thing Beth knew about herself was how easily she is distracted. She quickly becomes bored, gets sidetracked and doesn’t always manage her time well. To meet her challenge to qualify for an Ironman required strong, focused concentration.
Some strategies Beth used to improve her concentration included:
- Boundaries – Learning what easily distracted her focus. Identifying the conversations she had with her team, the people she spent time with on race day and the strength of her personal boundaries. Removing herself from all negativity prior to the start of the triathlon minimized external distractions.
- The Warm-up – She developed a mental game warm-up to improve concentration. A mental dress rehearsal for transitions, then detailed visualization of each leg in the triathlon and mindset exercises to manage her adrenaline.
- Self-talk – High performance requires a positive focus. The plan was to focus on her strengths. Laser Focus –Her eye placement affected her focus. Beth trained her vision. Focusing on pre-selected target points for each leg of the triathlon was part of her race strategy.
- Presence of mind – Minds wander even when meditating. Once Beth noticed her attention wavering, her job was to re-focus to the task at hand. Acknowledging the distraction and then letting go of the thought requires practice. Setting personal challenges during the event improves concentration.
- Refocus skills – Beth developed reminder phrases to bring her back into the moment when her focus would stray.
As Beth’s concentration improved she shaved off time during her first triathlon of the season, setting a new PR. She strengthened her commitment to qualifying for the Ironman. She believed it was possible.
The mental game strategies were practiced during work, training sessions and various task oriented projects. Here’s the bonus. By conquering her concentration obstacles she began to accomplish more with less effort. It was almost as if she had created more time in the day.
Practicing is not enough. Absolute certainty allows you to tap your potential, take massive action and then see results. Mental game training is critical for improved concentration. Your commitment to rise up to your challenge eliminates all the resistance.
Developing laser concentration requires a commitment. If you become distracted while racing, then I bet you also experience distractions in other areas of your life as well. Concentration comes naturally for some. Other athletes have an ongoing battle with distractions. What you do off the field impacts how you perform on the field. Choose your challenge. Then develop the daily practices to train your mind.
Challenge: Where are the distractions in your life while training? Those distractions tap into your energy. Along with putting energy into activities which will not improve your performance, it also takes energy to refocus.
Building your mental game takes time. Choose one area where you would like to have more focused concentration. From the list above choose one strategy you will implement into your training program immediately. Don’t just say you are going to do it, commit to it. Write down your plan, tell others about your plan and take consistent action. Consistency, even when you don’t see immediate results, leads to mastery.