How to Intensify Your Athletic Focus

One of the hardest things for an athlete is to maintain a sharp focus during practice. No matter what your goal is, no matter how hard you want to succeed in it, bad news – the rainy days will come, sooner or later. Why? The answer is cause you are a human being. We rise and fall, and do it all over again. Believe it or not, that is what makes this life beautiful – the balance. Without that balance, there would be no motivation for almost anything. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your focus on point even during those rainy days.

 

Pre-Performance Routines

Routines can be personal things that athletes personally love or have a habit of doing. Routines relax and after doing one, we feel like we have done a task successfully, which leads to a sense of security. They put us in place, and help block out external distractions. Wheather it’s listening to music before practice or just a few yoga moves, if its something in what you believe and what keeps you motivated – your focus will be sharp at the end of every routine.

 

Autogenic training

AT is a technique that teaches your body to respond to your verbal commands, it is a very powerful method that can relax an individual, sharpen his focus and mind. This technique was published in 1932 by a German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz.

Autogenic training has been known for a long time but has not yet got its true form in sports practice. Thus, because of its no exploration in sports, athletes do not apply so often. However, the popularization of the Eastern cultures systems such as yoga exercises has raised the importance of these forms of embodiment, which can be connected to autogenic training. An increasingly common example is that the athletes in their training implicate forms from the commercial fitness world, so it is to be expected that in some future period these forms of training preparation will gain an increasing importance in sports practice.

 

Meditation

Although very similar to AT, since the term of meditation originated from the Eastern culture, for a long time it was used exclusively for one form of meditation. However, meditation can be defined as a method where a person focuses their mind on a particular thought, activity or maybe an object to reach a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Nowadays, when the speed and availability of information are increasing, meditation gets more and more important. Especially in sports practice. There are many forms of meditation that the athlete can use before, during and after training. One form of meditation is breathing, and there are various breathing exercises.

Abdominal breathing is done with one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest, taking a deep breath in through the nose (inhaling) and exhaling through the mouth. Both inhaling and exhaling process should be slow and deep.

 

Visualisation

Visualisation as a technique for improving focus is creating images, visions or memories that will get you going through rainy days. It must be something that motivates, whether it is a vision where the athlete sees himself/herself in the future or is the image of the person who motivates him/her. Visualisation can also be used for affirmation, seeing yourself in the near future and imagining that you’ve done something that seems impossible at that time. It can give a sense of control, concentration and confidence.

 

Rituals

Rituals are defined as a “religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order”, but, as we all know rituals may differ and are connected to athletes beliefs only. Mini rituals before, during or after practice can increase strength, calm and peaceful an athlete. Depending on beliefs, one may find peace just by being grateful and just by having a feeling of appreciation, joy, and love.

 

Research

Recognize when and why you lose focus. Explore, get to know yourself better and see what decreases your focus, what are the distractions, and what can you do to eliminate them. Our established habits can be our biggest enemies if they interfere with our focus. Detect and remove the focus distractors.

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