02 September 2023
Helping You Gain A Mental Edge
How to Enhance Your Focus in Sport to Perform More Consistently?
In the previous Mental Edge, on 18 August, I highlighted a small modification to future Mental Edge’s, a reason for this change links to FOCUS, and me as a business owner practicing what I preach, becoming smarter and more efficient in the way that I use my time.
What it means for you the reader?
It has been evident for the last few years that from September through to May (autumn, winter and spring in the UK) that we get a large amount of interest and enquiries from football or soccer players, parents and coaches. As a result, to enhance the services to these clients I have made the decision to start a new venture called The Football Psychology Hub.
What is The Football Psychology Hub?
It will be full of educational resources with the aim of upskilling our clients, readers, listeners and viewers.
What benefit will The Football Psychology Hub have for me?
If you are a football or soccer players, I’m hopeful the resources will improve your mindset so that you get more from your skills and abilities over the long term, as well as making some quick wins in your immediate training sessions and matches.
Parents of football or soccer players will be educated on their role too, where we highlight things that they could consider doing to help improve their children’s enjoyment and performance levels.
Football and soccer coaches will also learn new skills and be given strategies to boost their own performance and psychological well-being, as well as that of their players and teams.
I’m not interested in football how will this decision impact me?
We’ll still be creating and sharing relevant content across a range of sports as well as honing in on specific topics, as we have done recently so please don’t lose faith, keep your eyes and ears open moving forwards.
There will be more to follow in the next Mental Edge …
Focus is hugely important in sport
Focusing in sport is a hugely important skill that can significantly impact an athlete’s and team’s performance levels. Whether you participate in individual or team sports, maintaining focus helps you make better decisions, execute skills more effectively and ultimately enhance your overall performance.
Those athletes who struggle with their focus often:
- Find it difficult to manage their emotions.
- Make rash decisions.
- Watch on as their confidence yo-yo’s.
- Drift in and out when they perform.
- Get caught out paying too much attention to things out of their control.
5 Tips to Enhance Your Focus
1. Develop a Pre-Match or Competition Routine
Establishing a consistent pre-match or competition routine can help signal your brain that it’s time to shift into match mode or competition mode. Where your game face starts to appear! The routine may include physical warm up exercises, visualisation or mindfulness exercises or mental preparation activities such as journalling.
2. Stay in the Present Moment
Do you get caught out spending too much time in the PAST? Dwelling on mistakes or imperfections. Or may be you spend a lot of time in the FUTURE? Worrying about potential outcomes. You know what, you are human and we all do this, even World and Olympic champions however does this help your performance? NO – so find ways to focus on the PRESENT moment and channel your energy towards the task in hand.
3. Practice Concentration Exercises
You could train yourself during practice to look at ways to improve your concentration and focus. Examples include the corner taker in football, focusing in on a sensation that they feel on their boot when striking the ball. A golfer may drill into the sound of the putter hitting the ball at impact. Or maybe if you’re a rugby player who can be cautious when in possession of the ball. You could direct your attention in training to playing with more freedom and taking risks. These exercises are a great way to focus on the process and place to one side external factors that can negatively impact your performances.
4. Adequate rest and recovery
Feeling mentally and physically rested and allowing yourself time to jump off the treadmill of training, training, more training and performing can ensure that your mind and body are ready to go. For more on this topic why not check out last week’s episode of Demystifying Mental Toughness where I shared a short bite from a conversation I had with Elite Sleep Coach to many high profile athletes Nick Littlehales.
5. Consider what the best in the world would do in your situation?
This week’s episode of Demystifying Mental Toughness may be helpful with this question where Mark Bennett MBE makes some fascinating points in relation to leisure and performance athletes.
RELEVANT PODCAST EPISODES TO ENHANCE FOCUS
RELEVANT BLOGS AND VLOGS TO IMPROVE FOCUS
SPORT SPECIFIC RESOURCES FROM OUR SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY LIBRARY TO HELP YOU
3 WAYS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WORK:
Online Sports Psychologist | Mental Performance Coach who supports many highly motivated athletes, young and old, developing their skills or who are already highly skilled so that they gain a mental edge and get the most from their talent across the globe from USA/Canada to Great Britain and Ireland to UAE, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.
Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence
Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast
Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub
Author of The Mental Edge
With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to transfer their skills from training to competitive situations, under pressure.
T: +44 7734 697769