Concentration: A Vital Quality For ALL Athletes

Girl lifting weightsSo many of the athletes I work with complain about their difficulty in being able to concentrate and focus playing their sport, especially under pressure. What about you?

“Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary.” Ray Knight

Why Is Concentration Important To Athletes?

When you get really good at concentration and focus, almost nothing will be able to knock you off your game like crowds screaming, opponents trash talking you, just any pressure will be a non-factor and you will see your performance will skyrocket.

Baseball playerWhen baseball player Ichiro Suzuki was a little leaguer, he wrote the word “Concentration” on his glove to constantly remind himself to focus.

How Can You Enhance Your Concentration?

Family watchingYou can practice concentration and focus during your training and off the field at home.

How? You already have an amazing ability to concentrate. Have you ever been so engrossed in watching a movie, you forgot that you were sitting in your chair? Believe me, if you play video games, you know how to concentrate.

Of course, it is easier to concentrate on things that are entertaining or fun. Isn’t sports fun? What about homework? studying?

Is There A Simple Trick To This?

The trick is to be able to do it any time and with whatever you are doing. You have to build that ability up and that takes work. One method we use in our Mental Toughness Trainings to help you improve your concentration is very simple and extremely effective, but very few athletes will do it. This is where determination comes in.

Simple Concentration Exercise

Girl thinkingGo and grab a simple object, like maybe a pen or pencil. See how long you can focus on just observing the object without naming it, thinking about how it was made, where it came from, or what it’s used for. Can you do this for 30 seconds?

Once you get that down, try to increase your time. You will be amazed at how this little exercise will improve your focus. The goal here is to learn to control your mind and direct it.

It takes practice just like every other practice drill you do for your sport.

“Concentration is why some athletes are better than others. You develop that concentration in training and then you can concentrate in a meet.” Edwin Moses, 2-time Olympic Gold medalistGold

I’d love to hear about some of your successful experiences with concentration and focus. Feel free to ask for advice in the comments below. Let’s do this!

I’m Craig Sigl,
The Mental Toughness Trainer

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