Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Keep Losing It...

Continuing my series of Lesson Posts, I was contacted by golfer, @breadchick on Twitter, wanting to know why this continues to happen to her. Unfortunately, this is prevalent among all athletes:

"I seem to lose focus towards the middle/end of my round, holes 11-15, specifically. How do I stay focused longer?"

There are three things that immediately come to mind when asked about loss of concentration in sports.

1) Proper food and water intake.

This is crucial for long term, intense focus during competition, but can often be overlooked. Decision making is directly affected by lack of hydration and nutrients, especially over a 5 hour round of golf.

2) Having short term goals to focus on during play.

Very often, we get "mentally lost" during the round because of so much down time in between shots. I'm a huge advocate of breaking down each round of golf into 6 sets of 3 holes. This allows the player to stay intense for a longer period of time, and stay mentally present on the task at hand. Creating short term goals within every 3 hole span is the perfect way of keeping the mind focused and present. Mentally, 18 holes can feel overwhelming, and is easy to become overly concerned with the outcome of the round. By allowing the mind to focus on short term process and results goals, it enables you to stay focused on right now, eventually connecting to long term concentration.

3) Embrace the competitive moment!

This may be one of the most important lessons an athlete can learn. It becomes very difficult to lose focus during any event if you truly love the challenge of the situation. In fact, concentration levels of the all-time best athletes increase during these pressure moments. If you look forward to, and embrace this time, your focus will automatically intensify.

Every challenge you encounter creates an opportunity to take your game to the next level. Become the 1%!


Rettakat said...

I'm glad @breadchick brought up this topic.

You've answered a couple of questions I had rattling around in my head about focus, keeping it for long periods of time, keeping the ability to have the necessary intensity when needed, breaking up a long goal into shorter ones... etc.

Good stuff, thank you!

Dayne Gingrich said...

Thanks, Loretta!

Love for your process will always help with specific focus. Glad this resonated with you. Keep me updated.