How to Focus During Competition

Coach Stuart
January 21, 2024

In the heat of competition, maintaining focus is crucial, yet it’s often easier said than done. Whether you’re dealing with an unexpected error or a questionable call from a referee, how you respond in these moments can significantly impact your performance. Let’s dive into the art of staying focused and present during competition, turning challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

The Challenge of Staying Present

Imagine you’re in the middle of a close match. The ball is served to you, but you shank your pass. Or perhaps the referee makes a call you don’t agree with. These scenarios are common in the world of sports. However, what truly matters is not the mishap itself but your response to it. The last point, the missed opportunity, is now in the past – beyond your control.

The Power of Letting Go

The key to staying focused is understanding what you can and cannot control. Dwelling on past mistakes or external factors like referee decisions, spectator reactions, or even the actions of your teammates only serves to distract and detract from your performance. You can’t change the past, nor can you control every aspect of the present. What you can manage, however, are your behavior, effort, attitude, and thoughts.

Controlling the Controllables

Focusing on the present means channeling your energy into what’s immediately in front of you. This approach involves several key strategies:

  1. Behavior: How you conduct yourself on the field or court speaks volumes. Stay composed and demonstrate sportsmanship, regardless of the situation.
  2. Effort: Always give your best, regardless of the score or circumstances. Your effort is a direct reflection of your commitment to the game and your team.
  3. Attitude: A positive attitude can be a game-changer. It influences not only your performance but also the morale of your team.
  4. Thoughts: Keep your thoughts constructive. Self-affirmation is a powerful tool. Remind yourself, “I got this,” to boost confidence and focus.

Remember, you’re part of a team. Encouraging your teammates is just as important as focusing on your performance. A simple “You got this” can uplift the entire team’s spirit and enhance collective focus.

Staying focused during competition is about concentrating on the present and controlling what you can. Let go of the uncontrollable elements and maintain a positive mindset. This will enable you to not only enhance your performance but also contribute positively to your team’s dynamics. Remember, in the world of sports, how you respond to challenges defines your journey as much as your skills do.


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