The Attention Performance Center
An Optimal Sports Training Program from the Attention Performance Center
The majority of the time, sports performance is far from perfect and far from the “zone” of peak performance. However, the “zone” is achievable only around 10-15% of the time. So, what are you doing about the rest of the time when things aren’t going perfectly?
This is the time when resilience, mental acuity, and endurance can separate you from the rest of your competition.
Here are six of the factors we help our clients master in developing a high achieving mindset:
1- Perfect Practice, Lousy Game
Failing to convert good outcomes from practice to games results from being emotionally under or over-reactive. This is especially true when you are in the “lime-light.” Improvements in your ability to adjust and get into the “groove” more quickly come from learning to manage adversity and distractions during competition.
2- Inner Critic
Competitive athletes are often their own worst enemy. Over-thinking, over-analysis and over-reacting can impede the flow of your game. Building a performance vocabulary that is positive, powerful and confidence-building will help you overcome self-defeating thoughts and let you know, and control, your “inner critic.” Learning to re-channel negative thinking into positive thinking allows you to be more consistent and less vulnerable to “slumps.”
Many athletes try to force their performance. Learning the art of patience will allow you to relax under pressure and perform with poise and control.
Over-focus can cause performance issues. For example, baseball hitters who are down in the count will often intently over-focus on putting the ball in play. This defensive approach to hitting can cause you to tighten up, become hesitant, and have exactly the opposite effect as intended. While a good two-strike approach is important, it can also be counter-productive. To become a “complete” player means that you have studied and discovered what works best for you in many different situations. This process of discovery is the essence of perfecting your mental game.
Poor preparation, difficulty managing performance pressure, or lack of self-trust can lead to “freezing up.” A greater self-awareness will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls that may hinder your readiness to perform.
6- Appropriate Intention
A player’s “intention” must match the task at hand, otherwise, mechanical breakdowns can occur. In baseball, if the pitcher’s intention is to throw the ball hard, he will often over-throw the ball which changes the mechanics leading to poor control, even wild pitches. Developing accurate and appropriate “intentions” will likely lead to improved “attention” and, therefore, improved performance.