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“Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary.” - Ray Knight
The present moment is the most important moment you have as a competitor. Research shows that when athletes are having a great performance, they’re focused solely on the present moment. They aren’t thinking about the past or the future. It’s often called “being in the zone”.
Obstacles to Focus
Thinking about the outcome: Thinking about the outcome is probably the greatest obstacle to focus in all sports. You play sports because you want to win, but this focal point is one of the greatest causes of poor performance and loss.
Becoming too emotional: Another frequent obstacle to focus is allowing yourself to become too emotional while competing. When your emotional level gets too high, your concentration level drops. When you become too emotional, two major things occur:
- Your body changes in a negative way. Your muscles tighten, your heart rate increases, and you have shallow breathing.
- Your focus becomes clouded. You’re thinking about being angry or nervous (or even excited and happy) instead of focusing on what it takes to perform well.
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