There’s a number of qualities required to be able to reach the ever-so-sought-after “next level.” We all recognize them in our role models and in ourselves when we exhibit them. These characteristics are useful because their application induces a lifestyle conducive to the desire to become stronger every day. To name a few, we have Determination, Motivation, Confidence, Perseverance, Strong-Will, Proactivity, Hard Work, etc etc. Just mentioning these things creates a need to go accomplish something before the day gets started. Each of these qualities brings something important to the application of athletic routines and reaching the goals you have for yourself.
Out of all the qualities that one SHOULD possess to pursue athletic goals, there is one that is immensely under-appreciated. After having the opportunity to work with and witness some of the greatest athletes in the world, they all seem to exhibit this particular ability more than anyone else around them…
It may seem like a small and insignificant skill, or even one that is just assumed to exist. The unfortunate truth is that we as athletes and people going after greater goals apply this important characteristic far too little. Focus is not a given. Just because you go to the gym and get your routine done doesn’t mean you are focused. Focus is not small and insignificant; this is how you ensure each step taken is taken in the right direction. Focus is not easy even though it may seem so. Proper focus takes time and effort to develop and apply, and when you are truly focused, the process of achievement produces greater gains (intellectually and physically).
Focus is an application of complete concentration of the task at hand. None of the following occurs: distractions, interruptions, deviations, variations, or change. When proper focus is performed, things take a state of consistency and remain that way until the task is accomplished.
All of the greatest athletes in the world know how to focus. They understand the need to be able to shut out the world and envelope themselves in their training, dedicating their efforts to a complete execution of the skills being performed. They understand that without this skill, they cannot apply the proper intensity, mindset, or adjustments needed to make themselves better. How can someone possibly expect to maintain a high level of performance when their minds are not directed to a singular purpose? How can they even imagine understanding the fine details of their training if they have the rest of their worries and lives intermixed in their thoughts while they practice? Focus is a very important cognitive skill that athletes need to dedicate more time towards mastering. Guaranteed, if you learn how to properly focus in your workouts, you will train better and improve more. Here are some very useful tips on how to practice and develop better focusing skills.
1) Keep a journal about your training sessions, update, and study them every night. This will encourage your mind to focus on analyzing the skills you practiced and how you performed on a more cognitive level because you will be describing them through writing. Do this every night and you will create a daily habit of focusing solely on your training.
2) Create a playlist that inspires you to train, and listen to it every time you are about to workout. And DO NOT CHANGE IT. This will create an association with your mind that when you hear this music, you are getting ready to change; your body will begin to unconsciously prepare itself mentally and physiologically, creating a base for good focusing.
3) Meditate and visualize your training environment. Picture your facilities, the area, the smells, the feelings, the sounds. Be very detailed and visualize a training session, step by step. Visualize yourself from various angles, visualize your movements, and make the image as vivid as possible, concentrating on the different senses. The more you do this, the easier it will become to concentrate on these qualities of your training sessions when they are happening in real life.
These are just a few tricks to help you develop greater focusing skills. Apply them and reap the benefits!
Every Day… A Little Stronger