In football, it is common to find yourself or your team under the pump, facing challenges and losing the plot, right in the middle of a game. With so much activity and noise distracting you, feeding your thoughts and competing for your attention, staying focused and confident is imperative. This is true for a coach, an individual player or an entire team. I have seen teams implode, simply because they lost their focus.
There is an subconscious process that takes place internally when we lose focus and confidence, and when it’s not addressed in your mind, it begins to outplay itself in your performance.
For example, when we lose our internal focus, we begin to lose position, intent and capacity in our performance (see focus impact chart below). When we lose our internal confidence, we begin lose courage, creativity and connection (see confidence impact chart below).
Building the internal resources to maintain, channel and increase focus and confidence, when the game around you is falling apart, is what I refer to as developing a High Performance Mindset. Thinking skills in the midst of competition, are the “one percenters” that create the best players, teams, performances and outcomes.
Keeping FOCUS: What you focus on, you will always get more of and training your mind to focus on what’s needed can be a game changer. If you focus on the mistake you just made, the referee’s call you didn’t like, that poor tackle, the score line or the size and skill of your opposition, you’ll begin to lose internal focus. The key is learning to FOCUS FORWARD. Park the distraction in the “I’ll process you later” box in your brain, and lift your eyes and thinking to the next part you need to play in the game. We lose focus because we get stuck in the moment that’s passed, instead of looking to the moment that’s coming.
Keeping CONFIDENT: What you tell yourself, will become your reality, and so training your thinking to stay positive and high on self-belief is a brilliant skill to learn. Learning to curb the internal critic and cultivate the internal coach, will give you the competitive edge, even when under the pump or being smashed on the park. If you’re feeding yourself negativity, attacking your ability and allowing fear to rule your thoughts, it will always have impacts on your performance. Take control of your thoughts, take a few deep breathes and create that internal belief that itching to lead the way. You got this.
Stay focused and confident in your mind, and you’ll notice it in your performance. Have a brilliant day, Brett.