3 Helpful Hints for Developing “Zone” Focus on the course.
Do you ever struggle with finding or maintaining Focus when you are playing?
Do you get easily distracted by noises or your fellow competitors?
Do you struggle with keeping your focus tuned in on the process of hitting good shots when your mind wanders to the results you seek?
Do you struggle with letting go of negative emotions from previous shots and this affects your focus on the current shot?
You are not alone.
From recreational weekend warriors to elite athletes… everyone experiences big challenges with consistently accessing optimum Focus.
You may notice it as the challenge of being more consistent from from day to day or even shot to shot.
You may notice it as a the challenge of bringing your best shots from training sessions too competition.
In response to these challenges…
Many elite athletes are adding meditation and mindfulness programs to their regular physical training.
Meditation helps them strengthen their ability to access peak performance Focus more consistently and under higher degrees of pressure.
You can too.
In my Mental Fitness for Athletes coaching and courses I have found three simple tools you can use to begin strengthening and tuning your Focus for sport.
1. Breathing Exercises
Maintaining Presence and learning to overcome distractions is critical for optimum Focus.
Breathing exercises are a great way to build your ability to recognize Presence and separate from distractions.
My two favorites are Alpha Breathing and Box Breathing.
You can google either to get the details… or just contact me and I will be happy to get you started!
2. Mindful Movement
Once you have started to strengthen your Focus with Breathing Exercises the next step is to apply this improved Focus to movement.
Pick a couple activities per day and pay close attention (be fully engaged in monitoring the movement) in those activities.
It can be brushing your teeth, walking upstairs or specific movements during your workouts or training sessions.
The key is that you are training yourself to “monitor” your movement with out being distracted by thoughts or any external distractions (for example… sounds).
3. Test your Improvement in Small Steps
Performance Science studies tell us that the best way to create a strong pattern that will hold up under pressure with a newly learned skill is to follow a Progression.
This means… do not jump from a new breathing exercise to testing your Focus skills in a critical competition in one step.
Follow a series of small successful Progression steps.
The more successful steps you follow the stronger your level of trust will be when it is time for the big competitions.
The ultimate goal is to be able to maintain Sensory Presence (monitor yourself and your surroundings) without being distracted by thoughts and emotions while you are performing.
Neuroscience has proven that optimum Focus for athletes happens when the cognitive systems in your brain are shut down (Hypofrontality) and your Sensory Systems are on full alert (Hyperfrontality).
Focused Breathing, Mindful Movement and Progressions are a great way to start turning off distractions and tuning in your Sensory Focus.
Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions!