What is Sports Attention Training?
Sports attention training is a set of cognitive exercises designed to improve athletes’ performance. The psychological practices delve into the parameters of mind and attention to enhance peak performance in competition. Researchers have come up with various strategies to improve attentional skills in athletes. Without attention and concentration, it will be difficult for athletes to manage outer and inner environments and perform well. Unwavering attention in the present moment is of utmost importance.
Sports competition can be a very competitive arena. The more one-pointed an athlete’s mind is during their sporting activity, the better they will perform. An example would be a wide receiver going long and sprinting to the goal line for a touchdown while the ball is in the air. He has to keep his attention 100% centered on that ball until it reaches his hands. His attention cannot waiver, nor can he take his eyes off that ball. He cannot be concerned about the noise of the crowd watching or the cornerback defending. The only thing that exists at that moment is himself and seeing that ball fall into his hands.
The ability to concentrate is the number 1 characteristic coaches would be looking for in their players. Coaches are looking for athletes who will contribute to the team to make them more successful. Improving attention in everyday life will make it much more comfortable in competition. The long-term athletes that have superseded everyone else know that the main thing they need to control is the breathing. It would be best to direct your attention wherever it needs to be for however long it needs to be there.
The ability to master attention will give you the ability not to have to think about doing it. You can hit the big shot consistently. Score the goal, be the great defender. Perform at a high level at all times. You want to be able to not collapse under pressure. Pressure will be a word that is foreign to your vocabulary. It would be best if you silence your mind at the right moment so you can be in the zone. To be in that peak state where your performance flows.
When you are in the peak performance zone, you don’t think. You perceive what is occurring, so you understand what is unfolding before completion. The peak performance zone requires intuitive mastery, which requires attention control, which starts with your ability to breathe on purpose. If you are in competitive arenas, you want to be a mental athlete. Becoming a mental athlete makes you superior in performance to the average person. You cannot be an automaton. You cannot be a mindless machine like most of the people on the planet. You have to wake up and decide you will master your life and where you will go. You have to decide you are not going to let anything stop you. You will not let anyone or anything get in your way. You are the owner and controller of your life. As a mental athlete, you want to be able to coach your sport and play it. You want to know everything there is to know about your sport.
This type of self-discipline automatically flows over into the rest of your life. Your classroom performance will improve, your finances, and how you relate to other people. Self-Mastery gives you the highest results in all areas of your life. Not only must you practice the physical skills, but you must also practice the mental skills. Centering your attention becomes the same as centering yourself.
One technique athletes use as an attention target is positive self-talk. Careful not to let self-talk turn negative. To begin yelling at yourself mentally and allowing negative emotions to enter. Many professional athletes use self-talk to empower themselves. The most powerful, the most effective attention target you can use to center your attention is your breath. If you have forgotten your breath, then you have forgotten your attention. You have also forgotten everything that is most important.
When your breathing becomes your attention target, you can notice the tension and anxiousness in your chest. When you stop shallow breathing and take full deep breaths, you will see a significant difference in your mental performance. Clear your mind, come back to the present moment and take deep breaths from the diaphragm. Be aware of the body and the physiological effects of your breathing. The more you do this exercise, the less you are engaged in thoughts. You are also not involved in negative inner dialogue.
With sports attention training, the primary objective is to put your attention on a target. How long you can hold attention is not as important as putting it somewhere other than your thoughts. If you can focus on yourself first by breathing, you’re tapping into personal power and changing your brain’s neurophysiology. Master this skill. Practice for an hour a day off the field or court. You will then be able to go on the practice field and apply what you have learned.
Practice attention control and centering while sitting down. Also, practice while standing up. Then, practice while walking. Practice engaging in action while controlling attention, centering, and breathing. Then, practice while doing mundane acts. Practice while brushing your teeth, combing your hair. Now, go to the practice field and practice in all your actions. Finally, practice always staying in the present moment.
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