What is mental focus?
We’ve all been there — those times when it’s easier to just switch on our mental autopilots and coast through our workout or workday. Maybe you botch a play because you’re distracted, or feel so anxious about performing perfectly that you feel paralyzed and don’t get anything done. No matter your mental hang-up, working on your focus is a sure cure.
Mental focus is the ability to fully engage in the task at hand, and let everything else fade into the background. If you’re not fully absorbed in the present, you can’t do your best — that’s true in sports and in life. The ability to quiet the busy mind can be really tough, especially if you have a full plate or are under a lot of pressure. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your ability to focus.
The fact is this — there will always be tons of noise in your life. Fans, chaos, anxiety, family drama… don’t waste your time trying to control the uncontrollable. What you can take charge of is the way you choose to handle it. The next time you feel your mind spin into overdrive with your massive to-do list or pre-game jitters, stop. Acknowledge that you’ve lost track of the present moment, and refocus on that. If that feels tough, focus on your breath and how you feel. Lets be real — the mind needs something to think about, so let it focus on your breath and how your body feels. Simple steps like this bring you closer to being fully present and focused. Remind yourself of this, especially when you feel overwhelmed or frustrated. By doing so, you’ll really help yourself return to the task at hand, where you’ll play (and feel!) better, and by default, be more likely to win. That's what it means to put your game face on.
Need more ideas on how to practice? Check out our meditation for mental focus.