When you see the pros keeping their cool and drilling game winners, it’s tempting to believe being the best is as easy as they make it look. In reality, that one game-changing play is the result of hours of training — the kind of driven, uninterrupted training that comes from being completely focused from the first rep to the last. It’s not easy to do; there are limitless distractions in your life, but the key is to commit to your goal and train past your distractions. We’ll help you get better at it.
Here are a few ways to increase your mental focus:
Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
This is a no-brainer, yet many athletes don’t get enough. This should be the first thing you alter when trying to achieve better focus. Exactly how much sleep you need varies by person, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends teenagers and young adults get between seven and ten hours a night. Set a bedtime for yourself, stick with it, and start reaping the benefits of a more rested mind and body, like more energy, faster reaction times, and increased stamina.
Have A Balanced, Healthy Diet
To reach its potential, your body needs proper fuel. Lack of nutrients and dehydration can make you feel sluggish, uncomfortable, and distracted, all of which detract from your performance. Make sure you’re providing your body with a balance of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals as well as drinking the recommended 11 to 15 cups of water a day, increasing this after training sessions and competitions.
Clear Your Mind
This is pivotal to focus, but can be a little tricky. If you’re shooting free-throws, but all you can think about is the math test you bombed earlier that day, you obviously won’t be performing your best. Top professional athletes often use meditation, music, yoga, or even a quick nap to help clear their mind before games. Try implementing a meditative activity in your routine and see how it affects your focus.
Visualize Your Victory
It’s all about perception. Self-doubt and negative thoughts can ruin your confidence, motivation, and especially focus. Instead of self-sabotage, try building yourself up. Imagine the moments leading up to the game’s turning point. How will you react? Visualizing yourself hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth can make a big difference in how you play.
You Have To Want It
Whether in a workout, practice session, or competition, if you don’t have passion for the task at hand, you won’t be able to truly focus. Heart is the most crucial element of the game, because when you want it more than anyone else, you work harder than anyone else. That means being the first in the gym and the last to leave, having the physical and mental discipline to put your team above yourself. Because when you sacrifice everything, nothing can stop you.
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