No matter what you are doing, you will do it better if you’re focused on it.
“Keep your mind on what you’re doing while you’re doing it,” is what the sports psychologists say.
Right away you might object. “I don’t focus very well,” you say.
Wrong. Your ability to focus is 100 percent, and I’ll prove it to you.
Suppose you had a lottery ticket, and you suddenly realized you had all the correct numbers. How well do you suppose you could focus on holding on to the ticket and making sure it got to the proper place to cash it in?
One hundred percent.
So let’s leave behind any doubts about your ability to focus, and think instead about what you are going to do with this ability.
At this week’s volleyball camp at Montclair Kimberley, with the help of sports psychologist Dr. Rob Gilbert of Montclair State University, we play a game to put our focus on focus.
First we write out three camp objectives on the whiteboard. They are: have fun, build skill, and compete.
That’s all we want our athletes to do. But it’s amazing how many things can distract them. So we made a list of those things, too.
* Frustration over slow progress.
* Pain when the ball hits a tender spot.
* The score.
* Nail polish (Hey, it was on the list.)
Here’s how the game goes. We introduce a drill. We tell the athletes what they should focus on in the drill. We do the drill for 10 or 15 minutes. Then we pause and ask the athletes, “On a scale of zero to 100, how well did you concentrate on the focus of the drill?”
After the athletes give their score, we ask them, “What kept you from getting a perfect 100? What was in the way?" And when they identify what distracted them, we write it on the board.
This drill can really help me as a coach. One day this week I’ll invite the campers to ask me, “On a scale of zero to 100, how well were you focused on that drill?”
If we can develop a camp where both the coaches and the campers are focused on the right thing, we’ve got something special.
And you can, too. Check your focus every once in a while. Keep your focus on your focus.
As peak performance expert David DeNotaris says, "Success isn't hocus-pocus. It's focus-focus."
We have a second week of volleyball camp at MKA from June 27-30. It’s for girls entering grades 9-12, and we’ll be working on the mental and physical skills necessary for success in high school. We’ll have another visit from Dr. Gilbert. For more info, call (973) 800-5836.