Winning at the mental game is one of the biggest challenges for many athletes. They tend to get distracted easily, make simple errors, or fail to bounce back after making mistakes. If you don’t win the game mentally first, winning on the field of play becomes much more difficult, if not impossible. Athletes need to learn to focus on what they can control, communicate as a team, and remain teachable with a growth mindset.
In order to for this to happen they need to learn how to develop mental skills that can help them become more confident, help them focus and overcome mistakes. The most important mental skill that can help athletes with these problems is focus. How to get focused, how to stay focused and how to shift their focus effectively are basic building blocks for the development of mental skills. Developing focus and concentration skills are absolutely essential in today’s competitive enviroment that is filled with distractions and diversions. By teaching athletes to focus and concrete on what is important at each moment you will enhance their performance significantly!
Winning the mental game is built on many different mental skills but athletes need 2 foundational skills:
1: The ability to focus on one thing in the present moment for a period of time, often referred to as attention span
2. The ability to shift your focus on the task at hand in the present moment, called mental flexibility
In today’s society many people are losing this important skill of attention and focus. In 2015, Microsoft published a study that showing the average attention span to be about 12 seconds in the year 2000 and then falling to 8 seconds in 2013, which could indicate many folks only have 8-11 seconds of attention before getting distracted. In the popular movie, “Up” talking dogs are on an evil mission but yell squirrel and become distracted by hunting a squirrel each time a squirrel is spotted in the city. The dogs veer off from the mission and many times forgot it altogether as if they can’t help getting distracted by this furry critter. They saying “Squirrel” is a great example of how common the distraction phenomenon has become a part of our culture. However, by helping athletes reduce distraction and increase attention span to 1-2 minutes or even more can give them a big advantage in their sport as well as other areas of their life; including school, social or family life.
Winning the mental game is about becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions, how they affect the body and your play on the field. Mental training for athletes in focus and concentration supported by other key mental skills can help many athletes learn how to use this awareness to their advantage. The primary goal of winning mentally is to teach athletes to allow their skills and abilities to emerge automatically with your mind quiet and focused on the task at hand. With this level of focus, some studies have a posited that an athlete can access flow state more often and stay in flow longer. This can help create higher performance, more sport enjoyment and help athletes bounce back after mistakes.
Benefits of focus training
- Decrease in stress, anxiety & burnout
- Increase in sport satisfaction, focus & decision making
- Enhance in performance overall
- Increase in self-Awareness and self-control
- Increase in ability to access flow or “get in the zone”
60 minute workshop
At SatiMind we created a workshop to help athletes develop focus techniques and develop key mental skills to help athletes decrease simple errors, overcome mistakes, manage emotions under pressure and keep their focus in the present moment. This workshop was developed with the latest research in several different fields from sport and performance psychology, mindfulness, resilience as well as implementing the best technology for mental training. Train your athletes to focus on what they can control and to have more influence over their focus by changing their relationship to their thinking. Through mental training athletes can learn how their mind works and how to perform at their best despite the conditions, stress or pressure.
“Winning the Mental Game” workshop is perfect for any sports team or athlete whether at the high school, college or professional level
Insights from the Founder, Erik Leslie