In sports, there are countless things you cannot control, for example: playing time, judges’ scores, weather, referee calls, playing conditions, trash talking from the other team, spectators, injuries, teammates … the list goes on. Focusing on the uncontrollable impacts you in a number of ways:
- When you focus on the uncontrollable, it takes your head out of the game.
- When you focus on the uncontrollable, you create negative emotions.
- When you focus on the uncontrollable, you are no longer immersed in the present moment.
What exactly can you control in sports?
Preparation – Your preparation includes: your level of training, your diet, your attention to mental skills, your game plan or competitive strategy, your technique, your competition warmup, your pre-game routine, etc. When you prepare meticulously, you feel more confident and in control.
Effort – Effort includes: your training intensity, your competition intensity and your attention to technique refinement. Hard work often separates the good from the great.
Attitude – Attitude includes: your mindset towards competition, your perspective towards adversity, the content of your thoughts, your approach to training and an arduous season, your response to mistakes and your response to bad officiating. Your attitude is everything when it comes to competing.
Focus – Your focus is what you choose to pay attention to. If you can focus on the positive and immerse yourself in the moment, you will give yourself a big advantage over your competition. Focusing on the controllable will help you keep your head in the game, emotions in check and performing at your peak.