Focus In Sports mentaltoughnesstrainer.com/coaches
This is Part 3 of a talk, Craig the Mental Toughness Trainer gave on focus in sports at the Pacific Northwest Coaching conference.
Welcome to the Mental Toughness Academy for Youth Sports. This video is the next segment of a series of trainings for coaches to learn how to teach mental toughness to their athletes.
Don't tell a kid to believe in himself or you just got to start focusing. They don't know how to do it and so it just goes right over kid's heads.
Instead, tell them what to focus on and give them something to focus on. Their minds are going haywire. They're thinking about their last event, school, friends, teammates, parents and they're worried about what might happen next. And you're going, "Focus!" They are thinking, "How do I focus Coach?"
I have a simple method that works wonders and I preach this all over the place. I call it just focusing on the love on the sport. When you have an athlete who has trouble focusing, you take a moment or two and say, "Joe, what you are doing here? Why do you run the 500 meter, why do you do the long jump, why do you do the high jump?" They will usually say things like, "Well, it's fun, it's challenging, I like it." That is fine, but you have to dig deeper. One way is to tell them to go home and write out a list of all the things that you absolutely love about your event - in detail.
A lot of times they'll need a little help on this. For instance, my sport is golf and when I get to the golf course, man I just love being out in the open. I love cross-hatch fairways. I love the feel of a ball going right off the center. It's just like magic going out of my arms. You know I even love the smell of fertilizer in the morning. And I go on and on with all these details.
I worked with a swimmer recently and asked, "What do you love about swimming?" And she was struggling with this and so I said, "Think about your senses when you step into a pool." And she says, "Oh, I love chlorine, I love the smell of chlorine, it's like a treat." I reminded her that when she walks into a building with a pool, she can start thinking about the chlorine, blue water, friends. And then she is focused.
Here's the thing about focus. These kids are too smart for their sport, especially track. I tell them, you've got like this Ferrari mind and all you need is a VW bug to do your sport. So you've got to give that Ferrari mind something to do -- alright?
You hear a lot of the elite athletes who talk about not thinking of anything when they compete. Good luck trying to teach a 14,15,16 year old, "Don't think of anything." It doesn't' work. I can't do it.
It's better to give them something to fill that mind with. Let that Ferrari out on the freeway, fill it with things with that they love about the sport. Before they get to their event, have them review that list they are filled with excitement and are thinking "my people, my place."
Go to mentaltoughnessvideos.com to get your free video training and guided visualization MP3 on how to perform under pressure. I'm Craig Sigl, the Mental Toughness Trainer.
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