By:Patrick J. Cohn, Ph.D.
Learn how to get into a zone focus and focus on the process
Often in my work, athletes forget that winning come from taking care of the process of execution one shot or play at a time. You can’t get into the zone unless you can focus on the process of execution and release any worry about end results of winning or losing.
This is a key lesson I teach athletes. On a play-by-play scale, to make a good pitch, throw a touchdown, or hit a good serve, you must pay attention to task-relevant cues. It’s easy to forget this simple concept when you worry too much about results and what the results “mean”. “Don’t strike out”, “I don’t want to three-putt again”, “Are you going to throw an interception again?” These are examples of what a result-focused athlete says while performing. A result-focus--worry about the consequences of your actions--does not help you perform; it only creates tension and leads to self-doubt.
Even the best athletes in the world sometimes struggle with staying in the process. Sometimes it’s human instinct that makes the mind wander the future. Make sure you “see” a positive result when you imagine yourself performing, but don’t fixate on negative consequences. When you focus on execution good results take care of themselves.
Focusing on execution means knowing what the task-relevant cues are in your sport and keeping your mind focused on those task-relevant cues. A pitcher, for example, plans the pitch, rehearses it in his mind, gets set on the rubber, and executes the pitch by focusing on the target and his rhythm. What happens next is out of his control. If your mind wanders to the end result, stop and refocus on the ingredients of the task.
About the Author
Dr. Patrick J. Cohn is a leading mental game coach who consults with professional and amatuer athletes. He is the author of Going Low, Peak Performance Golf, The Mental Game of Golf and The Mental Art of Putting. For more information call (888) 742-7225. Or sign up for free mental game tips newsletter at: www.peaksports.com.
Article Source: http://www.redsofts.com/articles/