Have you ever left your house to get a particular item from the store only to return home with bags full of stuff but without the very thing you left the house to get in the first place?

Of course you have. Maybe there are only a handful of people, if only once, has had this happen to them. For the regular folks, like myself, this happens all too often than we would like to admit.

homer_rememberingQuestion then. If we know that this “mysterious distraction” happens in our everyday life, why do we act as if this same phenomena doesn’t or can’t happen most when we are playing our sport?

I’m sure there has been times when your coach scouted, and gave you a game plan to execute, yet by the time the game has ended, nothing that was prepared for was accomplished.

The reason why game plans don’t get accomplished is the same reason why we don’t remember that item while in the store – wandering attention. In life there are so many other things that we love and value more than sport. And in the store there are so many other items that we see that we love as much as the thing we wanted, so it’s safe to say that our “loves” distracted us.

At the time that this is happening, it’s almost impossible to identify the distraction as an enemy because of the emotions attached to it. In sport, I believe one of the main things that pull athletes away from the game plan is their own idea of what should be done…their own habits…their mind. Which athlete, while in the game will say that their own thought process/habits are wrong??

When I was younger I used to watch a lot of Sesame Street. There was this one short, that showed a kid going to the grocery store for her mom. Her mom gave her some money while saying that she wanted, “A loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter.” The kid took the money and headed out the door skipping down the street to the store repeating, “A loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter.” She kept repeating it until she had the items in her hand. Do you remember that short?

It’s funny that as simple as that is, it is the very essence of what needs to be done to accomplish your game plans. It’s the mental philosophy “Your words direct your attention.” My tip isn’t a new thing to comprehend but we all know that knowledge isn’t power, it’s the knowledge that you apply that’s powerful. There are never any quick fix answers and every answer to any problem in life will demand work.

Control those distractions, by managing your self-talk. And you know what to say by knowing exactly what your coaches want to see not what you think is right!

What are some other ways that you’ve found that helps you get over distractions?


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