“Where the focus goes energy flows.”
Tony Robbins, author and life coach
While we may all agree that this statement is true, how the heck can we athletes use Robbins’ observation to our advantage? In my experience, we can’t control the first thought that pops into our heads, but we can control the thoughts that follow. We can train our brain to refocus on the things we want it to focus on and help us keep energy flowing where we want it!
At practice, try focusing on one thing for each drill and celebrate when you accomplish that.
For example, when I was working on my backhand ball at third base during a backhand drill, my focus was on my footwork. I focused on pushing off of the inside of my left foot, crossing my bent left leg toward the foul line, and getting my glove low and on the ground. Focusing on footwork drove my energy there as well. Everything else took care of itself. After the drill, I felt my footwork was more powerful and quick. It was a success (imaginary high five). It didn’t matter that I caught only 50% of balls during the drill. I knew that if I got my footwork down then I could progress to focusing on my eyes and glove to get into better position.
If you continually focus on negative things, that is where your energy will go as well. If you keep thinking—it’s just a matter of time before I get the flu—your energy and focus are on getting sick. Or if you keep thinking—oh no, I don’t want to mess this up—your energy and concentration are on making a mistake. Instead, think—I will give and do my best. Feel the positive energy help you do your best and be satisfied with your performance and not the outcome. As your mind drifts to the unproductive, repeat a mantra in your head to direct your thoughts more positively.
First thought: I hope I don’t mess this up.
Second thought: Stop (breathe), I am ready to perform and give it my best.
Repeat second thought often.
If you have questions, please contact me. Love to hear from you! :)
Choose to Be Happy!