Has your coach ever told you, “get in the zone”, or “stay in the moment”!? They mean that in order to perform your best you must stay present. From a mental training perspective this means performing from your conscious awareness. The best way to do this is to make sure your mind and body are both focused on the element you are executing. I often refer to the mind and body being like train tracks. Train tracks need to be running parallel in order for the train to reach its destination. Your body can only be in the present. However, your mind can get caught in the future or the past. This is where the problem begins.
If the mind gets caught in future thinking this mean that, while you are performing, your mind is focused on what may happen next. Using the analogy of the train tracks, the body “track” is performing the element but the mind “track” is concerned with what might happen and focused in the future. Imagine the tracks are criss crossed. It is impossible to get the train to the destination on crossed tracks and you are unsuccessful at achieving your goal.
If the mind gets caught in past thinking this means that while you are performing your mind is focused on things that have already happened ie. mistakes made early in the performance. In this situation, again the body “track” is performing the element but the mind “track” is moving in the opposite direction of the goal. The goal will not be achieved because the train tracks are not running parallel.
THE BODY IS ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT, it cannot be in the past or in the future. However, the mind often gets stuck in past or future thinking that affects the focus and attention during performance. The goal is to have the mind and body working together, focused in the present, moving toward the goal. You can use mindfulness techniques to help train the mind to focus in the present during practice and performance. When you train your mind to be in the moment you will achieve your goals with more ease and flow.
Until next time,
Keep your Brain in the Game!
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