The life of a sportsman is not as rosy as we think it is. On the one side he needs to work hard, be physically fit, and be mentally strong. On the other hand there are other external factors he has to live up to: self expectations, expectations from the public, problems related to popularity, like press reporters, cameramen, fans at their back all the time .
It is also a challenge for the players in games like cricket ,football, athletics ,lawn tennis that attract huge crowds and when the spectators make huge noise ,their constant jeering, and cheering can be irritating at times, the on field gimmicks done by the opponent and the intimidatory tactics of the opposite teams. Can also have a bearing on the performance of the players?
In addition to the above the player's own negative thinking, the vagaries of weather, can also have an impact on the player's concentration.
All the above situations can be termed as sources of distractions
Concentration is one of the four components of success the other three being composure, commitment and confidence.
Many a times we have seen a player lose concentration and focus then make mistakes. It is especially so in individual games when a player loses concentrations, attentive focus and gives up the match.
The most common belief is that player's need to concentrate heavily during matches to gain results. It can be accepted that focus is very important during
Matches but any attempt to increase concentration on results in loss of energy.
The only solution to this is to take practice sessions seriously hone the skills, &
Work hard. During matches only focus on the job on hand, keeping in mind not to get distracted with trivial things. By doing this ''flow'' happens automatically.
How to increase concentration and attentive focus?
1. Focus on the present moment, forget the past performance and do not worry about the future.
2. During participation do not pay heed to unnecessary details, pay attention to the execution.
3. Negative emotions and anxieties reduce concentration replace them with positive self talk.
4. Thinking about the result, prizes, etc when the game is still not over will take away concentration and focus.
5. Deep breathing technique reduces mental stress there by increases concentration.
6. A player should also indulge in other activities that give fun, enjoyment during leisure, this helps from wandering of the mind from all the relaxation and fun that has been denied.
God of cricket and India's pride SACHIN TENDULKAR has braved challenges and pressures of international cricket for more than 20 years .This shows his undying passion his large amount of concentration and targeted 'focus ' he has while he plays.
Sports mentor and counsellor