“All people have the capacity to excel, or become the best they can be at something. To turn your capacity into a living reality, you have to make the decision to focus fully on doing it. You have to choose to pour your heart and soul into it. It is that simple and it is totally within your control. When you make the decision to do something with commitment and quality, all the rest is focus. How far your journey takes you depends on the depth and direction of your focus.” – Dr. Terry Orlick
Whenever I talk or teach Mental Performance, I always start with the topic of ‘Focus’. You might be the most physically talented athlete in the world, but unless you can maintain your concentration through distractions for prolonged periods of time, or keep your mind from straying, you won’t meet your full potential.
Keeping focus in this day and age is becoming increasingly more and more difficult. To say that our society is constantly bombarded with stimulation would be the understatement of the year. Constant music, advertisements, texts, email; go look in any waiting room anywhere, and what do you think you’ll see? Every single person will be sitting in this anatomically strewed, hunched over position (the shrimp shape, some might say), looking at his/her cell phone… I can almost guarantee it.
When was the last time you were waiting for something or someone and you didn’t pull out your phone to help pass the time?
When was the last time that you were able to just sit and wait?…withOUT distracting yourself?
The point of this rant is that our ability to maintain focus is diminishing. Someone told me that other day that we can actually compare our attention to that of a goldfish. Sounds crazy, right?… or have you already zoned out and forgotten what you just read…?
Some researchers say that (on average) we have SHORTER attention span than a goldfish; a mere 8 seconds (McSpadden, 2015).
Other “thought sampling studies have revealed that the median length of time duration which thought content remains on target is approximately FIVE seconds. So, on average people engage in about 4000 distinct thoughts in a 16-hour day” (Gould, Weinberg, 1995).
What this means, is that there is a good chance that since you’ve started reading this blog, you’ve probably already stopped and drifted off (more than just a few times). The good news is, that your inability to concentrate isn’t because I have a shitty blog (or maybe I do, who knows), but it is more likely because you can’t pull it together for longer than 5 – 12 seconds. …try to stay with me, will you? “Based on the responses of 2,250 adults…people’s mind wanders from what they are doing 47% of the time and for at least 30% of the time they spend on any activity” (Kingsland, 2016).
So, if your mind wants to go somewhere else every 8-12 seconds, and your basketball game is over an hour, we definitely need make that sure you have a plan in place that helps you stay focused. More importantly, we are going to need to practice extending those eight seconds, and hone in on your awareness skills, so then you’ll know when you get lost in that mind of yours.
There’s good news though! We are here to help! We have a Mother’s Day Sale for YOU! (even if you’re not a mother). If you use the coupon code MOTHERS40, you’ll receive 40% off of any of our programs😱🤩.
See you on your mat!