Athletes say that when they are really focused is when they perform at their best. They claim that their attention is fully paid to what is in front of them while able to push aside distractions that are happening all around them.
But, are they really pushing away distractions? And, how is that possible?
It is impossible to push aside distractions because the athlete does not control the sources of distractions. Even if the athlete were to tell the crowd to be quiet because it is too loud, that is a distraction.
Contrary to what it is believed, focus is the experience of being aware of distractions without being caught up into them. It is the ability to stay aware of the annoying noise of the crowd, the unfair call of the referee, the time ticking away, and the opponent’s unpleasant body language AND still be centered on what needs to be done.
Athletes are constantly dealing with distractions. Whether they are external or internal, athletes cannot make distractions disappear. They are an integral part of competition that equally affects all athletes the same.
However, the quicker the athlete realizes that sources of distractions will take place while reaches self-awareness of acceptance, then such an experience will be one that is conducive to attaining focus. The greater that athlete’s ability to accept what is happening around and accepts that there is nothing that can be done, then there will be no more need to have that senseless fighting to change something that is out of one’s control.
Acceptance of exterior distractions enhances focus. This does not mean that athletes pay attention to distractions and are carried away with them. On the contrary, athletes are aware of the distraction, accepts them as such and stay on course with their routine.
The quicker athletes accept sources of distractions and remain on course of their routine, the greater their ability to stay focused to produce their best.