Fall into Focus

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A Mindset Tough Athlete has the uncanny ability, to find neutral with his or her mind. That is to say, when chaos strikes, the mentally tough athlete can stop & think, before proceeding. What this means, is that they have the ability to find space between their thoughts and reactions to those thoughts. Eastern Philosophy has for years pioneered this direction of human discovery. Western Science has recently undertaking exploring this avenue of being able to cultivate what many call, ‘mindfulness’.

John Dewey, the great American Philosopher, strongly felt that freedom was only truly found in our ability to ‘stop & think’. I think, stopping to think about it, that he was far ahead of his time. We are said to have thousands of thoughts on a daily basis, many of which are reoccurring old thoughts, based on past experiences and judgments. The thoughts we generally chase, or give energy to, are the ones that ultimately have a chance to become reality. The problem is that many of us aren’t aware of the power that these thoughts can have over us when we are unable to observe them before responding.

A Mindset Tough Athlete is able to observe his/her thoughts, and invest time and energy into the ones that create positive emotions, and thus beneficial decisions and actions. When the ability to observe is not cultivated, we often lose control of our emotions, decisions and actions in addition to our ability to orient and focus on the positive things we have done to get to a given point. This is the essence of Dewey’s argument, and the truest source of freedom in the world today.

Here are 5 easy ways to get your Focus back on track:

Basic Concentration Breathing: Count your breaths to 10, then repeat to 1. Notice how many times you get distracted. Then just come back to counting.

Progressive Relaxation: Focus on contracting & relaxing various parts of your body, from your feet up to your head. Notice where you get distracted. Come back to the task.

Develop a Task Mantra: Be here now. That’s my personal favorite. Or, what do I need to do in this moment. Having a phrase that you can come back to during a performance or practice is essential in getting back on track.

Deliberate Gaze Focus: Focus on an object for 3 minutes. When your eyes wander, bring them back. The constant refocusing is the task.

Defocus Strategies: Commit to focus periods of deep work/practice/training for 90 minutes at a time. Consistently utilize Non-Sleep Deep Rest Strategies. 


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