If you are on the football field playing and you mind is wandering somewhere else, you will not be able to perform at your maximum capacity.
Focus is the capability to give your full attention to the game without being distracted by external factors such as the public or the background noise and internal factors such as negative self-talk or personal and family problems.
In order to be successful, you should focus on the game or training tasks – on what is relevant at that moment, not on something else.
Your brain and body are interconnected. If you are focused on the game your body will perform the tasks the way you want without mistakes. When you are focused, you can also reduce the risk of injuries by assessing and avoiding tasks that can cause them.
By nature the human brain wanders – this process is also known as day dreaming. This can help you sometimes in terms of creativity but most of the time it causes distraction. We can control it to some extent. But during the games or training, most of the players find it difficult to concentrate because of internal or external factors.
In order to be able to focus during the games or trainings, the obvious solution is to not think of your personal or family issues and to just try to put them aside while are you playing and you will perform better. Of course, it isn’t always so simple to clear your mind but eventually it becomes a habit to focus on the tasks you need to do instead of your personal problems.
Try to solve all your off-the-field issues as soon it is possible to let your mind free of stress. The longer you keep the unsolved issues the more they are going to affect your capability of focusing.
During the games, a lot of players are focusing on what they dont want to happen in the game. They are afraid of missing shots, blocking the opponents and passing. In order to improve your focus, you should think only of what is relevant to you and your sport performance. You should ignore the spectators that are yelling at you during the game. You should ignore incorrect referee decisions and accept the decisions and criticism your coach gives you. You should learn to relax before and after competitions by using breathing techniques, listening to music ,reading your favourite books and by performing relaxation of progressive muscles.
One of the way you can always can be focused during games and training is to ask yourself these questions:
Where is the ball?
Where are you in the field?
Where is the opponent?
What should you do next?
Why you should do this? Because sometimes when you are far away from the action and waiting for a pass, your mind tends to focus on something else such as the pass or shoot you missed or nasty shouting from the public etc.
By doing this exercise every time that you dont have the ball or when you are not involved in the game action, you will be always focused and ready – you will not be caught unprepared.
By repeating this again and again, it will become second nature; you will do it automatically without even thinking.