The ability to deliver with a focussed mindset is the key to an athlete’s or a student’s success on the D-day. If two competitors have the same amount of skill and preparation it is almost certain that the one who is able to focus better will be the one who will emerge successful. So in sports or academics how can one develop this ability? Let’s find out.
1. Remember, the control is within you:
It is you who determines whether to get affected by your environment or not. Nothing external can affect you on its own. Once you realise this power you will be able to develop more control over your response to external stimuli such as noise, negativity, and anything else that has the potential to distract you.
2. Controllables vs uncontrollables:
While preparing for any competitive exams or even in sports there are multiple factors that play a role in deciding your performance. You need to list down these factors or have a mental picture in front of you. Categorize the factors as controllable and uncontrollable. Your area of concern must be to impact the controllables. Feeling concerned about the things that are outside your control is natural but you must consciously try to take your mind off them. For example, a day before an exam if you feel anxious about a topic that you didn’t prepare well for, stop worrying about it and instead feel confident about the remaining topics that you have prepared well for.
3. Simulate the environment:
Losing focus under pressure is natural. It’s because our body has evolved that way over millions of years. However, you can certainly train your mind to deal more effectively with it by letting it get used to such a high pressure environment. For example if you think you blank out during exams but are quite confident while studying, practice more mock papers with a timer set in front of you. In a few days you will find this time pressure to be normal and will be able to deliver better on the day of the exam.
4. Have your way of regaining focus:
While in a high-pressure environment where you have a lot of stakes, it is obvious you might get distracted. Use a cue or certain words that can help your mind to regain its focussed state. It can be in the form of a powerful quote, a powerful visual of your future or simply a band you wear on your wrist that reminds you of your goal. Choose anything that works the best for you.
5. Create your own pre-exam routine:
Remember the famous huddles from your favourite sports movies or your favourite performer motivating himself/herself just before entering the stage? Why do you think they do that? These small but effective practices can actually help you boost your mind. For a student, they can simply be in the form of reading a motivational piece or just playing a brain-stimulating game before you leave for the exam.
We hope the tips we shared with you in this article help you develop a champion’s focus and achieve the best out of your preparation. Do you have some winning strategies you would like to share with us? Do let us know in the comments below.