Why Focusing On Time Kills Performance

Sports Psychologist

Although, there are numerous mistakes athlete's make that cause poor performance, the act of focusing on time is one of the most common and one of the most detrimental. Focusing on time applies to much more then what you currently read on your watch or on the home screen of your smartphone. Below are several of the most common time related concentration mistakes that athletes need to be aware of and work to remove from their focus during competition. It is also important for coaches and parents to increase their awareness of these focus mistakes and avoid discussions based on time related topics before and during competition.  

Factors Related to Time: 

  • The following factors are related to time because the athlete is not focused 100% on the task but rather on some part of the past or the future.
    • Score (winning vs. losing)
    • Statistics (shooting percentage, first serve percentage, strike outs, points accumulated)
    • Other People's Thoughts (coaches, teammates, parents, friends, and loved ones)
    • Mistakes (Past)
    • Results (future; benefits or consequences)
    • Level of Competition
    • Expectations
    • Playing Conditions (fair or unfair)

If after reading all of the factors related to time you discover that you also struggle with at least one of these areas you are not alone, not to mention you are human! Discovering focusing mistakes is already 50% of the battle. Now it is up to you to work on increasing your focus on more pertinent areas related to peak performance and decrease the amount of time you spend on time related ones. At SPMI, athletes enhance their mindset, learn multiple techniques, and learn how to implement structured routines in order to help clear their mind and maximize their focus on the most important aspect of time, the present moment. After all, the present moment is where the athlete has the most control and can make the greatest positive impact on their overall performance.