While it may sound silly to some, our young athletes can be distracted during competition by any number of things that would be considered easily avoidable by an adult. A young athlete can be knocked off track by the equipment that their opponents are using, the uniforms they are wearing or their own personal struggles.
No matter what age your athlete may be, it is never too early to learn more about the importance of remaining on point at all times. Distraction hurts confidence, which in turns hurts performance. Fortunately, a child can get back on track by following the three R’s strategy. Read on to learn more about these helpful tips.
Recognizing The Distraction
Before your child partakes in any athletic competition, it is important for them to know what their distractions are, so that they can maintain the proper mental focus and stay sharp. When your young athlete knows exactly what distracts them, it becomes much easier for them to steer clear of these issues.
Our children are well aware of what distracts them and they know their risk factors long before competition begins. Giving them a chance to openly acknowledge their weaknesses and identify them before they have a chance to affect their performance keeps them from potentially losing focus.
If the distractions continue to take place, this is a normal course of events, but it does not have to keep your child from losing focus entirely. Once the distraction has taken place, it is time to regroup. In order to regroup, the athlete will need to stop thinking about whatever it is that distracts them and start directing their attention elsewhere.
Interrupting the distraction and focusing efforts in another direction is key. The longer the child allows the distraction to linger, the more difficult it becomes to remain attentive to the task at hand. They’ll need to remove whatever is distracting them from their thought process, so that they can focus on the events that are currently taking place.
Refocus On The Task At Hand
The beauty of organized sports is that there is always another task to be focused on. There is always a next play and even when your young athlete is distracted, they have a chance to make things right immediately. For example, a basketball player can focus on their next trip down the court, while a soccer player is able to focus on their next offensive attack.
Focusing is a crucial skill when it comes to athletic success and young athletes who are able to shake off moments where their focus is lacking and hone in on the next play are able to enjoy more success than their more distracted counterparts. By following the three R’s strategy, an athlete can get into the zone and stay there for as long as needed.
We have numerous examples of coaches rewarding players in the Play Better program when their players simply show up on time and stay focused for the duration of the session. It’s another really positive way to make your players feel important.
Give it a shot if you want. Trust me, it works.
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