Excercise to improve Focus on Technique
To win a match, and to keep winning, one must concentrate on the process, the technique and not the result or the outcome.
With the excellent performance of the Indian athletes at the CWG 2018, a lot of us have finally heaved a sigh of relief. A lot of the sports enthusiasts now believe that the sports culture in India is rapidly changing and its changing for good. Athletes from all corners of the nation are coming up with record-breaking performances matching steps with all the elite sportspersons from around the globe.
Our nation has always had the talent and now it has better infrastructure better technology and above all, a better mentality. A lot of the parents are finally letting their children choose a career in sports, it's not the pinnacle we hope to reach, but at least we are moving forward as a nation.
But with the growing popularity of almost all the sports, the one thing that is increasing every day is the competition. If you think you are the best today, someone else will outshine you tomorrow, there is no stopping.
Most of us athletes keep wondering, what is it that we lack. Why is it that we miss the chance to make it to the Indian team by a whisker. What do the likes of Gagan Narang or Saina Nehwal have that we don't? We practice day in and day out. We spend hours in the gym training our body. We watch all the world championship videos on youtube, trying to pick up anything that would improve our game. We get that extra laddoo box for the coach just to get his special attention on the court or the field. We eat right, we give up on McDonalds and the aloo tikkis. We get inspired by Movies and autobiographies and feel we will nail it this time. But then what happens when we face the trials? Why don't we fair well?
Most of us who have had a struggling sports career cant figure out why? We buy better equipment, we train harder but with no results. At times we do peak, we shine, but then fall back. Not all of us have the privilege of sponsorships or the access to sports psychologists. But what we do have is our own mind. Our mind is a very powerful source, if we can use it for our benefit. But how many times have we read this, how many times have we tried to meditate and focus better, how many times have we read motivational books to understand what is wrong with us. We haven't always gotten the answer, have we?
What we fail to understand is that the fault has always been right in front of us, it's just that we didn't notice. We have all those motivational quotes plastered on our walls. Every day we read how important it is to be mentally tough, how important it is to focus and stay in control. but in all this what we eventually end up doing is focusing on the outcome of the tournament. We start worrying about the result even before we start.
If I clear this round I will make it to the quarterfinals, if I win the finals, my rank will go up, if I get selected I will go abroad, if I win a medal I will earn the ten lakhs from my state government. Or maybe something like, if I do well in the interclass competition I will be rewarded in the school assembly, If I win the medal for the college ill get the college honour. While all this can be really motivating, we often end up losing out on our focus.
It is a very thin line, We forget the process, we forget to focus on the present, we forget to focus on the technique. We eventually end up over trying. We are so determined to hit right in the centre of the target, that we make silly mistakes. While our opponent does not. Most of us know this, but do not acknowledge it.
The only person who can motivate you is you yourself, what is important is to focus on the present, the results will follow. that's what the great athletes of the world do. they are there in the present. if you talk to the 16-year-old Manu Bhaker who is the teen sensation of our Nation, or rather the GOLDEN girl, she says it clearly, every time she wins she lets her technique drive her, it's not the result but the journey which is important.
Like Shahrukh Khan said in Chak De, "Agar in 60-minute mei is team ka har player apni life ki best hockey khel gaya........ " exactly, so it is just a matter of a few minutes. you have been training so hard just preparing yourself to give your best at this moment if you can keep your focus on this moment. You don't know for sure what is in the future. Be it archery, golf, badminton, Tennis, squash or any other game, you are in the competition because you have the skill, because you have learnt at least the basics. Don't let the outcome deter you now.
So you, yes you, write this down on a piece of paper and read that paper everytime you enter the field, the court, the pool, the range or the room. Forget what will happen after, forget the winning or the losing, but focus on what you know best, your technique. Be your own judge, Tell yourself that the points you gain today will be on the basis of how well you execute your technique, not on the basis of how you beat your opponent. You are your own master, your own coach and your own enemy, so choose wisely, which role would you want to play.
It is easier said than done, but you need to start somewhere, so do it right now. Write it down now, if you scroll away you won't do it. This small exercise might just make a positive change in your game, so give it a try.
Take a paper, write down the word process, bold and clear. Read it everytime you train. Everytime you think of the outcome remember to close your eyes for a second and visualise the word you wrote, in your own handwriting, just like a photograph. Every time you train, feel the changes this visualisation brings to your game, with practice you 'll get there.
It may not work for days, but it will if you believe in it. You've tried so many different things, got the best shoes, the best racquet, better guns, give this a try as well, but be patient. If you decide in your mind that this will help you it will, if you decide it won't it won't, because it's not magic. it's just a way to remind yourself of what is important.