Focus is crucial to success in all things. This is a brief conversation about focus and its application to soccer and life.
It’s something all players go through at one point or another in their soccer career. Here are a few thoughts on the process of tryouts.
In high school, I was an above average high jumper. My secondary event was long jump. I was only slightly above average in long jump and did not enjoy it or practice it as much. In my senior year, I started to notice that I had better results in high jump at meets where I was also long jumping. If there was a meet that I was only competing in the high jump, I tended to fall short of my best. Despite the fact that long jump was never my primary focus, it helped me not to “over-focus” on high jump. The slight distraction was valuable because too much mental and emotional energy spent in one direction had diminishing returns. This realization was made about a very specific activity but has influenced the way that I think daily. In the fast paced world that we live in, it is easy to get distracted. Distraction for the purpose of others is usually not helpful. However release of the pressure of intense focus is both helpful and desirable in many respects. Most activities and even people can be put into one of these groupings.
Less to get more – There are some things that it’s better for me to not focus on all the time. Writing and other activities that I enjoy would become burdensome quickly if I was over-focused on them. The amount of mental and emotional energy that I put in would begin to deteriorate the positive feelings and outcomes. On the people side of things, in the past I have smothered certain relationships through over-focus.
None to get more – There are things that it’s better if I ignore them completely. Complete ignorance is not particularly healthy. However there are things that I should not let into my brain at all. I’ve gotten better at taking away extraneous activities and thought patterns to be in a better mental and emotional state regularly. This has become even more important for people. There are some people that I’ve just had to cut completely out of my life. Their presence was a drain on time and energy. The positive effect on my life was minuscule compared to the drain. So they needed to be cut out or ignored.
From ostrich to eagle – There are things that I ignore wholly or partially that I should really be paying attention to. Usually these things are fear based. The fear is not real, it’s a story that I tell myself inside of my head. It is a story about disappointment, rejection, pain and failure. Most of the time when I break out of the ostrich perspective, I realize that it is not anywhere near as bad as I thought. The hardest part is pulling my head out of the ground or my ass and start doing things. Unfortunately this also works for people. There are people in my life that deserve attention but I don’t give it to them. Again the investment of time seems much bigger than it probably is. So ignoring is easier in the short term but there is a price that is paid in the long term.
Your focus determines your reality. So as you go through your day and your life, it is important that you choose what you focus on and how often. If your life or relationships are not working in one area or another, it is at least partially due to the focus or lack there of that you are putting in there. More does not always translate to better! Find the right balance to the ingredients in your life.
Focus on making today great! But not too much.