Here’s a great resource from Dr. Alan Goldberg’s website: 7 Tips to Staying Cool and Calm in the Clutch.
In this article Dr. Goldberg focuses on preparing yourself for pressure situations by using a few mental toughness techniques. The entire piece is worth reading, and then re-reading when you need a reminder. We’re going to focus on just one of the points that he makes in today’s whiteboard post.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS OF CONCENTRATION AWAY FROM THE “UNCONTROLLABLES”
When Dr. Goldberg refers to “uncontrollables” he is talking about those things that may affect us as individuals, but we are unable to affect in return. Weather is a great example of this, especially for ultimate frisbee players, but the idea can extend to field conditions, the number of players that show up, and countless other obstacles.
“The only way to avoid a trap is to know that it is there!”
Dr. Goldberg gives this point towards the end of his article, and we’ve found that training allows you to take it a step further. Once you’ve identified a potential obstacle, or “trap”, you can guide your training towards skills that will mitigate the trap.
Take the weather for example: lots of ruckus can be made when a tournament turns up windy conditions. How do we handle this with preparation? For one, we can work on training different kinds of throws so that we’re confident with the disc in the wind. Or we can prepare for the exhaustion of the long points that weather may cause by focusing on our conditioning.
There are countless ways to get out in front of these uncontrollables when we’re consciously acknowledging them ahead of time. That way, we can forget about them in the game and fall back on the comfort that our training has allowed us.
How do you prepare for uncontrollables? Are there any techniques that you’ve found to keep your concentration dialed in once the game starts? Share your thoughts in the comments.