5 Keys to give your team balance and an advantage:
Key #4 — Stay In The Here And Now
Can you go back in time? NO! This is where the Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda’s start to show up in peoples minds. Can you accelerate time? NO! This is where the, I can’t wait until… starts to displace the time of now. The fact is that the only time that you have is right now. This is very important in practice and in competition. Players need to prioritize the time of now, doing this will help them define their concentration. It makes NOW the most important time of all. The past is gone and the future will still be important when you get there.
Staying focused on the now can have an effect on your play during competition also. We have all seen players that make a mistake and start to go in the tank when the mistake starts to dominate their mental game. Recovery is the main part of letting mistakes go. The fact is that if you can get over an error in a day, you can get over it in an hour, and if you can do that you can get over it in a minute, and if you can do that you can get over it in milliseconds.
Fast recovery is a skill and can be improved. The quicker that a player can let a mistake go the better they will be on the next play.
Once a player learns that a mis-hit, a shank, a double hit, that just happened is as far in the past and can’t be changed as one that happened last year. They can let it go faster and play the game in the time of NOW, if they work on letting mistakes go as soon as it happens. Learning to stay in the here and now can keep players focused and “in” the game at all times.
A couple of things that I did with my team to work on NOW. 1) I purchased the book “ The Precious Present” by Spencer Johnson and made each player read it. During practice I would have #1 take the book and go in the equipment room and read it. When she came out I would have #2 take the book in and read it and so on until the whole team had read it. It is a quick read, but very profound. 2) I would have the players physically brush off a mistake by reaching up with one hand and brushing it off of their shoulder. (just like dusting off their shirt) I had them do this just to emphasize how quickly a mistake can be cast off.
A player can learn this skill and become a more consistent and stronger competitor in a very short time if they will buy in and work in a positive direction.