“Consistent performance is the product of consistent focus” (Terry Orlick)
One of the best ways to improve focus is to think back and reflect on your successful and not so successful past performances. Reliving these scenarios (what you did before, during and after) will help pinpoint what you were or were not focusing on. You need to understand what makes you “tick.”
REFLECTING ON PAST PERFORMANCES - Questions to ask yourself:
What did you do (focus) to prepared physically (pre-game meal, hydration, good warms up, etc.)?
What were you thinking about (focusing on), in the car, in the changing room, during the warm up, right before jumping on the ice (where you focused on the game or were you distracted, if so by what)?
How did you feel and why (nervous, pumped, excited, fearful, etc.)?
What were you thinking about (focusing on)? The task at hand or were you distracted?
Was your mind wandering (during your shift, on the bench)?
If your mind was wandering, what were you thinking about (focusing on) and could you easily refocus? If so how, if not why?
How did you feel on the ice (relaxed, energized, anxious, over thinking, etc.)?
Did you reflect back on your game to identify what worked and what did not work?
IMPORTANT - Make sure that you answer all these questions using an example dealing with your best performance and then using an example of a disappointing performance.
Making the links between successful and disappointing performances will help you understand what worked and what did not. Focus on learning from both the good and not so good experiences. This will help you improve the consistency as well as the quality of your performance.
BECOMING AWARE IS IMPORTANT BUT ACTING ON THIS INFORMATION BOTH AT PRACTICE AND DURING GAMES IS CRITICAL TO IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS.