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26 Oct, 2018

Distraction: An Omnipresent Enemy

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In today’s world of both media and print publicity, somewhere the line between sportsman and celebrity has thinned. This kind of hype shifts the focus of athletes, sportsmen and even coaches from the big game. To ensure the best performance in the crucial match, a sportsperson must take care that he or she should not be hindered by any kind of distraction.

What is Distraction?

Well in the simplest form, distraction can be defined as the person, object, situation or feeling that prevents someone from focusing on one's aim. It can also be explained as a state of extreme confusion in the mind. Now distractions can either be external or internal. External distractions are very difficult to overcome as you cannot avoid such distractions because of not having any control on them.

Tantrums in relationships with the dear ones, expectations of the team supporters, mates, coach and even sponsors; the rumours in social or digital media and of course the gadgets are some major external distractions.

They inhibit players from giving their best performance during the game as well as making fair decisions for achieving their goal.

However, internal distractions are more harmful to athletes when they are preparing for crucial games. Having a doubt on self-ability, negative thinking or dwelling in the past are some forms of internal distractions.

For example, if a sportsperson continually broods over an error committed in any past game and remains in the guilt of not performing well in the past, he will compromise with his/her present performance.

How to deal with Distraction?

Whether you are a sportsperson or belongs to any other field, you ought to learn to overcome both kinds of distractions if you really want to achieve your goals. Channelize all the energy towards the preparation for the game or task and never let hype or rumour distract you from your objectives.

It is not easy to do as it seems, so the one must have a backup plan to fight against distractions. The 3 R strategy- Recognize, Regroup and Refocus; works efficiently in this case.

This is followed by all the successful players and sports counsellors. You need to focus on the game plan and think about the steps that you need to take immediately or in the long run to succeed.

Here are some effective tip-offs that can better help you to skip from distractions-

Identify Distractions that Hinder You

You cannot work on your distraction if you don’t even recognise that you are distracted by which thing and the factor which is obstructing you to perform your task.

First, you need to understand the fact that thinking about how strong your opponent is, who the referee or umpire is, expectations of fans and results are not going to improve your performance.

Besides, this also identifies whether it is a person, situation or any of your past memory that keeps on distracting you from your present, even then you can work on the solution to get rid of the distraction that you are dealing with.

Practice Self-control

Next, regroup all your thoughts and willpower solely towards your game, and the distractions will soon leave you. If you keep on thinking about your past flaws, then it will be next to impossible for you to focus on the present as well as on the goal.

Tony La Russa who is a professional coach of the game of baseball, quoted, "There are always distractions if you allow them."

A single fly can distract you easily if you don't have patience and self-control over yourself. Try to make a distance from things or people that distract you from your aim. For instance, you can put your phone on 'do not disturb' or silent mode while practising, exercising or working on a crucial task.

Regarding people who distract you, you can simply request them to meet you later as you have to give all your focus to a certain task that has a deadline. Saying a big "No-No" to others directly is difficult and can hurt, but you can serve it differently by polishing your words.

If you easily get distracted by small things, then meditation can better help you in increasing your concentration power.

Regain your Focus

Finally, focus again on your work as per your priority and schedule. In the days preceding the big game, you can do nothing except concentrating on your mental and physical preparation. Cut off all the things that seize your attention and are not worthy of that time. Think about the strategies that can lead you towards your aim and work more on your weak points. Remember that you are the first guide of yourself.

According to famous American author Jack Canfield, "Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfilment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them."

Remember, the more you allow distractions to distract you, the more you get distracted by them. So, make sure that you pay less attention to distractions and more to your work priorities.

After all, it's work that can lead you to great heights and not the distractions.

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