Overcoming Distractions

“Action must be taken at once; there is no time to be lost.” – Miguel Hidalgo


Distractions are everywhere; we all deal with them. But what separates a good athlete from a great one is the ability to tune out the distractions and focus on the game. Distraction control is a critical mental skill that takes practice, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. As this week’s quote states, “Action must be taken at once; there is no time to be lost.” In other words, you don’t have time to devote energy to all of the distracting thoughts swirling around in your head. In order to perform to the best of your athletic ability, you need to focus and control your thoughts.

In football and in life, doors open and close in seconds, and you have to be ready to go through them. The outcome of a game often comes down to seconds left on the clock. If you see an opportunity on the field, you need to act immediately. There is absolutely no room for other thoughts. You have one chance to make that tackle, complete the pass or get a first down. Don’t let those opportunities slip by because you’re upset about the last play. Prepare yourself for the inevitable distractions you will face at each game by practicing to expect the unexpected. Mizzou football gains this mental edge through its whistle to snap philosophy.

These distractions are a mental game. You have the power to ignore them by committing yourself to remain positive and focused. If you react negatively to a situation, whether it’s a schedule change, game delay or difference in facilities at an away game, you lower your own resistance because negative thoughts take a lot of energy. On the other hand, if you practice remaining positive, you can bounce back from negative distractions and let them go. Above all, remember that it is up to you. Only you have the power to overcome distractions and focus on the game.


About the quote:

Miguel Hildago was a Catholic priest and a heroic leader during the Mexican War of Independence. He roused Mexicans to fight for independence against the Spanish with his speeches including the famous “Cry of Dolores.”