Moving from lesson to lesson – to sport – to lunch – to home – with so much going on – how often do our students take the time to really focus? And does it matter?

Talking to sports students this week we looked at the meaning and value of focus. Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code” suggests that the key to success is focused practice – not for hours on end – not the 10,000 hours rule – rather minutes, minutes in deep practice and often.

What does focus mean?

Concentration, avoiding distractions, reducing the perceptual field – all answers put forward in the seminar we ran.

We looked at the purposeful practice of Marion Bartoli during a USA Open Tournament, showing how she overloaded on a “rest” day in order to perform on the match day.

Purposeful Practice:

  • Specific aim in mind
  • Stretching yourself
  • Rigorous, immediate feedback

Why is focus important? 

In short if we focus on each moment at a time we get the job done and save time. It’s so easy in lessons to chat to friends to see what others are doing and then we have lost it. We looked at the implication of planning and focusing in our school day. Wow – we can achieve so much if we take time to plan the day ahead and focus on each subject as they arrive. For squash players it meant the learning of a new skill within 5 minutes which changed the result of a game from a loss to a win. For netballers focusing on shooting 50 goals in the net prior to the start of a match resulted in a success rate in the game of over 90%.

Focus – on the moment, on the day ahead – and see how much you can achieve – faster and easier.

At Sport and Beyond everything we do is about developing people - your staff and your students. With our depth of experience and expertise in leading successful teams we would like to share these ideas with your school. For more information contact:

Nicky HORNComment