I haven’t written anything on this blog for a while, so I thought I would borrow from my other..
Focus is something that applies equally to everyone. Regardless of weather you are behind a desk or kicking a football on a field.
“Focus [foh-kuh s]: a central point as of attraction, attention or activity: The needs to prevent a nuclear war became the focus of all diplomatic efforts.” - dictionary.com
Now we may not be preventing nuclear wars, but focus applies to everyone and everything - regardless of if you are a cyclist or martial artist. It goes without saying that if you want to achieve a goal, you need to be focused.
Now this sounds like a random topic to blog on, however inspiration came to me watching the last 250m of the opening stage of the Giro where Mr Cavendish pulled off a spectacular victory. He had a few obstacles to overcome which could have easily led hm to loose, however he was focused.
On the other hand, Mr Goss had a beautiful lead out train take him practically to the line, setting him up for a fantastic victory. Yet, he was beaten. Was he focused? Maybe. I would suggest he was focused on something other than winning. In the last section you can see him clearly looking around for the ‘Cav’ and anyone else who may pose a threat. Shouldn’t he be focused on the line, as opposed to what others are doing?
Any karateka who has broken boards will tell you that for your hand to travel through boards, you need to have complete focus. You cannot be thinking about your next meal, what others are doing, or the assignment that needs to be completed. Your focus needs to be 3 inches below the bottom board in order to get your hand / foot / head there.
Could Goss have beaten the ‘Cav’ in that stage? Maybe, we will never know. Could he have had better focus? Definitely. Could this have been the difference between crossing that line first? Quite possibly!
Moral of the story? Focus on what you want and are doing. Forget what other people are doing. If you are breaking boards. Focus on that. If you are sprinting for a finish line. Focus on that.
Stay tuned for Focus 102: Eggs….
You can’t be serious?! But should be respected…
Thanks to Mr. McEnroe, and copious advertising campaigns taking advantage of his catch cry, we have all heard (or perhaps used) the line: “You cannot be serious!” We see this and laugh or mock the spectacle of it. However, from a sport administrators point of view this is a major issue. Athletes and Officials have always been on a head on collision. One side wanting to achieve and take advantage of many situations, whilst the other strives to ensure the fairness and equality of the playing field.
This one incident that I have highlighted is one of many that occurs. All sports face the issue of respect for officials. Officials are an integral part of sport. Whether they are court officials, lines people, commissaries, timing officials, referees, or umpires - they are all critical to the delivery of sport.
Officials fill some of the most technical, focused, and intense roles. Not to mention a role in which everyone is critical of their skill, ability and focus. Eye sight is quite often brought into question as well. They are generally undervalued and receive little to no thanks for what they provide to the sport.
The goal is the journey & the journey is the goal…
Well if you weren’t aware, it is now 2012. It is January, and a time where many will sit down and make the dreaded annual resolution. What we want to achieve in the coming year, or as I once heard: ‘How long can we hold their heads above water when it comes to consistently doing, or in most cases, not doing something?’
As we all know, most people start strongly, and then a month or so into ‘the resolution’, things fall apart. Starting strongly, they flourish before a deadly little voice starts to makes its’ presence felt, and complacency sets in. The goal is put aside to be resurrected in the future some time.
Athletes, teams and clubs also do this. It may be a junior football team wanting to make a final come September. It may be an athlete considering the next Olympic or Commonwealth Games. It may be a tennis club wanting to fund a court resurfacing project. We all have goals and expect to be able to achieve them. We look at the end result and focus on that. Is this the fatal flaw that leads to many goals not being achieved?
A snippet from my life. 2012 will hopefully (fingers crossed) see me achieve a long waited goal: earning my first black belt. Karate is a passion of mine, and this is something I have been working toward for a few years now.
I remember walking into the Dojo for my first class and watching the many black belts performing a range of moves and combinations, with the occasional jumping, spinning, triple flipped axe kick thrown in for good measure. Well maybe not something that extraordinary, but thats how I perceived it. I remember the thought I had: “How will I ever be able to do that?”
I started training and learning. I would look at the black belts and want to be able to do what they did. The goal though, at many times, seemed untenable. I would come and then go, train hard and then hardly train.
My Sensei was speaking to us at the start of one year. He put it very simply: “The goal is the journey, and the journey is the goal.” We sat there and scratched our heads while its’ meaning sunk in.