How to Focus with Larger Crowds
Do you get distracted and anxious easily due to a large number of people watching you? If so, then this is the perfect article for you!
What Happens When You Concentrate On Your Distractions?
The reason spectators attempt to distract athletes is because they can get into an athlete's head most of the time. When you concentrate on those distractions, you:
- Allow the distraction a free passage into your mind
- Undergo negative feelings
- Ignore what matters most
No matter what you do, you will be conscious of the sounds and distractions of the crowd, but you do not need to allow them to occupy all of your attention. It would help if you remembered why you are in the position that you are in in the first place and concentrate on what you have to do.
Tips For Getting The Better Of A Large (And Sometimes Aggressive) Crowd
Ignore The Crowd
This one might be easier said than done, but you will be golden if you succeed at this. As an athlete, it is essential to switch into game mode and stay there no matter what is going on off the field. The ability to stay in game mode is key to succeeding. You will remain in the present moment, not concerned with what is going on in the crowd.
Acknowledge When Your Mind Wanders And Get Yourself Back On Track
Again, this one can be easier said than done as well. Getting a guide back to the "now" is essential. Getting your guide back to the " now" is necessary whenever you feel your focus slowly drifting to the past or what is going on in the crowd, getting your guide back to the "now" is essential. Losing your focus and not getting it back will make you stressed and anxious when you are in a game, so it is necessary to recognize when you are not focused on the present moment so you can get back on track right away.
Play To The Crowd
Some athletes enjoy gaining strength from the crowd. The noise from the crowd livens them up and helps them put their heart and soul into it and play to the best of their ability. These athletes can change their focus and gain strength from the crowd in one instance and then concentrate on what they need to do in the field or at the plate when they need to.
Have Fun Playing
As you get older, it is a lot more challenging to have fun while playing the sport you love because there is so much more pressure attached to it. The crowds get bigger, and the fans expect a lot more from you. Although when you are under a lot of stress, you can still have fun. When you are having fun, you will be able to stay calm and play as hard as you can when the pressure is at an all-time high. If you take the game way too seriously, you will begin getting anxious and not perform well. So if you want to have good fun, you need to start enjoying it.
Practice For Distraction
To get the better of outside distractions, practicing as if you are in a game can be very effective. For example, if you are anticipating a large crowd, practice with a lot of loud sounds. Like practicing any other skills, practicing for distraction will get you in the habit of playing in those conditions, so it will feel very natural when you get on the field.
Do Not Focus Or Concentrate On Things You Can Not Control
There are so many things that happen in your sport that you do not have complete control over. Whenever an athlete concentrates on something that they can not control, they will get anxious, lose their confidence and not play well. For example, something you can not control no matter how much you want to is the crowd. Instead of focusing on things you can not control, switch that focus on the things you can control, the game.
Make Sure That You Can Manage The Crowd Noise Emotionally
You can not allow the crowd to divert your attention, discourage you, or make you feel defeated in any way. You must learn how to concentrate on the job you have to do and not take what people in the crowd are saying personally. One way to do this is to imagine that the noise is entirely unbiased, meaning it is not for you or against you. Also, another way to do this is to pretend that the crowd is cheering for you and use it to get you excited for the game. The most important thing to remember is that crowd noise is only noise, and you should not let it impact how you do in a game.
Overlearn Your Skills
Our brains can only take so much information right away. If you get preoccupied with many different things (such as a large crowd), your brain will become weighed down, and you will merely stop processing information. Attempt to restrict how many thoughts are going through your brain throughout a game or practice. Doing this will let your brain only think about your game plan or opponent(s) rather than other things that matter as much. Overlearning the essential skills for your sport means they have become something that you know how to do instinctively. The more skills you can make automatic, the less distraction and the more mental energy you can allocate to the game and practice.
Find Skills That You Can Apply To Boost Focus Within The Game
It is recommended that athletes find skills that they can apply to boost focus within the game. Also, it will allow you to concentrate on what is going on during the game. A few skills included are
- Positive affirmations
- Deep breathing
- Motivating imagery
Athletes must consider what they are doing in the performance setting they are in right now instead of how they are feeling at the moment, especially when it comes to something that has occurred outside of the game because it is most likely out of their control.
For "Away" Games Ask Friends And Family To Be In The Crowd To Cheer For You
Seeing a familiar face (or faces) in the crowd can help you focus on just their voice cheering you on rather than the hecklers in the crowd. Having those familiar faces will affect how you perform because it will motivate you to make them proud and do well. Overall, it will boost your confidence and put a smile on your face.
How To Flourish Under Pressure
Have you ever wondered how the best athletes in the world can frequently step up to the plate and do well when they are confronted with fierce competition? According to research, self-confidence plays a part in how you react to anxiety symptoms during athletic performance.
If you feel confident about your talents, you will most likely react positively to being "hyped-up" and flourish under pressure. Often, some of the best athletes are so concentrated on how they behave that they automatically assume that arousal = excitement, but in actuality, it just means that they are stressed.
More often than not, self-confidence is usually at an all-time high when you feel that you are talented enough ready to compete. So when you have a lot of confidence, you will most likely push any thoughts of anxiety out of your brain.
If you feel distracted and anxious quickly due to many people watching you, it is crucial to find a strategy that helps you cope with it and keep practicing it and incorporating it when playing a game.
However, if you feel that your anxiety symptoms are severe and do not get any better with the help of these strategies, arrange an appointment with your doctor or get in touch with a therapist to talk about your concerns.
Be sure to check out Ryan Weiss's coaching program and his other training programs to elevate your game.