Every athlete knows that a basic condition in order to be able to deliver top performance is that he or she knows him/herself well and stays very concentrated.
During the race your thoughts can go everywhere except where they are supposed to be. Your thoughts process go through different circles. It’s very important to stay in circle 1. Focus on your task, nothing more nothing less. Your task is the running pace with the right coordination. That’s all. And absolutely NOT the results. Results are the outcome. If you do your task on the correct way your outcome will be very positive.
The circle of attention can be explained as follows:
Circle 1 ‘ I and my job ‘
In circle 1 the runner just does the task he/she must perform: I need to follow the pace for 100%, I have to focus on my running (Note: not I should score! Scoring is a goal, not a task).
Circle 2 ‘Direct’ distractions
In circle 2 the runner is distracted by sounds, people, and events on and around the field
Circle 3 ‘Comparisons’
In circle 3 the runner starts to compare how are the other runners doing when compared with him/her at that time and how he/she might actually perform when compared with them. He/She might also compare him/herself with the level of training he/she conducted or with previous competitions. ‘Why am I not running good? ‘
Circle 4 ‘Success/Failure’
In circle 4 the runner thinks about winning or losing.
Circle 5 ‘Pass/Fail’ effects
In circle 5: is the runner still further away from the task. He/She is dealing with the consequences of winning and losing.
Circle 6 ‘The meaning of life’
In circle 6: the runner asks him/herself what he/she is doing there. When someone goes in circle 6 , it is still possible to go back to circle 1 and continues the race with a good focus and good results
Tip: Don’t be angry with yourself if you find yourself unexpectedly in circle 2 to 6. It is much better if you stop judging yourself, consider where your attention is at that particular moment and go back to circle one.
It’s very important to bring your attention back without being angry and hard on yourself.
Circle 1 in the words of an athlete: “It’s all about to get into my pace, maintain it, forget about what’s happening around me, ignore any negative thoughts and just focus on running the 10km at the same pace. Also to believe mentally that I can do it.”