Not every game of the season is that championship, ten seconds left on the clock, the whole town is watching drama fest that you see in movies.. However, every game of the season is crucial and needs your full focus. You want to work your hardest, make it to the post-season, kick butt, and take names. Here are some tips for keeping your focus through the postseason:
REMEMBER WHY YOU PLAY THE GAME
This might sound sappy, but hear me out. You could be doing anything else with the time you spend at practice and games. Why do you do it? Why do you put up with the sweat and the pain and the exhaustion? If it's because you love the game, then you need to remember that and use that as fuel to get you to the post-season. Find ways to remind yourself that this is what you love, and keep loving it.
WATCH OUR FOR DISTRACTIONS
There are so many things going on in the world (massive understatement) and in the post-season, it's easy to let those random thoughts trickle into your head during play and practice. Watch out for when your thoughts wander and shake those distractions and anxieties off so you can stay 100% in the game.
GET DISTRACTED BEFORE AND AFTER
You can't think sports all the time-- you might feel like you do, but sometimes other thoughts get in there. One of the best methods for avoiding distraction on the field is to get distracted on game day before the game and after the game. That'll kill your nerves and let your mind wander for a bit, so when you finally get out there you are pumped and focused.
You've gone through the bulk of the season. What did you learn? What worked and what didn't? You can apply what you've seen throughout the season, in yourself and in your teammates and opponents--this is how you get to be a better athlete! Don't let it give you undue hang-ups-- the "Oh no, remember that time I lost the ball because..." stress is useless to you and to everybody else. But, if one of your opponents did something really interesting or tactically different, or if you just found your secret weapon, then go ahead and use it!
STAY IN TEAM MODE
Your teammates need you for motivation, just like you need them. In the post-season, don't let it become about goofing off or outshining each other--they are still your team. Keep your focus on what's best for you as an individual athlete AND what's best for your team as a unit, and you'll be working the post-season like a pro.
PUT IN THE WORK
You don't get to slack off in the post-season, no matter what anyone says. Slacking or marking your plays guarantees you become a weaker, less effective, less professional athlete for the rest of your playing career. Go to practices, get your workouts in, and take care of your body no matter what point of the season you're in, and you're guaranteed to have an exceptional season from start to finish.
There is no "off-time" for a serious athlete. If you love your sport, you love it pre-season, mid-season, and post-season. Keeping your self mentally attuned as well as physically fit is the only way to guarantee a post-season that makes everyone proud-- your coach, your parents, your teammates, and most importantly, yourself. Stay focused and stay fighting.