Coaching Association of Canada

Concentrating on an Object

Stage of Activity

Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete

Equipment

Ball/preferred piece of equipment for your sport/small object

Time

10 minutes

Number of People

1 per object 

How it Works

Choose a concentration word. For example, if you are in a ball-oriented sport, choose the word ball. If you are not in a ball-oriented sport, choose a short, soft, non-distracting word that will help you focus on an object or picture as you concentrate on it, for example, one, run, goal, lane, or arm. Look at the object, and say your concentration word — repeating a word helps keep the mind from wandering. Look at the object of concentration. Now begin to examine every detail of the object you are concentrating on. For example, look at a ball’s outline, at its surface. Is it rough or smooth? Does it have seams, dimples, printing on it? Are there scratches or scuff marks? Look at its colours and the way the light and shadows fall on its surface. Don’t try to stop yourself from blinking. Relax. Feel the object. For instance, pick up a ball; feel its texture; turn it around, and look at it from various angles. Imagine the object. With a ball, for example, put it down, and focus your mind and eyes on it. See the ball as fully as you can so that its smallest detail will stand out in your mind. Know the ball. ”Marry it.” Don’t try to overpower the object of your concentration. As you relax and keep your eye on the object, you’ll find it will seem to come to you. You must maintain something of a passive attitude in this process, allowing the object of your concentration to enter your mind fully and not simply be something external that you are studying. When you concentrate, you will find that this seemingly mysterious process happens quite naturally. Get the feeling. When your concentration breaks — as it must — say to yourself, “I have been concentrating on [the name of the object]. This is what it feels like to be concentrating. I am relaxed, I feel good, and my attention is totally focused on [the name of the object]. This is concentration.” Look back at the object. Say the concentration word again. Now say the concentration word to yourself. Look at the object. Concentrate. Relax. Use the relaxation technique you are most comfortable with.

Debrief

Learning to concentrate is a prerequisite of learning to focus on internal and external cues. 

Applications

Concentration, focus, relaxation

Modifications

Can be used in all environments: field, court, pool, snow, ice, gym.