Improve the skills of focus and awareness (Pillar #3) with Concentration Grids
Concentration grids have been a staple of mental performance training for years, providing a simple and effective way to train both focus and awareness. The application of concentration grids is simple: click on numbers in the grid you choose from 00-99, in successive order, as fast as possible.
During this exercise, we are training your ability to focus and concentrate in the present moment and developing the awareness to know when you are out of the present or moving at a tempo and pace quicker than you can process at that time. For many competitors, this can be a frustrating task at first, so stay patient with the process, a proven way to help improve focus so that you can develop the focus and awareness you need to get the results you want.
For assessment purposes, we will present you with the time it took you to complete the concentration grid after you check the last number. Please make sure to record your time to serve as a baseline and then challenge yourself to decrease your time as you compete and train with the concentration grid.
I suggest concentration grids as a training strategy, 4-5 days a week. These can could be done at home, on your own, or as part of your workout/practice.
I also suggest starting this exercise in a quiet environment to become comfortable with the activity and to monitor present moment focus. Once you are able to complete the grid in 5-minutes or less in a quiet environment, add music or do this activity in front of the TV as a way to include distractions to simulate distractions faced in a real-life or competitive situation.
Athletes I have worked with report the grids allow them to become more aware of when they start to space out and lose focus or when they slip out of the present and into the past or the future. This exercise will also you to to become more aware of when you are trying too hard and need to take a breath in order to relax and get back into an optimal level of focus.
It’s crucial to keep track of the time it takes to complete each grid in order to effectively gage progress over time, so make sure you’re keeping records just like you do for any other important measurement. Share your time in a group message with your teammates or training partners to make it a fun competition.Ready to get started?