You just made a mistake, you’re caught up thinking about it, and you’ve got a moment to collect yourself. This is where you use a reset routine. Following a short routine between plays helps you clear your head and refocus.
An effective reset routine is typically short, well-practiced, and designed to keep you focused on the present moment. Depending on your sport, you might:
Basketball: Take a few deep breaths, focus on the sound and feel of your breathing, then read the court
Hockey Goalie: Shoot water from your water bottle into the air and watch it fall, then turn your attention to the next puck drop
Lacrosse: Squeeze your stick with full attention to what you’re feeling in your hands, then turn your attention back to the game
Each examples is from a real athlete. When you build a reset routine, you want to shift attention from your thoughts and onto something fixed in the present moment that is neutral, controllable by you, and always available (e.g. physical sensations, sounds, visuals). Once you’ve taken your attention out of your head and put it on something else, it’s often easier to refocus on the game and play less distracted by your thoughts. You’ll find more tips for your mental game and pregame routine in the Win Your Warm Up blog.
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