Stop chasing the Mental toughness trophy. The best chase is Space.
What if I told you that the key to living in the present and playing in the " Zen/ zone" was right in front of you. Literally. What if focusing on "nothing" was the secret passage to performance. Space. It's all around us and holds the key to our mood and emotional choices.
Not outer space but the space between objects and images. When we ask the mind to focus on nothing, we have No-Thing to grip on to, objectify and make sense of, no memories or past events or anticipation of future scenarios. Simply put, the brain takes a vacation when your attention and awareness is focused on Space.
Open Focus is learning how to pay attention and see the world drastically different than the narrow focus, pay attention, concentrate culture we live in. We stumble into this way of seeing when sitting on a beach, looking at sunsets, or walking through the forests but the daily stressors of life and the perceived need to over-focus on the playing field pulls us away.
Can you imagine engaging in daily activities while in open focus, paying attention to all objects and space that are available to you, effortlessly and simultaneously?
Make this exercise in being in the Space part of your daily activity. Create your own space zones but for now, use the suggestions below. Spend at least 10 seconds on the images listed below. Breath slowly and effortlessly during the ride! Keep your eyes open but allow yourself briefly to close them to help see the images. Let your teammate or friend read the images to you then switch if you want.
Can you imagine?
the feeling, distance, or the space between your eyes
the Inside your nose as you inhale or exhale naturally.
your breath flowing behind your eyes as you inhale naturally.
the distance between your nose and your eyes.
the space inside your mouth and cheeks.
the volume of your lips.
the space inside your ears.
the volume of your eyelids.
the space between your ears.
the space between your cheekbones.
Can you imagine that as you exhale and as your breath leaves your body it leaves your face, scalp, and head empty,
Can you imagine the volume of your index fingers?
Can you imagine the space between your little finger/pinkie and thumb on each hand.
the Space Between your feet.
the space underneath your armpits.
Between your wrist and your nose.
The space between your heart and your waist.
the Space that surrounds you.
the Space between you and X.
the Space in this room.
the Space in between the trees.