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Focus and performance … and sharks!

I was chatting with a friend this morning about focus, and what to do when it all feels like hard work. Even though the general feeling was that we may be motivated to achieve our goals, it still can be hard work and we can still struggle to do what we need to do. So, we wondered how could we motivate ourselves when the going gets tough.


We recognize that there is a subtle difference between the sense of ‘having’ to get out and do the training versus simply wanting to be out there. For example, when I went for a morning sea swim, some of the swimmers are training for a channel swim and they wanted to do an extra long swim, some are going on a swimming holiday in two weeks (me!) and we needed to know they could do a particular distance whereas others simply wanted to enjoy a swim in the sunshine (feels like a rare thing here in the UK!).


Regardless of the distance, it can sometimes feel somewhat boring, monotonous and repetitive. Yet, we all tend to distract ourselves in one way or another. Generally, amongst the swimmers, the key is to focus on details such as arm stroke, the pull of the arms, the glide through the water, even the kicking of the legs. When you place your attention on something small like that, the time passes. Plus, when you focus on the detail, you can improve your performance because you are generally also improving your technique.


This easily translates to every day life … when we struggle to get things done because they might be ‘boring’, monotonous or repetitive, focusing on the small details can make time pass easily and quickly, plus improve performance! So, what are the reasons you are doing what you are doing? And if you find it tough or boring, what small details can you focus on to help the time pass and improve your performance?


So where do sharks come into focus and performance? Well, there was a sighting of a basking shark on Tuesday in the area that we swim. So, today’s focus for me was NOT to think of the shark! Definitely not easy, and definitely negatively impacted on my performance! Try to relax when the fear that a shark may be around!! Luckily none of us saw the shark, yet this definitely put an extra edge to our swim! By the way,  basking sharks eat plankton and not humans … yet, it’s still a shark!!

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