How difficult is it for you to perform well when you are leading by five points or more, or playing against weaker opponents? Do you tend to feel less focused and lower the intensity?

When you make a major mistake while performing against a high-level opponent, which could potentially cost you the victory, the qualification, or the medal, do you quickly lose your concentration, your composure, or your confidence?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you may need to change the direction of your focus.

Here are three steps to perform consistently and confidently in competition, from both the athlete and coach perspective.

Step 1: What is the Expected Result?

As a player, answer the following question spontaneously: what do you want to accomplish in your next game? Once your answer has been formulated, take some time to analyze it: are your words and your answer more oriented towards the end result – the victory or the medal — or towards the quality of your performance — your technical execution or the implementation of your plan at a tactical level?

I want to win the game against… I want to enter the top 3… I want to qualify for Regionals… (outcome-oriented)

When (name of the handler) gets the disc, I want to synchronize my cuts on the break side… I want to stop 90% of the around throws with my mark… I want to adjust my positioning on defense to be able to play the disc whenever a huck goes up… (process-oriented)

The more you let go of the outcome to focus on the quality of your performance, the more your efforts will bear fruit, because they will be directed towards concrete and actionable goals.

As a coach, ask your players to tell you what they want to accomplish for their next game. Ask them to write it down. Some will talk to you about the quality of their performance, their technical execution, or their decision-making. Others will talk about opponents, winning, or statistics. When this is the case, you want to bring the attention of these players back to the little actions that lead to the result, so that they can detach their attention from the outcome.

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This article was published on Ultiworld, a website dedicated to the sport of Ultimate.