It’s Big Game week and the media frenzy is on!  Make no mistake, this event is driven by commercial interests, personalities, story lines, expert over-analysis, and, oh yeah, there is a game too!  Even though the super athletes of the Chiefs and Niners are accustomed to the limelight, nothing compares to the hype of Big Game week.  Distractions come from every direction and put focus and performance at risk.  Routines can be broken at a time when pre-game rituals and routines are most critical.  Even sleep can become challenging.  How do they stay focused? What are some secrets that the pros use to stay focused so they can deliver results when it matters most?

Several different strategies can be deployed to stay focused.  Top athletes lean into routines and rituals.  Teams and players will walk-through each play, spend time in the weight room, and try to keep a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos.  Visualization and mental imaging of routines and plays can be powerful. When distractions are everywhere, the ability to focus is critical (1).  Do these exercises translate to the corporate setting?  Yes!

The term, “Corporate Athlete,” was coined by Loehr and Schwartz in 2001 to characterize the link between athletic performance and performance in business (1).  Pre-Big Game distractions can happen to anyone.  Is your company dealing with change?  Market issues?  Conflict?  All are potential distractions.  As a top performer knowing what you can control and what you can’t is vital to success.  What are your pre-game rituals?  Terry Orlick created the, “Wheel of Excellence,” as a six-factor model for focus in performance (2).  Distraction control is one of the six.  In Part 4, I will review how you can manage the other five so you too can be Game-Day ready.

  • IevaIeva & Terry, 2008
  • Orlick & Partington, 2008


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