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Trying to train your players more efficiently? and help them deal better in match situations?
Then this is the place for you! Brain SPEC is the product of Mark Simpson. A table tennis player himself he is using his experiences and what he has learned from his sport psychology training to help you enhance your own or your players' performances!

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Struggles of a Training Athlete- Focusing on one thing at a time

As mentioned in the blog post from the Expert in a year challenge Sam enjoyed his training camp because (unlike normal training), he was able to completely forget about all the other work and worries he had and solely focus on improving his table tennis. The other side of this positive thing is the way it suggests the other training he was normally doing was not 100% focused because he was still thinking about work he needed to do or other places he needed to be.

This has undoubtedly affected the quality of his training and therefore his rate of development. In the Train Smart Play Smart series I talk a lot about the importance of maximising the effectiveness of the training you are doing, and if you are not completely focused during training that will not allow this to happen.

So how do we enable ourselves to focus when training? Do we (like Sam) need to take ourselves away to another country and forget about all other elements of life? Perhaps your boss, partner, kids, friends, parents, bank balance etc might not be so happy about that idea. For most people it is about juggling all the elements of life in a way you can get the most out of each part.


Here are a few tips (that don't just apply to sport) on how to maximise efficiency through focusing on one thing at a time!

Spend time getting in the right frame of mind

The same way you would take time to prepare yourself for your best performance in a match, take time to prepare yourself for your best performance in training. Warm-up routines are a good way of systematising your preparations and ensuring you are in the right frame of mind any time that you play.

use Trigger Music/Video

As part of this preparing integrate some sort of music or video. Associate this music with your sport and then on those days where you might have a harder time forgetting about that meeting at work, the music will help to get `in the mood` for training

Set Goals and Plans

Don't just go into a training session without a plan. If you have a plan, then you have less opportunity for your mind to wander because there is a focused, structured plan to follow.

Shorten the training sessions- humans struggle to focus intensively for long periods of time, that means if you are training for a long time youre more likely to lose focus and that makes the hours you have put in less effective. It is better to have shorter, more effective focused training than long, unfocused sessions.

Schedule Effectively

Will you have your best training session straight after long busy day at work? Probably not. Admittedly there will be parts of life that you cant move around just to suit you, for instance you may have to work 9-5 every weekday whether you like it or not. However, within that week there may be days that are more or less stressful. So, if you can schedule your more intensive training for the days where you are less tired/stressed then you will probably have a better training session.


using these tips should help you to be more focused during your training sessions, and as mentioned at the beginning these tips can also be used in other parts of your life for instance to be more productive at work!


If you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful, or if you have any tips of your own, leave a comment. Also, check out the other articles on the website and if you are interested in working with Brain-SPEC on a more personal basis, click `contact Brain-SPEC` at the top of the page. This is the most effective way in which brain-SPEC can help you with your performance... and if you haven't noticed, the idea behind these posts is maximising that effectiveness!!!

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