3 Ways to Refocus Your Attention During Competition

STACK Expert Dr. Rob Bell urges athletes to use their natural learning style to mentally refocus after an error or mistake during competition.

Too often, athletes are told they need to refocus, let go of mistakes and move on. Except they aren't coached on how to actually do it. The intention is sound, but athletes simply don't know how to refocus.

RELATED: 2 Sport Psychology Tips to Improve Your Visualization Skills

The ability to re-focus after an error or mistake does not have a 0ne-size-fits-all solution. There are a few different ways athletes and coaches can apply their strategies. First, each athlete must use his or her natural learning style—how they best obtain and recall information. There are three main learning styles—visual, kinesthetic and auditory.


I was and am a visual learner. I need to see the information written and be shown what to do in order to grasp it. I could go back and read through my notes and recall the information, but I had to see it.

RELATED: Improve Your Athletes' Health and Mental Focus With Team Yoga


My roommate in college was a kinesthetic learner. He had to actually be doing a physical movement of some sort in order to retain information and learn. For example, he would re-write all of his notes several times or walk around while studying.


I had a college teammate who could sit in class and never take notes. He just listened intently and was able to recall the information. He was an auditory learner. He could hear the coach give instructions, and he simply got it. That could never work for me.

RELATED: 3 Things That Can Destroy Your Mental Toughness

Each athlete should strive to develop a specific way to refocus that uses his or her dominant learning style. The following infographic details three different way to re-focus.

How to Mentally Refocus - 3 Styles

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock