Awareness is imperative if you intend to be successful so I am coming back to awareness because it is so important.  Its importance was reinforced when I met and talked with an ex professional footballer is now working extensively with Sporting Chance and a sprint coach who himself has competed nationally (both were ex-students of mine!) about performance.  Awareness is important in any endeavor but we as athletes need to be fully aware of our own strengths and areas of development.  This will allow us to concentrate on our strengths during competition, when it matters, to give ourselves the greatest opportunity to be successful and get the win.  We need to be well versed in our strengths so that we can do them without thinking; we can just play.  So in training we need work on all aspects of our game so that this can be achieved but also time needs to be spent on our areas of development to get them to a point where they can no longer be called weaknesses.  This is hard work which takes determination and dedication.  The mentality to have here is to concentrate solely on the things within your control and ignore everything else.  Focus on perfecting the skill (Perfection can never be achieved as there are always improvement that can be made but should be aspired to), to master the skill so it can be completed effortlessly and without thinking during competition.  To enhance awareness keep a journal where you can reflect on your training and competitions.  Within this journal also look at your sport to identify what exactly is required for you to be successful and win.  Be very specific to get as much information as you can.  If passing is important in your sport then what type of passes are needed? 

Being fully aware also allows you to be ‘play to win’.  This is because you know what is required to win but you also understand how your strengths will allow you to do this.  Playing to win brings the focus onto you as an athlete and your awareness because you are concentrating on your strengths during competition but are aware of others competing in the same environment and the things they are good at.  A lack of awareness leads to a mentality of playing not to lose.  This is because you are not fully aware of what is needed so can’t fully commitment to your strengths to be successful.  Both the sprint coach and ex pro reinforced this message of awareness being so important to performance which is pleasing as awareness is a major part of a book I’ve written called the Journey on what is needed to be successful.  The Journey will be out at the end of September and information can be found on my website (http://www.pinnacleperformance.co.uk/books-by-pinnacle-performance.php).  The Journey has been written so that it appeals to athletes and coaches alike giving them practical suggestions to improve that are supported by real life examples.