Focus on Focus: Part 3 - The Final Layer

Welcome back to focus on focus and the third installment of our discussion on how endurance athletes utilize their focus to improve performance in training and racing.

In the first two parts of focus on focus, we looked at the first two layers of attentional focus.

The first layer, Associative vs. Dissociative focus, is simply whether or not we are focusing on the task at hand in some way or if we are distracted or distracting ourselves from what we are trying to do/ accomplish.

The second layer takes things a bit further and looks at where the direction of our focus is: Internal or External.

Now, in our third part of this series, we will look at the “field” or scope of our focus.

Layer #3. - Narrow or Broad focus

Are you focused on the big picture or something in your immediate control?

This third layer refers to the field of your focus, and it too was proposed by Nideffer (1976). The field of your focus for our purposes can refer to either time or space (no… not spacetime… but if we want to go down a spacetime physics rabbit hole, I am all in!!). We can either be focused on a long span of time or a wide area of space and, conversely, we can focus our attention on a single point or a single moment. I know it actually is kind of trippy right now, so bear with me.