My High school basketball coach always said that when you’re on the court, you have a single responsibility. And that’s to perform to the best of your abilities.
The alternative is to think about how you’re performing. While valuable in order to improve your performance, the right time to do this is when you’re off the court. If you do it while playing on the court, you end up second guessing your performance, and the resulting feelings negatively impact how well you perform.
In other words, when you step onto the court, your performance is already predetermined by the practice and thought that you put in up to that point. You’re effectively on auto-pilot.
The same is true for your non-athletic goals. You perform best when on auto-pilot after thoughtful preparation.
Also published on Medium.