Inner Game of Tactics for Sports

What is pre-sight mind, present sight mind and past sight mind in sports?

The basic meaning of pre-sight mind is anticipation. In order to be effective in anticipating in any sport, the athlete needs to have an idea of what their outcome will be while executing the current action. In tennis, for example, the player should focus on hitting a particular shot at the opponent with an idea of what the result will be. This does not mean that you will always be correct but it does mean that you will be in a decisive mode which will allow the present sight mind to identify what truly happened in that moment. Even if the opponent executed a shot that was not originally anticipated, this does not mean that the pre-sight mind was incorrect. The pre-sight mind is always correct just by the fact that the athlete was using the pre-sight mind.

The present sight mind will pick up what actually happened quicker if the pre-sight mind is being used. Being in the present-sight mind means that the athlete is in tactical mode. If an athlete does not have a tactical reason why they are executing a particular shot then they will not be ready for the next shot,  thus falling into past sight mind which means "too little too late.”

Being tactical is one of the most important attributes of a great athlete.  It is like having the best software installed on a computer; the software is what makes the computer work and function properly. The goal is to get students into tactical mode and to encourage them to perform strategically. This causes students to learn by using their frontal lobe instead of playing reactively in fight-or-flight mode.

The challenge of being in pre-sight mode for most athletes is that the event has not happened yet. It is simply anticipation, which is the best tactical guess as to what the opponent will do. It takes years of practice to make decisions while in the heat of competition, and the only bad decision is not making one at all. 

Every human has an "amygdala”, a gland in the midbrain that ensures they will be kept safe with basic instincts and lack of thought. Since the amygdala has no intelligence, it cannot understand that a recreational type of stress is not a real threat.  To learn more details on the effects of fight-or-flight on mankind, check out my book called iZone Formula, available in The Shop at The Houstonian.

 By Mike May,